No welcoming of Dasara elephants at palace this year

No welcoming of Dasara elephants at palace this year

One of the important traditions of Dasara associated with the famous Jumboo Savari, welcoming the Dasara elephants at Jayamarthanda Gate of Amba Vilas Palace, will not be part of the celebrations this year.

The ceremony of welcoming the elephants will be held at Aranya Bhavan. This, coupled with the State government’s stand that rituals associated with Dasara are private affairs of the Wadiyar family, have raised fears that other distinct rituals of Dasara, such as the private Darbar, too, would follow suit in a similar manner.

The royal family is observing a year-long mourning period following the death of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar on December 10, which is said to be the cause for the cancellation of the same.

While it is being rumoured that the decision to cancel the programme was taken during a meeting of Revenue Minister V Sreenivas Prasad and Deputy Commissioner C Shikha with Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, official sources said the decision was made prior to the meeting.

Shikha said the Gaja Payana ritual will be held at Nagapura Tribal Ashram School near Ummattur village of Hunsur taluk in the district. “Owing to the mourning being observed by the family, the district administration will organise the programme at Aranya Bhavan in the city,” she said.

She declined to comment on whether the private Darbar would also be discontinued as the Wadiyars were observing a mourning period. On whether the decision was taken during her recent meeting with Pramoda and Sreenivas Prasad, she said no aspects of Dasara celebrations were discussed during the meeting.

The invitations dispatched by the Information department regarding Gaja Payana, which used to contain the programme schedule of welcoming the Dasara elephants at Jayamarthanda Gate, does not mention about the same.

Gaja Payana

The ritual of welcoming the elephants from the forests will be held at Nagapura Tribal School on August 14. Revenue Minister V Sreenivas Prasad will flag off the Gaja Payana for the first batch of elephants, brought from various elephant camps of the Forest department.

Six elephants, including Balarama, Arjuna, Abhimanyu, Sarala, Mary and Gajendra will be part of the first batch expected to arrive in the city on August 16.