Traditional farewell to Dasara elephants

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Mysore, Oct 11 (UNI) The famous Dasara elephants were given a traditional farewell at the palace premises here today.

Deputy Commissioner P Manivannan offered puja to all the 13 pachyderms which were fed jaggery, sugarcane and banana.

Talking to newspersons here, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) Yatish said Balarama was 50 years old and quite stable, fit and healthy enough to carry the 'Howdah' for four more years.

There were no apprehensions regarding it, he said, adding, other elephants, Vanaraja, Arjuna and Jayaprkash, were also being groomed to succeed Balarama to carry the golden 'Howdah.' The salaries of 17 mahouts and 35 kavadis, who participated in Dasara festivities had been increased, from September one, to Rs 5,000 and Rs 4,600 respectively.

Within 15 days, their services would be regularised, he said, adding, their recruitment had been made on special quota basis in recognition of their long and efficient services.

Meanwhile, most of the Dasara elephants had gained substantial weight during their stay in the city.

The notable weight gainers were Balarama(5,300 kg from 5,125 kg), Arjuna (5,475 kg from 5,075 kg) and Sarala (3,150 kg from 2,930 kg).

UNI BSP DS MIR AS2129

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