With Gajapayana, countdown begins for Mysuru Dasara

With Gajapayana, countdown begins for Mysuru Dasara

Minister G T Devegowda, Hunsur MLA A H Vishwanath, Minister Sa Ra Mahesh and others get ready to bid a farewell to the Dasara elephants bound for Mysuru, at Veeranahosahalli in Hunsur taluk on Sunday.

The official countdown for Dasara 2018 began on Sunday with ‘Gajapayana’, the march of elephants from the forest camps to Mysuru to participate in the Jamboo Savari. Dasara commences on October 10 and concludes on October 19 with Jamboo Savari.

Gajapayana commenced at Veeranahosahalli, the entry point of Nagarahole tiger reserve after puja at the Anjaneya temple. It is a custom followed since the time of the Maharajas, who used to offer puja to the deity before Gajapayana, said temple priest Rajesh.

Mysuru Palace priest Prahlada Rao offered puja to elephants Arjuna, Varalakshmi, Gopi, Vikrama and Dhananjaya during the auspicious time between 10.30 and 10.45 am. Chaitra, a female elephant, will join the five in Mysuru. Chaitra will be directly brought from the Bandipur elephant camp.

This time, Gajapayana ritual returned to its old venue near the tiger reserve. Till last year, the event was held at the Nagapura tribal rehabilitation centre near here. The ritual, which was discontinued for several years, resumed in 1998 from Veeranahosahalli. After a few years, the venue was shifted to Nagapura.

Tribal men Puttaiah and Thayamma officially launched the event in the presence of Higher Education and district incharge Minister G T Devegowda, Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh, MLA A H Vishwanath, Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Sankar, DCFs Siddaramappa Chalkapure, K T Hanumanthappa and veterinarian Dr Nagaraju.

The elephants will be housed at Aranya Bhavan and they will be shifted to the Mysuru Palace premises on September 5. The Palace Board will welcome the Dasara elephants.