Gajapayana, the arrival of elephants for the 2013 Dasara festival from various forest camps to Mysore city, which marks the onset of the festival’s preparations, is likely to take place on Aug. 30, as planned by the district administration.

Keeping with the tradition, the Gajapayana is to begin from Veeranahosalli village bordering Nagarahole National Park. In the first batch, it is planned to bring 12 elephants. However, which of the jumbos will be in the first batch is yet to be decided because the elephants will first be examined by veterinarians and then they will be finalised.

In view of the poll code of conduct, the Forest Department officials have urged the district administration to finalise a muhurtha (auspicious time) for the Gajapayana from the Mysore Palace priests. A report from senior officials suggested that Aug. 11, 16, 19, 23 or 30 will be suitable dates for the Gajapayana. Since the Lok Sabha election will be held on Aug. 21 and counting will be held on Aug. 24, the poll code of conduct will be lifted by then. Hence Aug. 30 is the likely date chosen for Gajapayana.

Usually, the elephants are retained in city for 50 to 60 days with the Palace playing host and the district administration making arrangements during the training which includes making them accustomed to the hustle-bustle of the city. However, this year, their stay will be reduced to 45 days for the first batch and 25 to 30 days for the second batch, it is learnt.

A letter has been dispatched to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests seeking permission to lend the elephants for Dasara and veterinarians Dr. Nagaraj and Dr. Prayag have been instructed to check on the health of elephants.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore