Mysuru, (DHNS): Gajapayana, the ceremonial journey of the Dasara elephants from the forest to Mysuru to participate in the Mysuru Dasara, commenced from Nagapura tribal hamlet under Gurupura Gram Panchayat in the taluk with traditional fervour on Saturday.
A large number of people, including foreign tourists, witnessed the event that had been organised on a grand scale for the first time. The first batch of eight elephants — Arjuna, Balarama, Abhimanyu, Kaveri, Varalakshmi and Vijaya — started their journey from the hamlet, while Bheema and Gajendra were transported from Mathigodu and K Gudi elephant camps, respectively.
The jumbos will be housed at Aloka Palace in Yelwal near Mysuru for now and will be welcomed at the Mysuru Palace on August 17. The second batch, comprising seven elephants — Gopalaswamy, Vikrama, Gopi, Harsha, Krishna, Drona and Prashanth — will join the first batch later on. The elephants were offered special puja with the chanting of hymns. Special prayers were offered for the safety of the pachyderms.
Jaggery, sugarcane and coconuts were offered to the jumbos. PWD?Minister H?C?Mahadevappa, a host of people’s representatives and officials were present. The elephants marched a short distance as a formality and later they were transported in trucks to Mysuru.
‘Gajapayana,’ the first leg of Dasara, received overwhelming response from tourists as well local people. As many as 5,000 people, including foreign tourists and students, were witness to the event.
The Mysuru Travels Association had arranged transport to ferry tourists from Mysuru to the venue of the Gajapayana inauguration.
‘Gaja, conflict and conservation,’ a?documentary on elephants, was released on the occasion. The official website of Mysuru Dasara-2017 was also launched.
The six-minute movie depicts the life of elephants, narrates how they conserve nature, the relationship between man and elephant, role of elephants during war and other situations.
It also pays tribute to Dasara jumbo Drona, which carried the golden howdah during ‘Jamboo Savari’ 18 times till 1997. He died due to electrocution in 1998, when he was grazing in the Nagarhole National Park.
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