The first batch of elephants, which will be part of Mysore Dasara Mahotsava -2013 began their journey from woods of Nagarahole National Park to Royal city Mysore on Wednesday.
Praying goddess Chamundeshwari, 'Gaja Payana', a ritual of welcoming and bringing elephants for dasara festival (October 5 to 14), was kicked off with religious fervour and cultural note at Nagapura Girijana School, Veerana Hosahalli at Hunsur Taluk here on Wednesday.
Five elephants such as Balaram, Abhimanyu, Sarala, Varalakshmi including the howdah Arjuna elephant were welcomed by elected representatives, officials and villagers with due respect by performing traditional puja.
The elephants were decked up with colourful flowers, and ornaments. After formal inauguration of the event, the elephants were transported in trucks from Nagapura to Mysore Palace. Another elephant Gajendra on route accompanied the elephants in Palace. The second batch of elephants is expected to arrive on next months.
These elephants will take part in the 403rd World Famous Dasara Jumboo Savari to be held on October 14. They will be taken care for more than one and half month in Mysore providing needed rich and superior quality meals.
Priest Prahalada Rao said that from last 13 years he is taking part in the puja rituals of Gajapayana and the number of people turning to take part in the ceremony is increasing year to year.
Nagapura Hamlet Tribal children put steps for traditional songs. While, Gurupura Tibetan Colony children staged performance for 'Choelca Sum', traditional Tibetan Dance on the occasion.
Veeraghase Kunitha by artistes of Gavadagere and Kamsale by Valmiki Yuvakara Sangha of Periyapatna was performed. About 51 girls and women of Sharada Swasahayaka Sangha and Chamdeshwari Sangha of Doddahejjur gave 'Purnakumba' welcome for the elephants, considered it as auspicious.
Title deeds for Tribals
Revenue and District in-charge Minister V Srinivasa Prasad after inaugurating Gaja Payana, assured of distributing Title deeds for families of tribals who have relocated from reserved forest area. He said talks has been held with concerned MLA's in this regard and soon decision will be taken.
He further said that Mysore dasara attracts people from world wide and measures have been taken to give tourists good hospitality and follow the tradition of Yadu Vamsha. Deputy Commissioner C Shikha, ZP and TP members were present.
*The elephants were offered with jaggery and dry coconuts during Gaja Payana.
* Sarala and Varalakshmi are taking part in the dasara festivities after gap of two years, as they had given birth for calves.
* Mahouts and their family members will stay in the temporary sheds which will be erected at palace premises.
Know about elephants
* Arjuna: Male, 53 year old (5100 kg) from Balle Elephant Camp. He will be carrying 750 kg golden howdah for second time. Mahout Dodda Masti.
* Balarama: Male, 55 year old (4950 kg) from Thitimathi Elephant Camp. He is taking part in Dasara activites from last 17 years and has carried golden chariot for 13 times. Mahout Thimma.
* Gajendra: Male, 58 year old (4560 kg) from K Gudi Elephant Camp. He is taking part in Dasara activites from last 17 years and has carried golden chariot for 16 times and this is 'Pattada Anne'. Mahout Rama.
* Abhimanyu: Male, 47 year-old (4650 kg) from Thitimathi Elephant Camp. He is taking part in Dasara activities from last 14 years and he pulls the chariot of Musicians during Dasara. Mahout Vasanth.
* Sarala: Female, 71 year-old (3250 kg) from Balle Elephant Camp.
She is part of Dasara from last 14 years. Mahout Srirama.
* Varamahalakshmi: Female, 58 years old from Balle Elephant Camp.
She is part of Dasara from last 8 years. Mahout Gunda. Both these female elephants are 'Kumki' elephants (Chaperon) for Arjuna.