Mysuru Dasara 2023: Captain Abhimanyu to carry Ambari for 4th consecutive time
Captain Abhimanyu, a distinguished elephant, is set to make history by carrying the Ambari for the fourth time in the famous Dasara Jamboo Savari. Despite the pandemic-related restrictions in 2020 and 2021, Abhimanyu successfully completed the procession last year. Abhimanyu has been a key figure in the Dasara festivities for nearly 24 years and will now carry the Ambari in the 2023 Mysuru Dasara procession.
Captain Abhimanyu, the renowned elephant, is set to create history by carrying the Ambari for the fourth time in the world-famous Dasara Jamboo Savari. This remarkable achievement follows his previous hat trick in carrying the Golden Ambari during Mysuru Dasara's grand procession.
In 2020 and 2021, the Dussehra Jambooswari was confined to the Mysuru Palace premises due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, Abhimanyu's magnificent procession was also limited to the palace grounds. However, the 5-km journey from the Palace to Bannimantapa was successfully carried out by the Ambari on Rajamarga last year.
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Captain Abhimanyu has played a significant role in the Dasara festivities for nearly 24 years. Initially, he pulled the chariot that carried Carnatic musicians during the Jamboo Sawari. The 58-year-old Abhimanyu, a resident of the Mattigodu Elephant Camp, has not only successfully carried the Ambari for three consecutive years but has also contributed to the capture of around 150 wild elephants and about 50 tigers. Abhimanyu is being led by his mahouts, Mavuta Vasantha and Kavadi Raju.
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Traditionally, Drona the elephant was the first to carry the Ambari in the Dasara Vijayadashami procession. Following Drona, Balarama shouldered the responsibility for 14 consecutive years. 2012 Arjuna's elephant took over due to Balarama's exhaustion, and Arjuna's elephant carried the Ambari for eight consecutive years.
As the Arjuna elephant has now reached 60 years of age, Abhimanyu the elephant is stepping in to carry the Ambari. Mysuru Dasara 2023 boasts 14 elephants, all specially trained for the grand Jambo Savari procession. While Abhimanyu, Arjuna, Dhananjaya, Mahendra, Bhima, Gopi, Kanjan, Prashantha, Sugriva, Rohit, Varalakshmi, Vijaya, Hiranya, and Lakshmi make up this formidable lineup, some 4-5 elephants are expected to remain uninvolved in the procession.
Sourabhakumar, the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) from the Mysore Wildlife Department, stated, "The Gajapade has undergone comprehensive training, and all our elephants are in excellent health. Abhimanyu elephant will proudly carry the Ambari, accompanied by Vijaya and Varalakshmi walking side by side. Arjuna will serve as the main elephant. 14 elephants will not participate in the Jambusawari procession; they will remain in the camp."