Dasara jumbos on special diet to gain weight

Dasara elephant being fed with special diet food, at Mysuru Palace premises, in Mysuru. DH FILE PHOTO

With less than a month left for the 'Nada Habba', the Dasara elephants are gearing up for the Jamboo Savari, the last leg of Dasara festivities, scheduled for October 19.

Dasara-2018 will commence on October 10 and conclude on 19.

The jumbos, which are camping on the premises of Mysuru Palace, are on a rigorous training session and are given special diet to ensure that they are physically fit for the Jamboo Savari. The procession will be held from Mysuru Palace up to Bannimantapa, covering nearly five km.

Veterinarian Dr Nagaraj said, the health of the elephants are monitored regularly and their diet consists of nutritious food. "The diet includes urad dal, green gram, wheat, boiled rice, paddy, onions, vegetables, rice, groundnuts, coconut, jaggery, and sugarcane. The food is served twice a day — morning and evening. A few elephants are also being given butter, as not all of them consume butter. In addition to this, green fodder, including branches of trees and grass, are fed regularly," said Dr Nagaraj.

According to Dr Nagaraj, all the 12 elephants are fit and fine and are getting ready for the Jamboo Savari. As part of the rehearsal, the elephants, led by Arjuna, walk the procession route twice a day to get themselves acclimatised to the crowd. The weight training programmes have started. Dhananjaya, the first time participant, is doing well during the rehearsal, he said.

The elephants gain good weight during their stay in Mysuru. They undergo weight check once they reach the city. This time too, as usual, the howdah elephant Arjuna was the heaviest and had gained weight, compared to the previous year.

Arjuna weighed 5,650 kg, Chaitra 2,920 kg, Varalakshmi 3,120 kg, Gopi and Vikrama weighed 4,435 kg and 3,985 kg respectively. The first-time participant Dhananjaya weighed 4,045 kg. The weight check was done at Sai Ram Weigh Bridge, on Dhanwantri Road, on September 6. The elephants will be once again weighed on Ayudha Puja day to assess their weight gain and also health condition.

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