Dasara festivities conclude with grand Jamboo Savari

Dasara festivities conclude with grand Jamboo Savari

The 10-day Dasara festivities concluded here on Monday in grand style, despite a few hiccups, with over five lakh people witnessing the 403rd Jamboo Savari.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, a Mysorean after D Devaraja Urs, launched the procession of 122 troupes, including 42 tableaux and a Russian troupe, by offering puja to the Nandi Dwaja at the Balarama Gate (north gate) of the Amba Vilas Palace here at 1:20 pm, the auspicious Makara lagna.

The procession was led by Nishane elephant Balarama, who had carried the famed golden howdah for 13 years, and Naufat elephant Harsha, flanked by seven other elephants. All elephants, wearing new ornaments this year, walked majestically.

After being witness to the one-km-long procession, the chief minister offered floral tributes to the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari in the 750-kg howdah, mounted on Arjuna, signalling the formal start of the Jamboo Savari.

The howdah tilting towards left on Arjuna gave tensed moments to the officials, mahouts and kavaadis. Near K R Circle, the howdah was balanced with the help of the kavaadis of the kumki elephants.

To mark the occasion, 21 ‘Kushala Thopus’ (cannonades) were fired and the National Anthem played by the police band as the Chief Minister offered flower petals to the idol at 4:05 pm.

He offered flowers to the idol once again after the gun salute was complete. 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.

Siddaramaiah noted that this was the best-ever Dasara organised by any government in the State and that a record number of people had participated in the event.

Arjuna carried the howdah for the second time in line.

Royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar was not extended an invitation to the ceremony, which is a custom. Wadiyar skipped the howdah-mounting event, citing health problems.

People braved a scorching sun to watch the Jamboo Savari. Moving clouds provided relief at intervals.

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