Gajapayana: Caparisoned Elephants Will March To City On August 10

Aug 1, 2017

  Mysuru: With less than two months left for this year’s Dasara, the Forest Department is gearing up for Gajapayana, the ceremonial journey of Dasara elephants from the forests to Mysuru. And this time, it will be a grand Gajapayana that will be a tourist attraction.

The Department has finalised August 10 as the first Gajapayana date and has planned a cultural extravaganza to welcome the elephants and at the same time attract tourists. In the first batch, eight elephants are likely to be brought and the Department is planning to bring two more elephants among the 16 elephants that have been selected for this year’s Dasara.

The Gajapayana will begin from Veeranahosahalli forest in Nagarahole National Park, Hunsur taluk. All these years, the Gajapayana was marked by a simple ceremony where Forest Officers would welcome the elephants from the forests as they reach aloka Palace at Yelwal, From there, they are brought to the Aranya Bhavan (Forest Department Office) at Ashokpuram where they are given a ceremonial welcome and they are later brought to the Mysore Palace without much fanfare.

From the moment the elephants arrived in city till they enter the Mysore Palace, the welcoming ceremony was handled by officers all these years. This year, the Department is targeting a crowd of 5,000 people and an elaborate cultural ceremony is planned.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife),Mysore Cicle, V. Yedukondalu said that the age-old tradition of Gajapayana will be a grand affair as it is the first leg of Dasara. “Till now, the Gajapayana was a ceremony that was handled by officials and some elected representatives. This year, we have already written to the Tourism Department, schools and colleges and women’s organisations requesting their participation,” he said

Source: Star of Mysore