From here & there

From here & there

Elephant tales

In ancient times, elephants were domesticated and used during battles. The manner in which elephants were caught and domesticated in India is described by Persian ambassador, Abdul Razzak, in his work Matlau us Sadain. 

In Karnataka, elephants were captured in an operation called khedda at Kakanakote.

These operations were carried out by the Maharajas of Mysore during the visits of British Viceroys to the State.

Huien-Tsang, the Chinese traveller who visited Karnataka when the Chalukyas ruled Badami, describes in his memoirs that the Chalukyan army had hundreds of elephants.

Elephants formed an important organ of the army in ancient and medieval Karnataka. 

Many kings of Karnataka had expert knowledge of elephants. The Nallal copper inscription says that Ganga ruler Durvinitha was an expert in the art of taming elephants.

Another Ganga ruler, Shivamara II, wrote Gajamatha Kalpana, a work on elephants in Sanskrit. Similarly Devaraya II, the ruler of Vijayanagara, had the title Gajaventekara as he was an expert in hunting elephants. Even today, the elephant stables constructed during the Vijayanagara period draw a lot of tourists. The Maharaja of Mysore was known to go around Mysore sitting on an elephant during Dasara. 

Even today, during the Dasara festival, the image of goddess Chamundeshwari is carried on the back of an elephant. 

Reserved forests like Bandipur, Nagarahole, Dandeli, etc in which they live have become tourism hubs. According to a survey conducted in 2010, there are nearly 5,630 elephants in Karnataka, i.e. 25 per cent of the total elephant population in India.

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