This is the first time in the recent past that the Vijayadashami procession is beginning after 5 p.m
The full dress rehearsal of Jamboo Savari will be held on the palace premises here on Wednesday.
On this day, the 21-gun salute will also be accorded after the flagging off of the procession with the participation of all five elephants led by Abhimanyu, which is carrying the golden howdah for the second time in a row.
With only a few cultural troupes allowed to participate for keeping the centuries-old tradition alive, the famed Jamboo Savari may end in less than an hour, covering a distance of about 500 metres up to Goddess Bhuvaneshwari temple near the Balarama gate in the palace environs.
Deputy Conservator of Forest K. Karikalan said the full dress rehearsal will consist of all participants and also feature showering of flower petals on the wooden replica of the howdah that will be mounted on the back of Abhimanyu. The Commissioner of Police will also be taking part and reviewing the rehearsal ahead of the finale on Friday.
The idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari will be placed in the golden howdah and the elephants will begin their stately march after the dignitaries shower flower petals on it at the finale.
On Monday, a rehearsal was conducted by the police personnel and three elephants, including Abhimanyu, took part. The second rehearsal will be conducted on Tuesday ahead of the full dress rehearsal, he said.
This year, the Nandi Dhwaja puja before the Vijayadashami procession will be held on Friday between 4.36 p.m. and 4.46 p.m. This will be followed by flower offerings to the statue of the presiding deity placed inside the golden howdah, between 5 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. This is the first time in recent years that the Jamboo Savari begins after 5 p.m.
This year, only 500 persons are expected to be permitted to the event in view of the pandemic situation. Though only 400 had been permitted to participate in the inaugural event atop Chamundi Hills, a larger crowd turned up with most of them being the followers of political leaders attending the event and their family members.
“The curbs should not remain on paper and they should be enforced strictly although the pandemic is under control. It is being noticed that the curbs are limited only to the common people and not to the politicians, their followers and the party workers,” the locals aver.
This is the fourth time in the last 26 years that the procession has been confined to the palace. A pneumonic plague had struck parts of Surat in Gujarat in 1994 and the Government of Karnataka led by then Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily decided to scale down the procession, confining the spectacle to the palace premises. In 2002, eight years later, the Jamboo Savari was again limited to the palace in the wake of severe drought besides former Minister H. Nagappa’s kidnap by forest brigand Veerappan. The procession in 2020 was confined to the palace with the procession that usually accompanies the celebrations missing, because of COVID-19. This year too, the number of elephants taking part in Jamboo Savari has been limited to five besides limited tableaux. But compared to last year, the pandemic situation is under control with new cases continuing to drop.