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Temple elephant leaves for camp

Kavita Kishore
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awaiting a long journey:Lakshmi, the temple elephant at Manakula Vinayakar temple, in Puducherry.— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy
awaiting a long journey:Lakshmi, the temple elephant at Manakula Vinayakar temple, in Puducherry.— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

For the next two months, visitors to the Manakula Vinayagar Temple will miss its star attraction _ elephant Lakshmi.

On Friday morning, she will be packed up to the rejuvenation camp. It will be held between December 19 and February 4 at Thekkampatti near Mettupalayam.

On Wednesday, the Puducherry Government received the approval letter from the Tamil Nadu Government for permitting her to attend the camp.

Medical check-up

She underwent a thorough medical check-up by personnel of Forest Department in the afternoon. They later ensured her fitness for travel and she will be leaving on Friday morning.

“Since the approval came on Wednesday, it would take at least a day to prepare her for the camp ,” Deputy Conservator of Forest Sathyamoorthy said.

On Thursday, the mahouts will have their hands full. “There is a host of things we will need to buy to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for Lakshmi,” said Senthil, one of the mahouts.

Food and water will be kept ready for her nearly 12-hour ride. Lakshmi was brought to Puducherry when she was very young.

Since then, for nearly 15 years she has not travelled anywhere. Last time when she was sent to the Sadi Vayil camp, it was a little difficult getting her on to the lorry. But this time the temple authorities hope there should not be a problem since she is used it, he said.

Lakshmi will attend the camp between December 19 and February 4 at Thekkampatti near Mettupalayam

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