Dasara elephants return to forest camps from Mysuru

Dasara elephants return to forest camps

Puja was offered to Dasara elephants before leaving to forest camps from Mysuru Palace premises in Mysuru. DH PHOTO

After the successful completion of Mysuru Dasara Jamboo Savari, golden howdah carrier Abhimanyu and his team left for their respective camps in the forests on Thursday.

The elephants, Vikrama, Gopi, Vijaya and Kaveri, their mahouts and kavaadis were camping on Mysuru Palace premises from October 2, to participate in the Vijayadashami procession held on October 26. While Abhimanyu returned to Mathigodu elephant camp, Kaveri and Gopi shifted to Dubare elephant camp, near Somwarpet in Kodagu. Vikrama and Vijaya returned to Anekadu elephant camp.

The first leg of Gajayapayana, the traditional march of Dasara, was held at Veeranahosahalli, the entry point of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in Hunsur taluk on October 1. The elephants were brought to Aranya Bhavan on the same day and were shifted to Mysuru Palace the next day.

For the first time, Abhimanyu from Mattigodu Elephant camp in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, played the lead role of carrying the golden howdah with an idol of goddess Chamundeshwari during the procession. Abhimanyu has been part of Mysuru Dasara from the last two decades. He was pulling the ‘Ane Gaadi’, in which the police band used to perform during the procession. He used to carry the wooden replica of the howdah, during Srirangapatna Dasara in Mandya district.

District In-charge Minister S T Somashekar had visited the Palace and had performed puja on Tuesday. He offered sugarcane, paddy and jaggery, as a thanksgiving for their successful participation in Dasara. He also presented a honorarium to the mahouts and kavaadis, given by the Palace Board.

The Forest department, district administration and Mysuru Palace Board gave the elephants a grand farewell. This time, the mahouts and kavaadis were given Rs 10,000 honorarium by the Palace Board. The elephant caretakers were given Rs 7,000 last year.

Abhimanyu, also known as ‘troubleshooter’ and ‘AK 47’ among Forest department officials and Gopi, lent their service to the authorities of Mysuru Zoo on Tuesday.

They were taken to Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysuru Zoo) to shift an elephant calf to Chamundi Animal Conservation, Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre at Koorgalli on the outskirts of Mysuru.