Dasara elephants leave Dubare camp

Dasara elephants leave Dubare camp

Dasara elephants were given a hearty farewell at Dubare camp in Kushalnagar taluk of Kodagu district on Wednesday.DH photo.

Six elephants from the Dubare elephant camp in Kushalnagar taluk in Kodagu district, set off to the Veeranahosalli elephant camp in Hunsur, Mysuru district, on Wednesday, to take part in the Mysuru Dasara celebrations.

They will join the other Dasara jumbos there. The Kodagu district administration and the forest department had organised a send-off programme to the elephants, their mahouts, kavadis and their families.

Vijaya, Ishwara, Dhananjaya, Harsha, Gopi and Vikram are the six elephants from the Dubare camp taking part in the Dasara procession. During a function organised at the Anekadu camp, the elephants were decked with flower garlands. A puja was performed, praying for the health of the elephants and their caretakers.

Madikeri DCF S Bhaskaran, forest department personnel, mahouts and kavadis fed jaggery and fruits to the elephants.

At the Hunsur camp, the first batch of six Dasara elephants are prepared for Gajapayana, the journey of elephants from the forest to Mysuru. Dasara commences on September 29 and concludes on October 8 with Jamboo Savari. Arjuna, Abhimanyu and Varalakshmi of the Hunsur camp wleave for Mysuru on Thursday.

Gajapayana is a custom followed since the time of the Yadu dynasty. The ritual returned to its old venue near the tiger reserve in 2018. Till then, the event was held at Nagapura tribal rehabilitation centre near here. The ritual, which was discontinued for several years, resumed in 1998 from Veeranahosahalli. 

According to forest officials, all elephants are healthy and physically fit to participate in the Gajapayana. The elephants are made to walk for a metres. Later, they are transported to Mysuru on specially designed trucks. Minister R Ashoka will participate in the event.

Jumbo list

Arjuna, 59, of Balle Elephant camp in Nagarahole tiger reserve; Balarama, 61, Abhimanyu, 53 and Varalakshmi, 63, of Mattigodu camp; Kaveri, 41, Vijaya, 62, Vikram, 46, Gopi, 37, Dhananjaya, 36, Eshwara, 49, of Dubare camp; Durgaparameshwari, 52, of K Gudi camp in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) reserve and Jayaprakash, 57, of Rampura camp in Bandipur.