Coimbatore: Elephant Pongal enthrals tourists at Top Slip

In view of celebration, elephant safari was suspended for a day

Pollachi: Feeding of trained 16 kumki elephants at the Elephant Pongal celebrations proved to be a thrilling experience for hundreds of tourists who thronged Top Slip in Anaimalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) on Saturday.

JUMBO LINE UP: Pachyderms at the Top Slip reception in Anaimalai Tiger Reserve, near Pollachi, on Saturday for the Elephant Pongal celebration. — Photo: Special Arrangement

Coinciding with the Pongal celebrations and week-end holiday, the forest officials organised the celebrations wherein of the 21 camp elephants, 16 including three calves of the Forest Department took part. The elephants were given a bath at the Kozhikamudhi and Varagliyar elephant camps and the pachyderms that had sandal and kumkum on their forehead were brought to the reception area in Top Slip.

The pachyderms accompanied by the mahouts and cavadis (handlers), enthralled hundreds of tourists. A conservationist and keen wildlife enthusiast Saravanan had sponsored the Elephant Pongal.

Besides pongal, sugarcane and other items for the celebration, he had sponsored new uniform for the mahouts and tribal watchers. Field Director of ATR H. Basuvaraju, Range Officer S. Thangaraj Paneerselvam and Forest Veterinarian N.S. Manoharan took part.

In view of the celebration, the elephant safari in the sanctuary was suspended for a day to give rest to the pachyderms.

Officials along with tourists offered pongal, jaggery, coconut, sugarcane and banana to the elephants.

From THE HINDU

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