Lakhs witness jamboo savari

Cauvery row has no impact on the last leg of Dasara festivities

Lakhs witness jamboo savari

The 402nd edition of jamboo savari, the last leg of the nine-day Dasara festivities, was on Wednesday witnessed by nearly five lakh people in the City of Palaces.

According to an estimate, the number this year exceeded by 15,000 compared with the previous year, belying speculations that people would shy away from the gala event due to the ongoing Cauvery dispute.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar showered flower petals on the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari enshrined in the 750-kg golden howdah. Earlier, he offered puja to the Nandi Dhwaja at the north gate of the palace, launching the jamboo savari.

To mark the occasion, 21 ‘Kushala Thopus’ (cannonades) were fired and the national anthem was played by the police band as the chief minister, accompanied by his deputy R Ashoka, Mayor M C Rajeshwari and regional commissioner M V Jayanthi, offered flower petals. The palace premises was packed and lakhs of people witnessed the procession along the four-km route to the Bannimantap grounds.

Arjuna, who carried the golden howdah after a gap of almost two decades, was flanked by kumki elephants Chaitra and Kanthi. Balarama, who carried the howdah for 12 consecutive years, acted as the ‘Nishane’ elephant, carrying the royal insignia of the erstwhile rulers of Mysore - the Wadiyars.

He was flanked by Vikrama and Kaveri and followed by Gajendra, the ‘Naufat’ elephant, carrying a decorative umbrella and ‘Salanes’ Vijaya and Srirama in the same order.

In his Dasara message, the chief minister said that he prayed to Goddess Chamundeshwari for adequate rains, good crops and peace and prosperity of the people in Karnataka.

He called on the scion of the royal family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, at his residence and invited him to join him in offering flowers to the deity in the golden howdah. Wadiyar, however, skipped the event.

The Nishane elephant, accompanied by the Naufat elephant, and escorted by Nandi Dwaja, Veeragase and Naadaswara troupes, led the procession. Abhimanyu pulled the famed ‘Aane Gadi’ in which members of the police band played classical music. Flower petals were showered from the sky by a paraglider before the Nishane elephant left the palace precincts.

Thirty-seven tableaux - from 30 districts and seven departments - representing the cultural heritage of the State and 75 folk art troupes, took part in the procession.
After the howdah elephant left the palace premises at 4 pm, mounted police commandant S G Maribashetty sought the chief minister’s permission for the parade.

Even though the meteorological department sources had predicted moderate rainfall, the weather was sunny and conducive for the festivities. The sky turned cloudy only for brief intervals due to passing clouds, providing the much-needed relief.

Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, District In-charge Minister S A Ramdas, Kannada and Culture Minister Govinda R Karjol, Food and Civil Supplies Minister D N Jeevaraj, Co-operation Minister B J Puttaswamy were present on the occasion.

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