Who will be Arjuna’s mahout? Cold war on

Mysuru, September 1:- Tusker Arjuna, who carries the 750-kg  golden howdah during Mysuru Dasara, has always been a major attraction during the nine-day festival.  Now a cold war has started between a mahout and a Kavadi over the right to be his mahout.

People stand in line from the palace to Bannimantap at a stretch of 7 km to watch the Jamoo Savari. They feel overwhelmed when they see Arjuna carrying the Goddess Chamundeshwari in the golden howdah.

After the death of Arjuna’s mahout Doddamasthi, a cold war has broken out between mahout Vinu and kavadi, son of Doddamasthi, Sannappa (Mahesh). As Arjuna was very close to Doddamasthi, he was made the mahout of Arjuna even after his retirement in 2015. Since the death of Doddamasthi, his son Sannappa was made the mahout, saying Arjuna was close with the family of Doddamasthi. But Vinu was made his mahout, saying a kavadi can’t be made a mahout. Vinu successfully led Arjuna in Dasara Jamoo Savari. Now Sannappa has again requested the forest department for a chance to lead Arjuna. It is said that the officials of the forest department will take a decision in a meeting to be held on September 2. Forest officer Sidramappa said that he didn’t notice Sannappa’s request amidst the preparations of Gajapayana and said the officials would take a decision.

The first team of Dasara elephants will be leaving for Mysuru on September 2. Balarama, Abhimanyu and Drona are not coming in the first team as they are out on a different task.  Vikrama and Gopi are coming in the first team for the first time. The first team is coming along with Arjuna. (MR/KS).

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