MYSURU: Four days after landing in the City of Palaces, howdah elephant Arjuna and the first batch of six elephants were accorded a traditional welcome at Mysuru Palace in the city on Monday.
Continuing with tradition, the caparisoned elephants were offered puja at Jayamarthanda Gate of the Palace, opposite Doddakere Maidan (football ground) during the auspicious Abhijin muhurat. District minister V Somanna and other elected representatives and officials took part in the puja.
The elephants, including Arjuna, Abhimanyu, Vijaya, Varalakshmi, Dhananjaya and debutant Eshwara, were offered puja amid chantings of Vedic hymns, with a group of priests led by Prahallad Rao performing the customary rituals. After the puja culminated, the jumbos were offered various fruits and jaggery.
Flower petals were showered on them, marking their reception at the precincts of the palace. The pachyderms were later taken towards Aane Dwara (Elephant Gate) of the main palace, while a melange of cultural troupes added colour to the annual event.
Artistes, both men and woman, performed dollu kunita, followed by kamsale and veeragase, with percussionists on the nadaswara and saxophone accompanying them. A troupe of kamsale artistes who formed a vertical tower was the cynosure of all eyes.
After reaching the elephant gate, the police offered the guard of honour to the elephants, before leading them to their temporary shelters. The elephants will be camping here for close to 40 days till the culmination of Navaratri with jamboo savari on Vijayadashami, which is slated for October 8. They
were later taken for a bath in the exclusive pond on the same premises.