Gajapayana, the traditional march of elephants from the forest, began at Veeranahosahalli Gate of the Nagarahole National Park in Hunsur taluk between 10 am and 10.30 am today at Tula Lagna, signalling the beginning of Dasara 2018. It will be the first Dasara for JD(S)-Congress coalition headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy.
The elephants will arrive in Mysuru today and will camp at Aranya Bhavan (Forest Department office) in Ashokapuram till Sept.5 when they will be welcomed at the Mysore Palace at 4.30 pm. Earlier, the welcome was planned on Sept.3 (tomorrow) at 11 am but was put off due to the counting of votes cast for Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) scheduled tomorrow.
The first batch of five elephants comprised Howdah Elephant 58-year-old Arjuna from Balle Elephant Camp, 62-year-old Varalakshmi from Mathigodu and 45-year-old Vikrama, 35-year-old Dhananjaya and 36-year-old Gopi from Dubare Elephant Camp. After the traditional start of Gajapayana, the elephants began their journey to Mysuru in trucks. 47-year-old Chaitra will join the team in Mysuru directly from Bandipur Tiger Reserve and she was not part of the Gajapayana today.