- The most important aspect of Dasara is Jamboo Savari meaning procession on the elephant.
- Earlier the king used to sit on the elephant, in the golden Howdah and go in the procession.
- Now an idol of Chamundeshwari placed in the Howdah is taken in the procession.
- The 15 elephants arrive two months in advance and get trained.
The most important aspect of Dasara is Jamboo Savari meaning procession on the elephant. Earlier the king used to sit on the elephant, in the golden Howdah and go in the procession. After the cancellation of princely state the practice of taking an idol of Chamundeshwari In the procession started. The 15 elephants that participate in the procession are integral to Jamboo Savari. The elephants reside in the forest elephant camps at Mysuru, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu. Two months before Dasara they are brought to Mysuru and trained. Two teams arrive along with the Mahouts and their families reported kannada Prabha.
The coming of elephants from the forest is called Gaja Payana, travelling of the elephants. In the olden times, the elephants used to start their journey from the Anjaneya temple at Nagarahole. From 2012 they start from Nagapura Girijana Ashrama. The first year they were brought on foot. All through the journey people fed them coconut, jaggery and sugarcane and their health was upset. To avoid that, they are now brought by lorry to Mysuru. They have a stop over at the Aloka campus belonging to Forest Department. From they are brought to Aranya Bhavana where they are worshipped and then brought to the palace.
The elephants enter the palace from Jayamarthanda Gate. The Pattada Elephant was called Jayamarthanda. Airavata and Biligiriranga elephants carried the Howdah for some years. Drona the only elephant to carry the Howdah 18 times was known for its timid nature. In 1997 after the Dasara the elephants were brought back to the forest camp at Balle. Drona was accidentally electrocuted when he pulled down a creeper which was touching the electric wire. His successor was Balarama since 1998. Balarama carried the Howdah for 14 years. Now it is the turn of Arjuna.
Arjuna was first introduced to Jamboo Savari 20 years ago when he carried the Howdah on the return procession. Later on Arjuna earned the name of rogue elephant by misbehaving. He even killed his Mahout when he was taken for bathing at Karanji tank. However, Mahut Masti has tamed him and in 2012 Arjuna is carrying the Howdah. Arjuna s 2.95 meters tall, 3.75 meters long and weighs 5100 kg.
So far there has never been any trouble with the elephants in Jamboo Savari. Only once an elephant got scared near K R Circle when a cracker was burst close to it and ran but immediately mahuts brought it under control. Usually two she elephants move on either side of the main elephant carrying Howdah. It is said that if female elephants are by the side the male elephants do not get angry. The female elephants that move on either side of the male elephants are called Kumki.
The elephants have a distinct language and the Mahouts and Kavadi - the assistant - communicate with that language. It is a mix of Urdu, Persian and Kannada. For instance “math, math” means move forward. “Sarak, sarak” means move backwards. “Bait” means sit, “Oot” means get up.
Each elephant needs 300 kg of food daily. Leaves, fruits, vegetables, butter, paddy, sugarcane, glucose are mixed, made into balls and fed to elephants. This is called Kusure. Elephants drink about 150 litres of water per day. They walk around 15 kg per day.
The other elephants that are participating in the Jamboo Savari are alarama, Kaveri, Gajendra, Bheema, Gopi, Prashantha, Krishna, Abhimanyu, Vijaya, Varalakshmi, Vikrama, Harsha, Gopalaswamy and Drona. Except Drona all other elephants have participated in Dasara. For Drona this is the first time.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:39 PM