Month-and-half nutrition pampering for Dasara jumbos

Month-and-half nutrition pampering for Dasara jumbos

Dasara elephants, led by Arjuna, are weighed in Mysuru on Tuesday.

Arjuna, the Dasara veteran elephant, continued to be the heaviest among his team members. The first team of Dasara elephants, which arrived on the Mysuru Palace premises on Monday, were weighed at Sai Ram Weigh Bridge on Dhanvanthri Road on Tuesday morning.

The Dasara elephants were brought to Mysuru on August 22 from Veeranahosahalli in Hunsur taluk. They were housed at Aranya Bhavan. They will be part of the Dasara festivities on the Palace premises that begin on September 29 and conclude with the grand finale ‘Jamboo Savari’ on October 8, to mark Vijayadashami.

While Arjuna weighed 5,800 kg, Varalakshmi was 3,510 kg, Eshwara 3,995 kg, Dhananjaya 4,460 kg, Vijaya 2,825 kg and Abhimanyu 5,145 kg.

Last year, Varalakshmi was 3,120 kg, Dhananjaya 4,045 kg, Vijaya 2,790 kg, and Abhimanyu 4,930 kg. Eshwara is a new entrant in the Dasara squad. Like the previous few years, Arjuna is expected to carry the famed ‘golden
howdah’ in which is placed the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari during the ‘Jamboo Savari’.

Compared to last year, on arrival, the weight of Arjuna has increased by 150 kg. Last year, on arrival, he weighed 5,650 kg. But after being nurtured for over a month, his weight had increased to 6,110 kg. Arjuna was 5,250 kg on arrival in 2017. The Dasara elephants are served special diet to keep them fit for the five-km Dasara procession from the Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap. The rehearsal for the ‘Jamboo Savari’ begins on Wednesday morning.

According to veterinarian Dr D N Nagaraju, all elephants are healthy and they would be served with protein-rich food. “The elephants gain weight before the ‘Jamboo Savari’. The elephants will be served urad dal, green gram, wheat, boiled rice, vegetables, rice, groundnut, coconut, jaggery and sugarcane during the rehearsals. The food is served twice a day — morning and evening. A few elephants are also given butter, as not all of them consume it,” he said.

Another batch of eight jumbos — Balarama, Vikrama, Kaveri, Gopi, Durgaparameshwari, Jayaprakash, Lakshmi and Rohith — will join the first batch soon. According to Forest department officials, a total of 14 elephants will be trained for the Dasara procession and 12 will participate in the procession.