• CM spares a thought for Balarama's welfare • Offers floral worship to Chamundeshwari in the howdah after last tableau

By Jagadish Prasad

Mysore, Oct.18-The Mysore Palace and the Jumboo Savari route was thronged by about 3 lakh people eagerly and expectantly waiting to see the start of the colourful procession as part of the 400th Dasara festival.

Lakhs of people were in the Palace premises and all along the procession route till Bannimantap, where the Jumboo Savari concluded.

At exactly 4.15 pm, the cannons manned by specially trained Police gunners boomed 21 times even as the 54-year- old elephant, the majestic Balarama, ambled up to the raised platform carrying the 750-kg golden howdah with the presiding deity of Mysore, Goddess Chamundeshwari in it, marking the beginning of the Jumboo Savari.

On the platform, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Justice J.S. Khehar, Forest Minister C.H. Vijayashankar, Medical Education and District-in-Charge Minister S. A. Ramdas and Mayor Sandesh Swamy offered floral worship to Goddess Chamundeshwari.

Next it was the turn of the scion of the Wadiyar dynasty, Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, who dressed in a simple white dhoti and white shirt, offered flowers to the Goddess.

Yeddyurappa, in his brief address, said that Vijayadashami, which symbolised the victory of good over evil, was also the time to recharge the BJP and confront the obstacles faced by the government.

Third time

He then thanked Goddess Chamundeshwari for giving him the opportunity to participate in the Dasara for the third time and added that he would concentrate on development of the State.

CM's concern for Balarama: In a departure from earlier Jumboo Savaris, this time Balarama and other elephants came up only after the last tableau had gone. The reason for this was that on the request of several animal welfare organisations and some prominent citizens that the elephant should not be made to stand with the howdah for more than two hours.

It was then decided by DC Harsha Gupta and others of the Dasara Committee that the golden howdah would be placed on the elephant only when the last tableau had moved.

The CM also agreed to the request by the concerned officials that Balarama should not be made to wait for more than two hours. The total weight carried by Balarama was around 900 kgs. The weight of the howdah is around 750 kgs and the weight of the support for the howdah another 150 kgs.

Nandi Dhwaja puja: Earlier, the CM and his entourage arrived at around 2 pm and after formalities, performed the Nandi Dhwaja puja. This was followed by the start of the Jumboo Savari and its countless tableaux and select school children.

What followed was a feast for the eyes of tourists and locals alike. The floats were nothing special as they seemed to serve to highlight the achievements of the State in various fields. But what caught the eye of the on-lookers were the folk artistes from various districts.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore