The famous Gajapayana (elephants’ march), which heralds the Dasara celebrations in Mysuru, will commence its journey on Thursday from Veeranahosahalli near the Nagarahole forest check-post in Hunsur.
Veeranahosahalli is a small hamlet situated in the Nagarahole forest area, 65 km from Mysuru. The Mysuru forest department is geared up to receive the eliphants, which would be part of this year’s low key Dasara celebrations under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to IANS, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), M.C. Alexander, said that only officials would take part in the Gajapayana ritual and no public representatives will be allowed to be part of it this year due to the Covid-19 protocols.
“At around 10 am, the traditional pooja will be performed and the elephanrs will arrive in Mysuru by 3 pm by trucks,” he said.
He added that pooja will be offered to all the participating elephants separately.
According to the official, the Aranya Bhavan in Ashokapuram has been cleared for the elephants’ stay and they will be ferried to the Mysore Palace in five trucks.
“This is perhaps the first time that elephants will be ferried in trucks to Mysore Palace from Aranya Bhavan in Mysuru, as in all these years, these elephants used reach the palace by walking with people all along the way offering pooja and feeding them,” he said.
The significance of this journey is to have an auspicious start to the festival and this tradition is more than four centuries old. The elephants are integral part of the Dasara celebrations in Mysuru.