Mysuru: Ahead of Nada Habba Mysuru Dasara, the first batch of nine elephants began practicing on Raja Marga from Sunday August 14.
The Raja Marga is a five-km-route that forms Jambu Savari procession route from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantapa, the culmination point of the last leg of Navaratri festivities.
Before taking out the elephants led by howdah carrier Abhimanyu for practice walk, customary puja was performed to the elephants at Palace precincts. The elephants will be taken out for practice both in the morning and evening hours, only to acclimatise them with the procession route.
The route includes- Mysuru Palace North Gate, K. R. Circle, Sayyaji Rao Road, Visvesvaraya Circle and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad Circle before culminating at Torchlight Parade Ground in Bannimantapa. They will be returning to the Palace on same route.
After a gap of two years, the elephants are being taken out of the Palace for practice walk. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the elephants were restricted to Palace, not just for practice but also the Jambu Savari procession, organised in keeping with the customs and tradition associated with the celebration that dates back to princely days.
DCF V. Karikalan said “The practice for Dasara elephants has begun today. The process of checking their weights was conducted and the elephants are healthy. They have adjusted to the new environment and the practice with weights (sand bags) will be conducted after one week.”