Tusker Arjuna, which carries the 750-kg golden howdah during the Jamboo Savari, on Sunday began the task of carrying weight on its back to get accustomed to the weight of the howdah.
Arjuna carried a weight of 550 kg to 600 kg of sand bags on Sunday. He will be subjected to this exercise under the watchful eyes of the officials from Forest Department, Dr Nagraj, and its mahout and kavadi. This will go on for the next 15 days. Later, he will carry wooden howdah for a rehearsal. The elephants Balarama and Abhimanyu, which are Dasara veterans, will also be subjected to a similar training as a back-up arrangement.
Second batch of elephants to arrive this evening
The second batch of six Dasara elephants, will arrive at the Mysuru Palace on Sunday at 4 pm. After which, all the 12 elephants will take part in the rehearsal from Monday.
The elephants, led by Vikrama, will arrive in the city by afternoon. Four other elephants — Harsha, Vikrama, Gopi and Prashanth — from Dubare elephant camp, Gopalaswamy from Thithimathi elephant camp in from K Gudi camp in H D Kote taluk will accompany the first batch of six elephants.
While the 34-year-old Gopalaswamy was captured at Sakleshpur in Hassan district in 2009, 49-year-old Durgaparameshwari was captured in 1972 and 59-year-old Vijaya was captured at Dubare. The 49-year-old Harsha and 43-year-old Vikrama were captured in 1990 at Doddabetta forest while Prashantha (60) and Gopi (34) were captured at Karyakoppa forests in 1993.
The respective elephants will leave their respective camps in the morning and reach Mysuru between 3 pm and 4 pm. The elephants will be accorded a traditional welcome by MLA M K Somashekar, DFO Karikalan, and others at Jayamarthanda Gate.
The authorities concerned have erected temporary truss sheds on the Palace premises to house the second batch of elephants and the members of the families of mahouts and kaavadis, who will camp till the end of Dasara.