Mysuru is slowly gearing up for the internationally-famed Dasara festival to be held in October. The main attraction of the festival, jumbos, have started arriving to the cultural city.

The main elephant that will carry the 'howdah' along with four other elephants, which have come from Veeranahosahalli in Nagarahole forest, were given a traditional welcome to the palace premises.

The elephants were resting at the forest premises in Ashokapuram and were brought to the palace in a four-km procession. Thus, Varalakshmi, Gopi, Vikrama, Dhananjay and Chaitra were grandly welcomed at the Jayamarthanada gate of the palace.

Another batch of six elephants are expected to reach Mysuru soon.

The District In-charge Minister GT Devegowda offered traditional welcome to the elephants by feeding them sugarcane. The police department also paid their respects to the jumbos.

The gajapooje (elephant worship) was held by the chief priest Shashishekhar Dixit of  Chamundeshwari temple. Various other poojas were also held.

What is 'howdah'?

Mysuru has a Golden 'howdah', which is a carrier mounted on the elephant. The elephant can be considered as the leader of the herd during the procession. Earlier, the king used to sit inside the 'howdah' and was carried by the elephant. But after abolition of royalty, the statue of Goddess Chamundeshwari is being placed inside the 'howdah'. Arjuna has been carrying the 750-kg 'howdah' since 2012.

Arjuna, along with other jumbos, is trained for the grand event of 'Jamboo Savari' for one month at the palace premises.