‘Trouble shooter’ successfully carries golden howdah

‘Trouble shooter’ successfully carries golden howdah

Abhimanyu carries golden howdah during Vijayadashami procession, on the premises of Mysuru Palace, on Monday.

The 54-year-old Dasara veteran Abhimanyu successfully completed Jamboo Savari by carrying 750-kg golden howdah, on the premises of Mysuru Palace, on Monday.

Abhimanyu carried golden howdah for the first time and was accompanied by kumki elephants ‘Vijaya’ and ‘Kaveri’. The Jamboo Savari commenced at 3.55 pm after Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa showered flowers on the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari, on the golden howdah, during the auspicious Kumbha lagna.

The Jamboo Savari was limited to the Palace premises due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The usual vijayadashami procession is between the Palace and Bannimantap Grounds, covering nearly 5 kilometres.

Abhimanyu has earned the nickname ‘AK 47’ for his do-or-die attitude in rescue and combing operations of rogue elephants and ‘Troubleshooter’ for the Forest department. He is also compared to the Abhimanyu of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, for his dare-devil attitude, by the
caretakers.

Though Abhimanyu has been part of Mysuru Dasara from the last two decades, he played the lead role for the first time. Until last year, he was pulling ‘Ane Gaadi’ during the procession, in which the Police band performed. In addition, he was carrying the wooden replica of howdah, during the Srirangapatna
Dasara.

The tusker, which was captured in Hebballa Forest in Kodagu district in 1977, is the favourite among the forest officials for any combing or rescue operations. He is also considered the most dependable tusker to capture rogue elephants. Abhimanyu has special skills to round up wild elephants and the vets rely on him to dart and administer medicines to the jumbos during operation.

Elephant Drona carried the howdah for 18 years, Balarama for 13 years and Abhimanyu’s predecessor Arjuna carried golden howdah for nine times till 2019 and was given retirement as it had crossed 60-years.

According to the Forest department authorities, Abhimanyu completed the task without any fear. “We were confident about his performance,” said Veterinarian Dr D N Nagaraj, who takes care of Abhimanyu. Expressing happiness mahout Vasanth said, “Abhimanyu has made me proud. I am here because of him. Abhimanyu completed his task without any hassle,” he said.

Vasanth said, Abhimanyu has been participating in Dasara from the last 21 years and his experience made him to complete the task easily.

The Forest department officials expressed gratitude to Vasanth’s father Sanappa, also the first mahout of Abhimanyu, for imparting him good training. The tuskers never fail to follow his master’s command, even during musth.