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Howdah elephant Arjuna with Sannappa (left) and his father Dodda Masti right.
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Personal details
Country India

Title mahout 2012-
Location at Balle Elephant Camp in India

Title mahout-2012
Location at Mysore Palace Temple in India

Biography details

Sannappa Mahesh , Kuruba camp mahout in India

Born ? in India , son of mahout Dodda Masti .

2012: Dodda Masti, aged 56, who was initially reluctant opened up later only to say; at last Arjuna has been entrusted with the arduous task. “I am very happy and eagerly awaiting for the day”, asserts Dodda Masti who has finally got his due after completing 32 years of his service in the forest department this year.

He has been its Mahout for the past 12 years. However in the case of his 26-year-old son, it’s double delight; it’s his very first year with the forest department, and is Kavadi to none other than Howdah elephant. For Sannappa (Kavadi) too, Dasara mood is not new. Before joining government services, he was the caretaker of elephants owned by royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar.

2017: The question of Arjuna’s Mahout cropped up last year after the death of its regular Mahout Dodda Masti just a fortnight before Gajapayana. Following his death, the responsibility of training Arjuna fell on Dodda Masti’s son Sannappa alias Mahesha.

Sannappa, as the Kavadi to his father, had befriended Arjuna even before his father’s death and Arjuna too began listening to his commands. He efficiently performed his duties last year and even sat on Arjuna during the procession for the first time and came under praise for successfully steering the elephant.

After last Dasara, Vinu developed a close bond with Arjuna. At present, both Vinu and Sannappa are close to Arjuna and their commands are obeyed diligently. As per law, Vinu is Arjuna’s Mahout and Sannappa, whose services are confirmed only six months ago, will be his Kavadi.


Siblings through the father Dodda Masti (1953? -- 2016-08-11):

  1. Vasantha Born 1981?
  2. Kariya Born ?

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Born: 1953?

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Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). mahout Sannappa Mahesh in India. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 21 February 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

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Categories mahout | camp | Mysore Palace Temple | family | Kuruba people | Born ? | People from India

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