Preparations have gained momentum for the historical Dasara festivities as the seven cannons that had been kept at the Mysuru Palace premises were handed over to a team of police personnel attached to the City Armed Reserve (CAR), on Friday.
The vintage weaponry kept in the Mysuru Palace was formally handed over to a team of Police Personnel by the Mysuru Palace Board Deputy Director T S Subramanya in presence of Police Commissioner B Dayanand and Deputy Commissioner Randeep. The cannons which are used to fire 21 gun shots as part of the Dasara Celebration on the day of Jamboo Savari was received by Police personnel by offering ‘Tilakas’ and formal Pujas to the Cannons. A police team is assigned the responsibility of handling the cannons, who have started their rehearsal and are all set to conduct more rehearsal to familiarise Dasara elephants with the sound of cannon in coming days.
Speaking to City Today, ARSI of City Armed Reserve (CAR) Ramu said, “On the Vijayadashami day, cannons are fired 21 times outside the palace fort to signal the beginning of Jamboo Savari. Centuries back the sound produced by the cannons gave information on the Vijayadashami celebration in the Palace and people from neighbouring place would throng in to the Palace Premises to grace the occasion. Every year the Mysuru Palace Board handover us these vintage cannons one month earlier to the Dasara Celebrations. Our gun shed troupe comprising of Police personnel from CAR will start rehearsing with these weaponries for the smooth conduction of the Cannon firing during the Dasara.”
“This year we have a 28 member team and have started our rehearsals. This year we have received the weaponry bit late compared to previous years, but have started the process of cleaning the cannons installed on the wheeled carts.” He added.
Sharing information on handling the cannons Ramu said, “The ammunition for the cannons and the gun powder are brought from Arsikere and we would require around 400 KG’s of gun powder for firing. Once we bring the gun powder we would pack it to cotton bag and will tie with a thick thread. We make 2.4 KG packs for long barrels and 1.8 KG for small barrels and insert into the barrel of the cannon to fire. After each round of fire the remaining inside the cannon are cleared. We would require four members each for the operation of cannon.”
The team began their rehearsals from Saturday morning in three sessions, the first session starts from 07:00 am to 08:00 am, second from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and in the evening from 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm.
The team is expected to buy the gun powders on Tuesday and take a day or two to dry and load it into small packets insider a cotton bag. Sources said that when all the twelve Dasara elephants are brought to the Palace, the team would conduct a cannon drill for elephants to prevent them from getting nervous as a result of the sound and smoke.
This year for the first time the city Police Commissioner B Dayanand has decided to make insurance to all the team members who operate cannons and have promised to take decision regarding the proposal in next two days.