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Minister Ashoka flags off Gaja Payana at Veeranahosahalli

Mysuru, August 22:- “I am not any king. I am just a party worker. I am not a competitor for anyone either. I have come here to make sure that the jumbos don’t miss the traditional worship before the Gaja Payana (march of elephants). I have prayed for the welfare of the state and power to overcome the floods,” said Minister R Ashoka after flagging off Gaja Payana as part of Nada Habba ‘Mysuru Dasara 2019’ at Veeranahosahalli in Hunsur taluk on Thursday.

Ashoka flagged off the Gaja Payana by offering traditional puja and offerings to the Dasara elephants. Mahouts and kavadis were given tamboola on the occasion. The event was jointly organised by the district administration and forest department. The minister offered floral tributes to the first batch of elephants taking part in the Gaja Payana. Six elephants took part in the Gaja Payana event.

When he was asked about who will become the district in-charge minister of Mysuru, Ashoka said who knows what is in store and revealed he came as instructed by the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

Minister V Somanna, MLAs SA Ramadass, L Nagendra, Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Sankar, Mayor Pushpalatha Jagannath, Deputy Mayor Shafi Ahmed, BJP leader HV Rajeev, officials of forest department and others were present.

Various art forms were performed prior to the inauguration of Gaja Payana.

About Dasara elephants: Arjuna: Male, age 59 years. Mahout Vinu, Kavadi Madhu. Height 2.95m. length – 3.75m. Weight – 5,500 – 5,870 kgs. He was captured at Kakanakote forest area. He has been a part of Dasara festivities since 18-19 years and is carrying the golden howdah since 2012.

Varalakshmi: Female, age 63 years. Mahout Ravi J K, kavadi Madesha. Height – 2.46m, Length – 3.34m. Weight 3325kgs. The elephant was captured at Kakanakote in 1977 and is a part of Dasara for 10 years.

Abhimanyu: Male, 53 years. Mahout Vasantha, kavadi Raju. Height 2.68m, length 3.51m. Weight 5000 – 5290 kgs. Abhimanyu has been a part of Dasara for 20 years. He was captured at Hebballa forest area of Kodagu district.

Dhananjaya: Male, 36 years, mahout Bhaskar, kavadi Surya. Height 2.78m, length – 3.84m. weight 3,900-4,050 kgs. He has been a part of catching wild elephants and is a part of Dasara for the first time.

Vijaya: Female, 62 years. Mahout Bhojappa, kavadi Bharat BP. Height 2.29m, length – 3. weight 3,250kgs. Has been a part of Dasara for 12 years. (MR/KS)

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