Arjuna tasked with the onerous job of carrying the fabled 750-kg golden howdah during Jamboo Savari, proved his fitness, weighing highest among all other elephants, on Saturday.
His weight has remained near constant as he weighed 5,445 last year.
As part of the routine procedure, the jumbos were weighed to ascertain their fitness and suitability for various tasks and expectedly, ‘ambari’ elephant Arjuna weighed a whopping 725 kilogram more than his nearest competitor Abimanyu. Balarama, who stood at fourth position last year, has leaped to second position.
Arjuna (56) from Balle camp, weighs 5,615 kg, while Balarama (58) from Thithimathi camp is 4,920, Abhimanyu (50) from Thithimathi camp weighed 4,890 kg, Ganjendra (61) from K Gudi camp is 4,620 kg and Kaveri (38) from Dubare camp weighed 3,005 kg and Vijaya (59) is last at 2,635 kg.
Balarama weighed 4,835 kg last year and has shred considerable weight in the interim. Abhimanyu, who is around 50 years, weighed 4,890 kg and has lost weight by 85 kg compared to last year when he measured 4,975 kg on his arrival.
Veterinarian Dr Nagraj said that special food supplements will be supplied to get the elephants ready for the world famous ‘Jamboo Savari’ on Vijaydashami Day. Having arrived here on Wednesday from their forest abodes, the first batch of jumbos began their first brief morning walk to get acclimatised to the crowd and the route. Male elephants were allotted 500 kg of fodder per day, besides jaggery, sugarcane, green grass and coconuts, while the female elephants’ intake is 300 kg fodder per day.
Dasara elephant Balarama, frightened of water, hesitated to get into the bath pond and ran away towards the palace.
As the elephants had to undergo weight check up to ascertain their health, the mahouts took the elephants for a bath. Balarama, who has been participating in Dasara for more than 19 years, was frightened by the water and ran amok towards the palace and for a while the officers could not control of him. There was panic for sometime as his mahout Gopal could not take the control of him and later he was pacified.