BALARAMA

Balarama Hurt in Fight with Wild Elephants
Hunsur, Feb. 17, 2006
Elephant Balarama which carried the Howdah in Mysore Dasara several times was injured when wild elephants attacked him in Nagarahole National Park recently.
Balarama was injured in many parts of the body including his neck when the wild elephants gored him with their tusks and he is being treated, according to Forest Department sources.
After the Dasara festival last year, Balarama was shifted to Moorkal elephant camp in Nagarahole. The tamed elephants were let out of the camp at night time for grazing as a routine. They used to return to the camp at day break next day. But about 10 days ago, Balarama did not return to the camp and was found after a two-day search by the mahouts and Forest Department personnel.
He was lying injured in the Forests. He was shifted to the camp with the help of other tamed elephants, where he is being treated.
About two years ago, at the time of Dasara, Balarama had escaped but returned.
The Forest officials who visited Moorkal camp are said to have issued strict instructions not to let Balarama out of the camp.

Monday, January 14, 2002
Dasara Elephants in Mysore

The first batch of five elephants for participating in the Dasara procession, Jamboo Savari, has arrived in Mysore.
The elephants led by the chief tusker, Balarama, are undergoing training with daily acclimatization march along the procession route - Palace to Bannimantap Parade Grounds.
The 43-year-old Balarama had recently escaped into the forest in Nagarahole forest area after developing 'musth'. With only a few days left for the Dasara, the panic forest officials caught him two days later in the forest.
He and four other jumbos had a ride in a truck from their respective elephant camps to Mysore accompanied by their mahouts.
After a day's rest at the Aranya Bhavan, the Mysore headquarters of the Forest Department,
the five pachyderms were shifted to the Palace premises, for their daily acclimatization. Besides Balarama, the other tusker in this batch is 34-year-old Bharatha. The two are having the company of three females - Kanthi (62), Gayathri (48) and Kokila (56).
They were given a ceremonial welcome with Pooja, garlands, sugarcane and jaggery by the senior officials of Mysore.
The second batch of elephants to take part in the low-key Dasara this year will be joining their five team mates in the first week of October.
Sri Rama, Abhimanyu, Gajendra, Biligiriranga, Vikram, Varalakshmi and Sarojini are the seven elephants coming.
Of the dozen elephants, Balarama will be the star attraction as he will carry on his back for the fourth year the sacred idol of Goddess Chamundeswari
in the 800-kg golden howdah on the auspicious 10th day of Dasara celebrations commencing from October 17.
Caught in 1990 in the Kattepura forest, Balarama has since taken part in the Dasara procession eight times, carrying the golden howdah thrice.
Bharata, trapped in 1987, also caught in the Kattepura forest range, has been participating in the procession since 1998.
Seasoned Kokila has the distinction of taking part in the Dasara procession 11 times. She was trapped in the famous forest, Kakanakote.
The eldest of the five pachyderms Kanthi (62), trapped in the Khedda forest in 1968, has attended the Dasara nine times.
Gayathri has been a participant for the last four years since 1977.
MysoreSamachar.com

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