The training for Dasara elephants in carrying weights began today at the Palace premises where the weight was mounted on Arjuna for him to get used to carry the Golden Howdah.

A pooja was performed to Arjuna and the two kumki elephants Sarala and Varalakshmi before the training commenced.

Sand bags weighing 250 kgs were placed on Arjuna which would be gradually increased in the coming days to equal the weight of the Golden Howdah which weighs 750 kgs. The sand bags were placed on the cradle mounted on Arjuna which was tied to his back with the help of ropes by Mahouts and kavadis with kumki elephants placed on either sides.

Arjuna along with other elephants headed towards the Balarama Gate from where they made their way all the way to K.R. Circle carrying weights, as a practice for Dasara procession on the jumboo savari route.

After completion of the weight training, a wooden howdah along with sand bags equivalent to the weight of the Golden Howdah would be mounted on Arjuna to make him get used to carry that weight, for which training will be given on Sept. 22 or 23.

Tying the howdah on the elephant is a very important process which takes about an hour to tie the howdah which is mounted on the back of the elephant by about 20 persons including mahouts and kavadis and with the help of kumki elephants.

DCF Devaraj speaking to SOM said that, it is a regular practice to provide training to elephants in carrying weights and added that the second batch of elephants would arrive in city on Sept. 18.

Speaking on the well-being of the jumbos, Veterinarian Dr. Nagaraj said that all the elephants were in good health and special diet is being given to them to keep them fit and healthy. Dr. Prayag and Akram Pasha, an expert in tying the howdah were also present.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore