Mysore/Mysuru: The eight Dasara elephants, led by Abhimanyu, who will carry the 750-kg Golden Howdah, received a traditional welcome at the Mysore Palace this noon. They made an entry into the Palace at Abhijin Lagna between 12.01 pm and 12.51 pm.
Accompanying Abhimanyu were seven other elephants: Dhananjaya, Gopi, Kanjan, Vijaya, Bheema, Varalakshmi and Mahendra. These caparisoned elephants arrived from their respective forest camps on Sept. 1 and were housed at Aranya Bhavan. They made a majestic march into the Palace to mark the beginning of their Dasara journey.
In fact, nine elephants had come from Veeranahosahalli on Sept. 1 and as Arjuna left for the tiger capture operation in H.D. Kote this morning, he could not be present during the Palace welcome today. Arjuna will join the team after the tiger that killed a nine-year-old boy in H.D. Kote yesterday is captured.
Similar to the previous years, the elephants marched from Aranya Bhavan to the Palace. Before departing from Aranya Bhavan, a traditional puja was conducted by Forest Department officers, staff and nearby residents.
The elephants then began their march through Ashokapuram, Ballal Circle, Ramaswamy Circle, Chamaraja Double Road, Sanskrit Patashala and Gun House Circle to reach the Jayamarthanda Gate of the Palace around 11.51 am.
At the Jayamarthanda Gate, a series of rituals, including Ganapathi Homa, Dwarapalaka Puja, Paadapuja, Sankalpa, Chamara Seve, Mutthaide Mangalarathi, and Pushparchane, were performed. The grand entry into the Palace took place after these rituals conducted by Priest S.V. Prahallad Rao and Chamundi Temple Chief Priest Shashishekhar Dikshit.
Inside the Palace, the elephants received a warm reception. The Police honoured the jumbos with a guard of honour and the Police Band performed as they entered the premises. District Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa and others showered the elephants with flowers. Various folk troupes accompanied the elephant team.
Mayor Shivakumar, Deputy Mayor Dr. G. Roopa, MLAs K. Harishgowda, T.S. Srivatsa, MP Pratap Simha, DC Dr. K.V. Rajendra, SP Seema Latkar, City Police Commissioner Ramesh Banoth, DCP M. Muthuraj, Palace Board Deputy Director T.S. Subramanya, Conservator of Forests Dr. Malathi Priya, DCF Saurabh Kumar were present.
Tourists, including some from abroad, gathered to witness the elephants and took photos and selfies. As per tradition, the District Administration provided Phala-Thamboola to the Forest Department staff and encouraged them to make Dasara a grand success. Ration and essential kits were provided to the Mahouts, Kavadis and their families who will be staying in makeshift tents on the Palace premises to train the elephants for the Jumboo Savari.
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