You can see part one here
Colors of Dasara
This year (2009) Navarathri started on 19th september and the Dasara will be celebrated on 28th of september. As usual cultural programmes were organised, rain was a spoil sport and the programmes did not go as planned.
Here are some of the photos which was taken on the first day of Navarathri, I was lucky enough to sneak in along with the press :) It was amazing to get a first person view of the event or it would be that they would broadcast the programme on huge screen set up outside the palace for the crowd to see...
This guy was kind enough to pose for me after the programme upon my request...
Jumbos of the Dasara Jumbu Savari:
Dasara celebration begins with the of the “Gajapayana” during the mid of August, is the ceremonial journey taken by the elephants to take part in the Dasara procession.
The procession begins with the tribal and folk dances by the local artists Earlier, during the time of the Mysore Dasara, the kings, accompanied by the "Pattada Aane" would visit the forest and perform pooja to all the pachyderms that would participate in the celebrations. Then, the jumbos would walk to Mysore Palace.
These days the forest department transport the elephants in trucks, from Nagarhole to Mysore. A traditional welcome is given to the elephants once they arrive at the main entrance of Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore.
Elephants returning from their daily mock processions during the Navarathri. Mock Procession is held everyday so that the jumbo's get used to the busy streets of Mysore
I managed to gather some information about the elephants used in Mysore Dasara. A team of 6 elephants march to the palace city of Mysore.
Balarama: The magnificent leader, he is the one carrying the Golden Howdah. He has been leading for the past 9 years and has participated in the Dasara for 14years. He was captured in 1987 in the Katti pura forest area, now stays in Mathigodu elephant camp.
Abhimanyu:The mascot who pulls the “Anegadi” the elephant cart, has been participation from the past 10 years. He is from the Hebballa forest, Kodagu district, now stays in Murkal elephant camp.
Vijaya: She has been in Dasara for 5 years, was captured in 1963, from the Dubare forest area, Madikeri division.
Gajendra: He belongs to the Kattepura forest area. Captured in 1987, presently living in Nagarahole has been in Dasara for 12 years.
Arjuna: He has been in the Dasara for 7 years and has once shouldered the burden of carrying the Golden Howdah, is from the Hebballa forest area of Kodagu in 1969.
Sarala: Our oldest elephant, she has been participating in Dasara from the past 4 years. She is from Kakanakote in 1977 forest, now residing in Sunkadakatte elephant camp.
There is also another contingent of 6 elephants which will join this group during the first week of September.
Mysore Palace :