Mysuru: It was a sight to behold when all the 15 Dasara elephants walked majestically on the Jumboo Savari route from Mysore Palace to Bannimantap for the first time this morning. Till now, only 8 elephants participated in the rehearsals and today’s rehearsal had 15 elephants as the second batch of 7 elephants arrived in the city yesterday.
The K.R. Circle literally wore a deserted look as the elephants passed, accompanied by a Police Garuda vehicle. The elephant team was led by Arjuna, the Howdah elephant. A jeep fitted with magnetic nail-picking instrument moved in front of the elephants along with “nail man” Rangaraju who has the responsibility of clearing other sharp objects from the route that might injure the elephants.
Also for the first time this year, sand bags weighing 400 kg were mounted on Arjuna. As the rehearsal began, the sand bags were mounted on Arjuna with the help of a crane inside the Palace premises near the residence of royal family. First, bags filled with hay, soft-cotton and dry grass were mounted on Arjuna for him not to feel the coarseness of the sand and sand bags were later mounted on top of that.
Forest officials said that after four to five days, sand bags weighing 600 kg will be mounted on Arjuna for him to get accustomed to carry the 750-kg golden howdah. Practice sessions with the wooden Ambari will begin after the present rehearsal of sand bags conclude.
Deputy Commissioner of Forests (Wildlife) V. Yedukondalu, Veterinary doctor Dr. D.N. Nagaraju and Range Forest Officer Devaraju were present.