Mysuru: It's final, 57-year-old Arjuna who is participating in the Dasara festivities for the 14th year, will carry the 750kg golden howdah for the 7th time at the world famous Jumbo Savari procession on Vijadashami day on Saturday.
After over 40 days of rigorous training, the Dasara pachyderms have started their final round of rehearsals in front of Mysuru Palace. The forest department has also decided on the roles of all fifteen elephants.
Even though it was tentatively decided that Arjuna will carry the golden howdah, Balarama, Abhimanyu and Gajendra were also given training to carry the howdah. While all four veterans have passed their test, Arjuna has done it with more grace. And his Mahout Vinu will lead Arjuna, according to DFO Mr Yedukondalu, the in-charge of the Dasara elephants.
Female elephants 39-year old Cauvery will be towards Arjuna's right and 60-year-old Vijaya to his left.
Balarama who carried the golden howdah 13 times, will function as the Nishane elephant in the front of the procession with his Mahout Thimma carrying a flag with the royal insignia-the ganduberunda indicating the beginning of the procession. Abhimanyu will be the Nauphat elephant with its mahout Vasantha carrying a decorated Umbrella while Vikrama will be the pattada aane for the Navarathri rituals of the royal family and will be acompanied by Gopi. The remaining elephants including Gopalswamy, Harsha, Gajendra, Prashantha, Varalakshmi, new elephants Krishna, Drona and Bheema will function as Saalaanes in the procession.
Due to rains, the rehearsals in front of the Mysuru Palace began at around 10 am on Wednesday.
Air show at Dasara fest tomorrow
The defence ministry has given permission for the Air show and the Akashganga team will perform petal dropping, slithering operations, skydiving and other exercises for half an hour on September 29 at Bannimantap, Mysuru DC Mr D Randeep said. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, an Open Street Festival was held on Devraj Urs Road, in Mysuru introducingpeople of the cultural capital to a new experience. This was held as part of World Tourism Day celebrations and Dasara. There was zero traffic as the participants swayed to the tunes of Hip hop music Zoo authority of Karnataka chairperson, Ms Mallige Veeresh came along with her daughter Lisha and was reminded of the streets in the US. Vreni from Switzerland who is in Mysuru for the past six months, was impressed by the weather in the city and the culture, "It is very colourful," she said. Sunil Linus De, an artist from Kerala was seen capturing the fest on his canvas.