All jumbos are getting a special diet daily for improving their stamina ahead of Jamboo Savari
Dhananjaya and Gopalaswamy are perfectly discharging their roles as standby to the lead elephant Abhimanyu, in the weight carrying sessions for the Jamboo Savari during the Dasara finale here.
All three tuskers have been successfully carrying weights on their back as part of their daily training. Abhimanyu has to carry the 750 kg ‘Ambari’. This year too, the procession is within the palace premises.
“We are planning to mount the wooden replica of the Ambari on Abhimanyu and take it around the palace premises. The replica weighs around 280 kg and the total weight comes up to 1,000 kg,” said Deputy Conservator of Forest K. Karikalan.
He told The Hindu that the weight training sessions were started with 250 kg and the number of sand bags were increased gradually. The tuskers have so far successfully carried 500 kg and more weights will be added in the next few days. “May be, on October 1, Abhimanyu will start carrying the wooden replica of the Ambari,” he said.
The training is expected to go on till October 5 and thereafter the jumbos will take rest till the finale.
All eight jumbos housed on the palace premises are getting a special diet for improving their strength and energy. The diet is fed twice a day, Mr. Karikalan explained.
The intake of the special diet has been increased from 8 kg to 15 kg a day. This is in addition to 400-500 kg of Ficus leaves, paddy straw and other green fodder that they consume daily.
Mr. Karikalan said the veterinarians keep a watch on the health and fitness of each elephant besides their diet. Digestion is key for their health and their dung is checked daily to verify whether their digestion was normal.
The jumbo team comprises five males and three female elephants. Vikrama, Ashwatthama, Kaveri, Chaitra and Lakshmi are the other elephants in the team. Abhimanyu and Gopalaswamy belong to Mattigodu camp while Kaveri, Vikrama and Dhananjaya are from Dubare elephant camp in Kodagu. Chaitra and Lakshmi are from Ramapura camp.
The number of elephants for Dasara has been condensed to eight since the procession will be a symbolic affair and limited to the palace premises. Also, unlike in normal years, the elephants will not be walking along the procession route daily as part of their annual training. This year, the length of the procession route will be about 500 metres, like in 2020.
The procession usually culminates at Bannimantap with the elephants covering a distance of around 5 km. People line up on either side of the route to watch the procession, which is among the highlights of the annual Dasara festival.
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