Eelphants presence evokes admiration

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Mysore, Oct 2(UNI) The cynosure of all eyes, the Naada Habba (State Festival) or People's Dasara festival is incomplete without the presence of 12 elephants.

And what is more, each one of the elephants has a characteristic feature that is remarkable and evokes admiration.

Tweleve elephants come to Mysore annually from the Jungle Camps to acclimatise themsleves to the ambience of the concrete jungle and lend sheen to the Dasara festivities.

Their presence in the famous Mysore Palace premises would be another attraction to the tourists. Locals also take a trip to the palace premises to show these elephants to their kids.

Led by the majestic Balarama who is vested with the responsibility of carrying the Golden Howdah and the idol of Goddess Chamundeswari, these elephants are now hard at work going through the rehearsal for the Vijyadashmi procession that marks the grand finale of the ten-day festivities ending October nine.

Balarama has participated in the festivities on 13 occasions. He is reckoned to be around 50 years of age, measures about 2.70 metre in height and was caught in Kattepura Forest Range in Kodagu District in 1987.

Reckoned to be of calm disposition, Balarama adorns the Titimathi Elephant Camp where he is accorded due honours and commands respect when not on Dasara duty.

Bharata is no pushover when it comes to Dasara. This 41-year-old pachydrem had participated on nine occasions in the festivities and was familiar with the proceedings.

If the mahouts are to be believed, Bharata is most likely to succeed Balarama and continue the tradtion of carrying the Golden Howdah with the idol of Goddess Chamundeswari as its body structure with a flat back was eminently suited to carry heavy the load.

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