Mysuru, (DHNS): This Dasara, only nine elephants will take part in Jamboo Savari, the last leg of Mysuru Dasara. The final event will be held on Vijayadashami, October 19. Arjuna, who has been carrying the howdah since 2012, is touted to be the howdah carrier this year also. Normally, 10 or 12 elephants used to participate in Jamboo Savari. But during the last Dasara, 15 elephants, including Bheema, then 17-year-old, participated. Arjuna, the howdah elephant, and Bheema, a first-time participant, were the attractions last year. This time, the authorities are planning to use the services of only nine elephants and have dropped Bheema and a few others from the list of Dasara elephants, due to certain reasons. A forest officer said the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests had approved a list of 12 elephants, including Dhananjaya, a first-time participant, for the Jamboo Savari.
“We have decided to bring 12 elephants and nine of them will participate in the procession. The remaining three will be kept as standby. All the 12 elephants will be trained during their stay in Mysuru. The first batch of six elephants will reach the city from the elephant camp on August 23, following a grand function called the ‘Gajapayana’ at Nagapura hamlet near Veeranahosalli, Nagarahole National Park. Due to space constraint in Mysuru Palace, where the elephants and their caretakers are housed, officials have decided to reduce the number of Dasara elephants. An officer said it had become difficult for the Forest department to provide necessary facilities to the tribal people who take care of the elephants during their stay in the city.
Bheema, who successfully participated in Dasara-2017, is out of Dasara-2018 due to age-related issues. According to sources, Bheema is too young to participate in Dasara. Only elephants above 30 years of age will be considered to participate in Dasara. Elephants undergo rigorous training for the festival, thus young elephants are not preferred.
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