Dasara fervour sets in as jumbos begin Gajapayana

Children of tribal community perform during a programme to mark Gajapayana at Veeranahosahalli in Hunsur taluk, Mysuru district, on Sunday. DH PHOTO

Festive atmosphere prevailed at Veeranahosahalli near Nagarhole National Park in Hunsur taluk, which was decorated to host the “Gajapayana,” the march of elephants to Mysuru, to be a part of “Jamboo Savari,” the grand finale of Dasara-2018.

District Incharge Minister G T Devegowda and other dignitaries were present during the puja held for the jumbos, marking the beginning of the first leg of Dasara activities, on Sunday.

While the first batch of five elephants Arjuna, Varalakshmi, Gopi, Dhananjaya and Vikrama reached Mysuru city and are housed in the Aranya Bhavan, another elephant Chaitra will be brought directly from the Bandipur camp, according to the Forest department. With the government deciding to go ahead celebrating the festival in a traditional manner, in view of the disaster in Kodagu district, the authorities have geared up to ensure the smooth conduct of the festival.

More than 2,000 people were a witness to the programme, including students from various schools. The jumbos walked for a little distance accompanied by the folk troupes and traditional musical instruments and were later boarded on vehicles moving towards Mysuru.

It was a sort of “Mini Dasara” for the people residing in the tribal hamlets and for the residents in the surrounding villages. They were seen dressed in their best attire walking in hordes towards the entrance of the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, where the Gajapayana was organised.

A group of 12 boys had cycled all the way from their village, Chikkahejjuru, to be a part of the programme. Speaking to DH, one of the boys, Madhu C S, studying 9th standard, said,

“As it is difficult for us to visit Mysuru for Dasara, we came here to see the elephants. This is the only time we can see the jumbos, which would be sent to the forest later,” he said.

There were a lot of people from the Tibetan settlements who attended the programme. Sonam of Gurupura Tibetan Settlement said, she had brought her five-year-old girl to show the elephant and this was the first time, she was witnessing the Gajapayana.

Tibetan and tribal children presented a variety of cultural programmes on the occasion. A separate dais was erected for the formal launch of the Gajapayana.

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Dasara fervour sets in as jumbos begin Gajapayana

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