Modern day vagabond always on the move to imbibe the local culture. Mysore sojourn gave me immense pleasure to witness Dasara.
In the Markandeya Purana, it has been mentioned that there was a cruel king, Mahisha, who ruled Mahishuru. This dreaded king was able to transform himself into the shape of human and buffalo. It was impossible to kill him due to the immortality boon given by Lord Brahma. Goddess Chamundeshwari, the consort of Lord Shiva, killed him in a fierce battle that lasted for nine days. Thus the region was freed of this tyrant king. Navaratri is celebrated with great fervour in all parts of Southeast Asia, especially India. On the tenth day, Vijayadashmi is celebrated as Lord Rama won the battle against the Lanka king Ravana. This day signifies the victory of good over evil. The Jamboo Savari is part of this Navrati festival of nine days celebrated on the last day of this celebration. Here are some of the lesser yet interesting facts about this pachyderm procession witnessed by about one million people in Mysuru, the cultural capital of Karnataka State.
Mysore Palace during Dasara Festival
Below are 8 Interesting Facts About Jumboo Savari
1. This is a four-century-old practice that started in the year 1610 by Raja Wodeyar of the Wodeyar Dynasty of the Mysore kingdom. The king used to sit on the Golden Howdah atop the elephant back and led the procession all around the city. This structure is still in existence and is being used during the yearly procession. It is a throne-type structure weighing 750 kg. Its core is made up of wood which is covered with 60 kg of pure gold sheets.
2. Till 1971, the king used to sit in the Golden Howdah. But with the implementation of Privy Purse, the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed in the Howdah. Elaborate pooja is performed in the Mysore Palace by the Royal family before the commencement of the parade. The complete palace is decorated with approximately 100,000 bulbs and lamps. All the lightings add to the celestial beauty of the palace in the evening. Beautiful lightings are also fitted on all the government buildings and important places adding to the beauty of this clean city.
Elephants resting in the Nagarhole National Park and Tiger Reserve
3. After Balaram and Arjun, Abhimanyu is shouldering the responsibility of carrying the Golden Howdah. The elephants taking part in the Jamboo Savari are trained for decades for this special day. Besides the lead elephants, a few of the other elephants are Kaveri, Vijaya, Krishna, and Vikarama. Horses are also the part of this parade.
4. A month before the Jamboo Savari, these elephants are brought from the home camp of Nagarhole National Park, which is about 70 km away from Mysore city. Every morning, they are taken through the actual route across the city as a drill exercise. Extra care is taken to clean the procession roads to avoid hurting the sole of elephants.
5. The elephants and their mahouts are the royal guests of the Mysore Royal family during this month. They live in the palace premises and are served various delicacies. Normally elephants eat about 400 kg of fodder per day. But during their stay in the palace, they are served a balanced diet fortified with extra nutrients to make them more strong. The procession takes place amidst a huge crowd standing on both sides of the roads during the actual procession. Elephants have emotional stress as they are not used to the crowded city life.
6. Every morning, these animals are accustomed to the sounds of cannon shots, and as the inauguration is marked by firing 21 canon shots along with the firing of rifles. The Chief Minister of the State performs pooja at the north gate of Mysuru Palace near the Nandi Dhwaja. After this, the National Anthem is played and the Jumboo Savari is officially declared inaugurated on the auspicious day of Vijayadashmi. There are special pavilions for important dignitaries and guests. There is a seating arrangement for about 17,000 people in the palace. Even a common man can witness this grand ceremony by purchasing tickets.
7. Mysore Dasara is a state-sponsored affair conducted under the guidance and close monitoring by the members of the Mysore Royal family. It is beautifully executed by the various state authorities. The 30 Zilla panchayats of Karnataka state send their tableau based on the topics of local and national importance. Out of these, the three best tableaus are selected and duly rewarded. It is a matter of pride to win this prize.
8. The total distance covered by the elephants during the procession is about 5 km. It normally starts after 12 noon as it is the most auspicious time given by the priest. It takes about 5 hours to complete this parade. It ends at a place called Bannimantap. This place has got its name from the Banni tree or Shammi (Prosopis spicigera). It is believed that Pandavas buried their weapons beneath the Banni tree during their exile period. With the procession reaching its final destination along with various folk artists dancing and singing, Mysore Dasara officially ends.
Now after learning about Jamboo Savari of Mysore Dasara, if you are excited then we would like to see your excitement in the comments below. Get ready to be a part of this grand ceremony during the Dasara vacation. Plan meticulously your trip as Mysore Dasara is power-packed with other cultural activities on the other days before the Jamboo Savari. There are lots of places for sightseeing in and around the city. Mysore hosts tourists from around the world during this time. So book in advance to avoid the last-minute rush. Pack your bags for the divine experience during this festivity of Dasara. We are going to publish another hub related to the most happening place in India. If you have a special choice, then you can mention that in the comments. If you have visited India, please share your experience with us.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Nidhi Gautam
RAHUL J GAUTAM on October 17, 2020:
Timely content as the festival has just begin
Rahul Gautam on October 13, 2020:
Nicely written facts on the great spectacle during dasara times at Mysore.
The majestic elephant carrying golden howdah remains ever ingrained in the memories of the beholder .
Aditya Kumar on October 12, 2020:
Really cool facts I never knew before
Pooja Sri on October 12, 2020:
Very great and insightful
Lal Bhaiya on October 12, 2020:
Extremely excellent writing, keep it up.
Namrata Ranjan on October 12, 2020:
Nice write up.... interesting too
Sr. Beena SND on October 12, 2020:
Truly comprehensive write up depicting the entire gamut of the celebration...
Mithleshkumar197@gmail.com on October 12, 2020:
Vikash on October 12, 2020:
Really good write up.
Reshama on October 12, 2020:
Want to go to Mysore now
Reema on October 12, 2020:
Amazing write up.
Geeta on October 12, 2020:
Wow. Nice article.
ashore sinha on October 12, 2020:
The writing shows that you have keen interest in area you lived. Its culture its history, all details of festival celebrations its background. You have fully absorved the real environment of the place. I can say that many people who live there for long not keen to know the things as you have done. Your writing capacity, explations in simple words, as addrd further feather in the literature. Keep on your hobby & zeal. God Bless you.
Punam Sinha Shreyasi on October 12, 2020:
Ishita on October 12, 2020:
Very great and informative article. Good job. Keep it up.
Swara on October 12, 2020:
Loved it! Really informative. Thanks for sharing
Ashna on October 12, 2020:
Really amazing! Great content!
POONAM MALIK from Faridabad on October 11, 2020:
Simply awesome, Nidhi. I never was interested in such activities but your writing engrossed me till the end. I am eagerly waiting for your next hub.