The 48-day rejuvenation camp will begin from Monday

Loaded in lorries, nine elephants with their mahouts from Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts on Saturday left for the 48-day annual rejuvenation camp to start at Mettupalayam from November 26 onwards.

After being flagged off by Minister for Khadi and Village Industries P. Senthurpandian at the Bypass Road Flyover near KTC Nagar, the elephants’ journey for Mettupalayam began around 4 p.m.

Elephants that left for Mettupalayam are from Lord Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur (Kumaran and Deivaanai), Sankaranarayana Swamy Temple, Sankarankovil (Gomathi), Sri Nellaiyappar Gandhimathi Ambal Temple, Tirunelveli (Gandhimathi), Kumarasamy Temple, Ilanji (Kumaravalli), Aathinaathar Temple, Alwarthirunagari (Aathinayaki), Vaiththamaanthi Perumal Temple, Thirukkolur (Kumuthavalli), Aravindalosanar Temple, Irattai Thiruppathi (Lakshmi) and Sthaanumaalayan Temple, Suchindram (Gopalan).

The Ilanji Kumarasamy Temple’s elephant Kumaravalli that was taken via Kadayanallur joined her friends from this region at Thirumangalam.

Elephants of Azhagiyanambirayar Temple at Thirukkurunkudi - Kurunkudi Valli and Sundaravalli - refused to board the lorries despite the best efforts by the mahouts. Since the efforts did not fructify even after 4 p.m., the nine elephants left for Mettupalayam.

Tirunelveli Collector R. Selvaraj, Mayor Vijila Sathyananth, MLAs Nainar Nagendran, P.G. Rajendran and S. Michael Royappan participated in the event.

Meanwhile, Vellaiyammal, elephant of Big Temple in Thanjavur, will not attend the camp. Doctors have advised against transporting the animal as it is 62 years old.

However elephants of Aiyarappar temple at Thiruvaiyaru (Dharmambal), Agneeswarar temple at Thirupugazhur and Rajagopalaswamy temple at Mannargudi (Sengamalam) will attend the camp.

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