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Howdah elephant Abhimanyu starts carrying 300-kg sand bags

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Mysuru: A week after embarking on a practice walk on Jamboo Savari route, howdah elephant Abhimanyu entered the second phase of training on Thursday.

The 300-kg sand bags were mounted on Abhimanyu after performing the rituals at Palace precincts, under the supervision of priest Prahlad. 

Unlike last two years, when Abhimanyu did it all-from practice to the carrying of 750-kg golden howdah on the D-day of Jamboo Savari within the Palace fort due to the restrictions of Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time this year he is being taken out for the practice. On the last leg of Dasara too, he has the onerous task of performing the task before the huge crowd.

DCF V Karikalan and forester Akram Pasha who have expertise in elephant care, are supervising the practice, as the sand bags are mounted as a prelude to the carrying of 750-kg Golden Howdah with the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari inside, the main attraction of Jamboo Savari on Vijayadashami day.

What is Namda?

The 750-kg golden howdah will be actually placed on Namda- a thick mattress, placed on elephant back by using jute ropes. Three different layers of mattresses will be placed in order- Namda, Gaadi and Chapu respectively. Namda is the first layer made up with gunny cloth and cotton to get soft texture. Second layer is about Gaadi, it is like gunny bag in rectangular shape and filled with wild grass. Chapu is the last layer of thick cloth to cover.

It all helps Abhimanyu in carrying the howdah without any stress and pain.

Namda tailor

Well known forest crew Akram Pasha stitches Namda and gaadi.

DCF V Karikalan said “all the elephants will carry sand bags on alternative days for a total of five days on a rotation basis, so that even other elephants like Mahendra and Bhima are prepared to handle, if anything goes awry”.

Apart from the sand bags, the mattresses alone account for 250-kg more, totalling 550-kg mounted on elephants for the practice.

Nada Habba Mysuru Dasara will begin on September 26 and culminate with Jamboo Savari on October 5.

– Team Mysoorunews 

Sand bags being mounted on howdah carrier elephant Abhimanyu in Mysuru Palace on Thursday

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