Mudumalai came alive on Sunday during the Vinayaka Chathurthi celebrations. A remarkable feature of the festivities was the participation of elephants belonging to the Theppakadu camp of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

Though rain dampened the spirit of the festival in some parts of the Nilgiris, at Mudumalai the celebrations were marked by considerable enthusiasm.

Witnessed by a large number of devotees and tourists, including a few foreigners, 17 elephants were given a bath in the Moyar river and lined up in front of the decked-up Lord Vinayaka temple. Three elephants — Udhayan, Moorthy and Santosh — were caparisoned.

Later, led by a tusker, Bomman, the pachyderms were brought in a procession to the temple. In the vanguard were tribals playing their traditional music.

Udhayan and Bomman chimed bells and circled the temple three times. Later they knelt and bowed to the deity. The combined trumpeting shook that part of the jungle.

A feast was arranged for the pachyderms.