Mysuru: The elephant team led by captain Abhimanyu, which had arrived from the forest for the celebration of State festival Dasara and had camped in the premises of the Cultural City Palace for the past two months, started their journey towards the forest, reluctantly.
There was an emotional situation created in the palace courtyard when the elephant team was bid farewell. The people, officers and Forest Department staff who had gathered on the spot bid farewell to elephant team with heavy heart. Even the children of the Mahouts and Kavadis, who were staying in palace premises with enthusiasm, picked up their bags and reluctantly left for native. The people of Mysuru, who used to enjoy seeing the elephants everyday, bid farewell to the team with pale face.
Under the leadership of Purohita Prahladrao, officials of the Palace Board and Forest Department officials washed the feet of the elephants and offered pooja. Then the ashgourd was broken and the elephants were fed with various fruits and sugarcane after the pooja. The family members of the Mahouts and Kavadis were provided the breakfast. The palace board gave Rs. 10,000 each to 50 mahouts and Kavadis as honorarium.
A total of 14 elephants arrived in Mysuru in two teams for Dasara celebrations. This is for the first time the elephant team added one more elephant while returning to forest. The elephant Lakshmi gave birth to calf Dattatreya at palace premises. In the morning Lakshmi and her calf were sent to forest in first trip to avoid the crowd which may affect boarding of lorry. The people of Mysuru gave an emotional farewell to the elephants leaving the palace premises. Those on the road waved at the elephants and cheered. This is for the first time elephant Sri Rama was hesitant to board the lorry. The mahouts brought another two elephants to push Sri Rama into lorry. But the elephant was stubborn and later boarded the lorry after 4 more elephants forced it into lorry.
Speaking to News Karnataka District Conservator of Forest V. Karikalan said that he has been participating in Dasara since last 6 years. He never saw this kind of crowd and added the festival was great success this year.
Mysuru City Carporation (MCC) Mayor Shivakumar, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Bagadi Gautam, Deputy Director of Palace Board T. S. Subrahmanya, DCFs Dr. V. Karikalan, Kamala V. Karikalan, Veterinarian Dr. Mujeeb and others were present.