Gajapayana of Dasara elephants on Sept. 1

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Gajapayana of Dasara elephants on Sept. 1

Mysuru: Gajapayana — the journey of Dasara elephants from their jungle camps — will be start on September 1.

The grand event, where the elephants are received from their respective camps and given a ceremonial reception before they begin their journey to Mysuru for Dasara festivities, will take place as usual at Veeranahosahalli, near Nagarahole National Park.

The elephants will reach Mysuru the same day and they will be housed at the Aranya Bhavan before they are formally welcomed at the palace.

Minister in charge of Mysuru district H.C. Mahadevappa told reporters that the Gajapayana date had been finalised and the elephants would arrive in Mysuru on September 1.

A total of 14 elephants — chosen by the Forest Department — will be brought from their jungle camps. As per the training itinerary, the elephants will be brought to Mysuru in batches, he said, adding that the first batch of elephants will be coming to Mysuru 45 days before the Dasara finale.

“No specific request for funds has been made but funds are not an issue. The Chief Minister has asked us to organise the festivities in a grand manner,” Dr Mahadevappa said.

The Minister said the government was yet to decide on the dignitary who would inaugurate the festivities.

Like in the past, some new elephants will be included in the squad to prepare them for future tasks. This year too, a couple of new elephants may be included and the final list may be announced on Tuesday.

For over a month, the Forest Department’s wildlife division has been in the process of identifying suitable elephants for the Dasara task. For the first time, the department is conducting pregnancy tests for female elephants that are going to be part of the team.

Elephants from the camps in Balle, Mattigodu, Dubare, K. Gudi, and Ramapura in Bandipur usually make it to the squad.

The department has to find a replacement for 40-year-old Gopalaswamy, who died in Nagarahole in November last after sustaining grievous injuries in a fight with a wild tusker.

Lakshmi gave birth while she was brought here for the festivities last year.

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