Elephant Drona

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Elephant Drona was one the Lead Dasara Elephants of the Famous Jamboo Savari of Mysore Dasara. It preceded Elephant Balarama in carrying the Golden Howdah.

The name

Drona was named after Dronacharya, the great guru of Mahabharata. In the epic, Dronacharya is a priest, but he was so mature and intelligent that he taught warfare for a livelihood. The elephant Drona was named so because of his amazing ability to learn and correct himself.


Drona was captured in a khedda operation in the Kakanakote forest area of H.D. Kote taluk in 1971, Drona was used for a brief period in Shimoga to carry timber. Doddappaji was Drona's Mahout. Doddappaji's association with Drona began from the day it was captured, as his father, Chennakeshavaiah, was in charge of taming it. Having grown up together, he understood the animal better than anyone else.


Drona was first introduced to dasara festivities in 1982 and since then it has set a record for carrying the Golden Howdah for more than a decade consecutively. A handsome creature of massive proportions with tusks that glistened like perfectly shaped swords just unsheathed from their scabbards, he was the cynosure of a million eyes every time he walked, with an imperial gait, at the end of the 2 km long procession on the auspicious Vijayadashami day.


One day in 1998 Drona went grazing in a village of Balle and pulled down a trunk of a tree to eat the leaves. The falling trunk also brought down a high-tension...
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