Mysuru, Aug 27: The weights of 14 elephants participating in the famous Mysuru Dasara festival 2019 have increased as compared to last year and thus have proved themselves as strong.
The first batch of the six elephants Arjuna, Abhimanyu,Vijya, Varalakshmi, Dhanajya and Eshwar which have arrived here have been weighted on Tuesday. The cynosure of all eyes since 2012 is Arjuna who, during the Vijayadashmi procession, will carry the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari that will be placed on a golden howdah weighing around 750 kg. Arjuna is around 59 years old and has gained 200 kg more as compared to 5600 kg last year.
He was caught in the Khedda operations held in 1968 in Kakanakote forests and has participated in 19 editions of Mysuru Dasara. Said to have been temperamental initially, Arjuna has mellowed down over the years and replaced Balarama as the howdah carrier in 2012.
Dhananjaya, 36 years old from Dubare. He was captured from Yasaluru region in Hassan in 2013 and has been deployed in operations to drive away or capture other ‘rogue’ elephants that habitually frequent human landscape and inflict damage. It weighs nearly 4460kg (4,050 last year) kg.
Varalakshmi, at 63, is the senior-most in the first batch of six elephants. She is 2.4 m in height and weighs 3510kg (3,325 kg last year). Captured from Kakanakote forests in 1977, she has participated in nine editions of Dasara. She is from Mathigodu elephant camp and is described as passive in temperament.
The more seasoned among the elephants Abhimanyu and Balarama who used to be part of the first batch, are assisting the Forest Department in a combing operation leader weight 5145 kgs other two elephants Arjuna’s Kumki elephant weight 2825 kgs while Eshwar, first time participation weighting 3995kg. (UNI)