The count down to Mysore Dasara starts as elephants begins their march from their camps fringing the forests to Mysore City. During the days of the maharajs, the elephants march all the way to the palace, the march is called Gajapayana (literally elephant march). The otherwise tranquil and laid back environs of the city bustle with feverish activities during this festive season.
In modern days, the march is only customary for a short distances. The elephants are brought on trucks from their camps in the fringes of Nagarhole forest. Once in the palace compound, the preparation for the Jamboo Saveri starts ,like making the elephants familiar with the city environs. There is even a trial walk.
The temporary camp inside the palace is located behind the Trinayaneswara Temple on the northeast side of the palace compound.
On the final day of the Dasara festive season, the Vijayadashami day ,the grand procession starts from the palace and ends at the Bannimantap grounds.
The idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari , the presiding deity of the Wodeyar kings, is placed in a golden howdah on the top of the decorated elephant.
On Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession (locally known as Jamboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysore city. The main attraction of this procession is the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari which is placed in a golden howdah on the top of a decorated elephant. This idol is worshiped by the royal couple and other invitees before it is taken around in the procession. The procession is a very colourful affair with numerous tableaux, traditional dance groups, following the elephant carrying the idol.
Originally the procession was called Jambi Savari as the end point of the procession is the Banni (Shami) tree located in the outskirts of the city.
According to the mythology the Banni tree was used by the Pandavas to hide their arms during their exile life. And before begining of warfare kings used to worship Banni tree to bring them victory in the war.
During the colonial period, the British called it Jamboo Savari and the name stuck.