Mysore, Aug 21 (UNI) Traditional welcome was accorded to six elephants on arrival here from their camp in Nagarhole forests to take part in the world famous Mysore Dasara festivities beginning here on September 30.
Led by the majestic Balarama, the 50-year-old tusker, carrying the golden howdah for the last eight years, the caprisoned elephants, accompanied by their mahuts and priests chanting vedic hymns were taken through the thoroughfares of the city from Aranya Bhavan.
The six elephants entered the palace ground through the Jayamartanda gate, where they were accorded a ceremonial reception.
The other 'members' of the Balarama's team were Gajendra, Arjuna, Abhimanyu, Sarala and Vijya. Even as they walked majestically on the city roads, motorists gave way to the 'royal convoy' and relished every minute of the attention they got from the people by raising their trunk in appreciation of the gesture.
With the arrival of elephants, the activities for the preparations of the Dasara festivities formally began today.
The second batch of six more elephants would be arriving during the first week of September. All the elephants would be housed in the palace courtyard and they would undergo rehearsal before the commencement of world famous dasara procession on October nine.
To make it a memorable event, the Karnataka Government has sanctioned Rs 20 crore for this year's festivities. Corporate sponsorships would be there for different events.
The festivities will begin with a special pooja to goddess Chamundeswari, the presiding deity of the city, atop the Chamundi hills.
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