Mysore/Mysuru: The first batch of eight Dasara elephants will start practicing with weights (sand bags) from Sept. 15, said DCF Saurabh Kumar. Speaking to media persons at Mysore Palace premises last evening, DCF Kumar shared the information related to diet, medicine and practice schedule of the elephants, along with the schedule of arrival of second batch of elephants.
While the rehearsal to acclimatise elephants with the procession route is going on as per schedule, the practice of carrying weights (sandbag) will be launched on Sept. 15, with howdah elephant Abhimanyu. The half of the total weight [including that of Golden Howdah (weighing 750-kg) and materials that will be mounted on Abhimanyu on the D-day] will be mounted during the practice. The plan is to involve total four pachyderms in carrying sand bags, added DCF Kumar.
The amount of diet will be fixed on the basis of body weight of elephants. The diet includes — wet and dry grass, sugarcane, jaggery, paddy, coconut, horse grain and butter. Besides, nutrition-rich powder and medicine are fed as per the advice of veterinarians. The special focus is on ‘Kanjan,’ the debutant elephant, with the veterinarians providing a daily report on the health condition of all the elephants.
A full-length practice from Palace to Bannimantap (the culmination point of Jumboo Savari) was successfully conducted on last Saturday and Sunday, even amid the busy traffic that is heavy during weekend. Mahendra led the elephants on return journey from Bannimantap to Palace on Saturday, while on Sunday, Gopi led the elephants. Likewise, different elephants are made to lead the practice sessions.
With Jumboo Savari procession (that forms the last leg of Dasara on Oct. 24) scheduled to start around 5 pm, the elephants are taken out on dry run till Bannimantap during the same time on weekends, while it will be cut short till old RMC junction on the week days.
The new entrant to Dasara, Kanjan is showing maturity in his behaviour, showing no signs of any fear during practice sessions, said the DCF.
“Nobody can even tick him off as a new entrant, as Kanjan ambles with ease along with other elephants in the line, without even fearing to the sound of honking on road. He also led the practice session once from the front that explains it all,” added DCF Saurabh Kumar.
The second batch of elephants is expected to arrive in the last week of this month, but the schedule is not finalised yet. Three elephants will be arriving in the second batch — Hiranya and Rohit from Ramapura camp and Lakshmi from Dodda Harave, which are also making their Dasara debut.
Cleanliness is maintained around the area of bathing elephants (on Palace premises near Jayamarthanda Gate). While adequate toilet facility is provided for Mahouts and Kavadis of the elephants. Tent School is also ready for the education of children of Mahouts and Kavadis. The Education Department Officers have inspected the Tent School, which will start functioning after the arrival of all the children. For now, the children are provided with carom, volleyball and cricket kits, added DCF Kumar.
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