Mysuru: Karnataka Minister for Forest Eshwar Khandre on Friday inaugurated 'Gaja Payana' which marks the commencement of the majestic march of elephants from jungle camps to premises of the Mysuru palace to participate in the historical Dasara festival.
The event is regarded as the festival of the land and the state government celebrates it with all grandeur.
People from across the country and abroad visit the city during the festivities. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced that noted Kannada music composer and activist Hamsalekha would inaugurate Dasara this time.
The event was organised at the base camp at Veeranahosalli in Nagarahole National Park in Hunsur taluk. First batch of nine elephants participated in the inaugural function.
The elephants are expected to reach Mysuru on Saturday.
They will be accorded traditional welcome at the Mysuru Palace on September 4. The group of elephants which started the journey included Abhimanyu, which will carry the golden howdah in the famous procession. Dhananjaya, Gopi, Kanjan, Vijaya, Arjuna, Bhima, Varalaxmi and Mahendra are the other elephants.
Minister Eshwar Khandre inaugurated the Gaja Pay an event by paying flower tribute and offering traditional worship to the group of elephants.