Mysuru: Twelve elephants will participate in this year’s jumbo savari, the biggest attraction of Mysuru Dasara. Fifty six- year- old Dasara veteran, Arjuna will carry the 750kg golden howdah for the sixth consecutive year, leading the other elephants during the procession on October 11, according to forest department sources.
While elephants Arjuna, Balarama, Abhimanyu, Gajendra, Cauvery and Vijaya will arrive in the first batch , the rest will follow two weeks prior to Dasara.
Balarama, who carried the golden howdah in 13 jumbo savaris, is this year the “Nishane” elephant , and will be out in front. Gajendra is the “Nauphat” elephant, and Abhimanyu will pull the elephant cart (aane gaadi) during the procession.
Cauvery and Vijaya will accompany Arjuna as kumkis and the other jumbos will act as “ Saalaanes.” Besides Arjuna, Gajendra and Balarama too will be trained in carrying the golden howdah and will be treated as standby.
Gajendra, who was dropped last year after he killed his mahout, Ganapathi and Dasara veteran, Srirama, while in a state of masth, is now in good health, according to DCF (wildlife), Mysuru, Ganesh Bhat.
The elephants are likely to begin their journey from the forests to Mysuru later this month. The date will be finalised at the Dasara Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the department has decided to lend jumbo Vikrama to the Mysuru royal family for its Navarathri rituals.