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This time, Abhimanyu to carry massive golden howdah

This time, Abhimanyu to carry massive golden howdah
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This time, Abhimanyu to carry massive golden howdah 

Highlights

While this year, 54-year-old Dasara veteran Abhimanyu has been chosen to carry 750 kg historical golden howdah housing the idol of Goddess Chamundeswari in world famous 410th Mysuru Dasara Jumbo Savari procession within Mysuru Palace premises on 26 October, earlier ever since the State government started celebrating Dasara as “Naada Habba”, three other Dasara veteran elephants have done this mighty job.

Mysuru: While this year, 54-year-old Dasara veteran Abhimanyu has been chosen to carry 750 kg historical golden howdah housing the idol of Goddess Chamundeswari in world famous 410th Mysuru Dasara Jumbo Savari procession within Mysuru Palace premises on 26 October, earlier ever since the State government started celebrating Dasara as "Naada Habba", three other Dasara veteran elephants have done this mighty job. It was gentle giants Drona, Balarama and Arjuna who have carried golden howdah in the Dasara Jumbo Savari processions on Vijayadashami day, in the past 41 years.

According to Dr D N Nagaraj, who is serving as the veterinarian in charge for Dasara elephants for past 21 years, from 1979 elephant Drona has carried golden howdah for 18 years. Elephant Balarama has carried it for 13 years. Arjuna has carried golden howdah for nine times till last year, he said.

Mythologically, as a face of lord Ganapathi as Airawatha, the vehicle of Indira and symbol of wealth in Dwaparayuga, elephants have found its own significance. Historically, during 305 BC, it is said that the elephants were part of army of Chandragupta Maurya during his battle to fight emperor Alexander. Also, it is said that elephants were used during the Dasara celebrations of Vijaynagar kings too, according to a senior forest officer.

After the reign of Vijayanagar kings, the tradition of Dasara was begun by Sri Raja Wadiyar of Mysuru kingdom in 1610. Golden Howdah has always been carried by elephants. And Maharajas sat in it. Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was the last king who sat in golden howdah in 1969-70 before the privy purse was abolished. After that industrialists like F K Irani and few other private people came together and formed committee to celebrate Dasara to attract tourists to Mysuru. But it was only in 1979 the State government started celebrating it as Nada Habba and idol of Goddess Chamundeswari is housed in the golden howdah since then, according to Mr M Lakshminarayan, Huzoor secretary of Mysuru Palace, who has been serving for 49 years ever since the age of 17 at Palace. In 1969-70, when Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar became last maharaja to sit in golden howdah before privy purse was abolished, it was elephant Biligiri who had carried golden howdah.

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