Separate camp for Dasara elephants in the pipeline
The Dasara elephants, led by veteran tusker Arjuna, who successfully took part in the historical Jamboo Savari, left for their camps, not before they were given a warm send-off on Thursday morning.
The 12 elephants, who were camping at the Mysuru Palace premises since 45 days to take part in the Mysuru Dasara festivities, were given a traditional send-off before they embarked on their backward journey to their respective camps. On Thursday morning, a traditional puja was performed by a priest to Arjuna and other Dasara elephants. PWD and District In- charge Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa along with MLA Somashekhar, DC Randeep and others gave a sumptuous treat consisting of sugarcane and jiggery to the elephants as a gesture. The gentle giants, as if to reciprocate, raised their trunks and saluted the huge gathering.
Prior to this, the Forest Department hosted a breakfast for the mahouts, kavadis and their family members. They were given a plush breakfast and each of the mahouts was given an honorarium of Rs 7,500 by Mahadevappa. Later speaking to media persons, he said, “We have completed the historical Mysuru Dasara with much fervour. Dasara elephants and mahouts played a pivotal role during the Jamboo Savari. Today the Dasara elephants and their mahouts, who have been camping at the Palace courtyard, have been accorded a ceremonial farewell by the district administration. Considering their work and hardships during the Dasara, from this year, we have increased the mahouts’ honorarium from Rs 5000 to Rs 7,500.”
A group photo of the mahouts and kavaidis with the district administration and forest officials was taken.
DCF Ganesh Bhat, RFO Devaraj, Veterinarian Dr Nagaraj and other forest officials were present.
Exclusive camp for Dasara jumbos?
An elite camp for the Dasara elephants taking part in the Jamboo savari is expected to be set up soon either at Nagarhole or Bandipur. Sources said that plans are in the pipeline to set up a permanent camp to house the Dasara elephants so that a proper care and diet could be offered to the elephants. The group of 12 and odd elephants which arrive every year during the Dasara festivities are given special food and a proper diet with an eye on their health and stamina. Now that the Forest Department is planning to set up a separate camp for them, the move is in the right direction.