The traditional reception accorded to the first contingent of six Dasara elephants at the Amba Vilas Palace today was almost a mini Dasara procession with all the grandeur and fanfare.

The elephants that arrived in city on Wednesday took a day’s rest yesterday at the Aranya Bhavan in Ashokpuram and this morning, marched to the Palace via Ramaswamy Circle and Chamaraja Double road in a colourful procession.

The jumbos, after bathing, were ready for donning the caparisons and other embellishments by 9 am and puja was performed by Palace Archak Prahlad Rao on behalf of the Forest Department in the presence of Chief Conservator of Forests K.B. Markandeya, Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests (Project Tiger) C. Srinivasan, DCF Devaraj and others.

The six elephants, led by howdah-bearer Arjuna, were offered traditional welcome at the Jayamar thanda Gate, the main entrance to the Palace on the eastern side. The gate was colourfully decorated with an arch, plantain stalks on either sides and thaliru-thorana (string of green leaves and flowers). Women, dressed in traditional attires, performed pushparchane (showering of flowers). This tradition of Gaja Puja was started during the reign of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar.

District in-charge Minister V. Sreenivasa Prasad and district officials showered flower petals and led the elephants up to the Aane Bagilu (elephant gate) at the Palace. The procession was led by a contingent of Mounted Police while another Police team offered the Guard of Honour. Palace Board Deputy Director T.S. Subrahmanya supervised the traditional event.

Apart from the folk art troupes, a team of students from Mahajana Tourism Development Institute, dressed in Mysore-style traditional costumes, performed dances to the accompaniment of mangalavadya played by a team from Chamundeshwari temple.

Later, the elephants were taken to the temporary sheds erected in the Palace premises. They will be stationed there till the Dasara celebrations conclude and do daily rehearsals, before being taken back to the forest.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore