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Temple elephants leave for rejuvenation camp

Special Correspondent
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At Thekkampatti from December 19 to February 4

The Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple elephant being boarded on to a lorry in Rameswaram to be transported to the rejuvenation camp.— Photo: L. Balachandar
The Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple elephant being boarded on to a lorry in Rameswaram to be transported to the rejuvenation camp.— Photo: L. Balachandar

Ramalakshmi, the 12-year-old elephant of the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple here, has left for the rejuvenation camp to be held at Thekkampatti, near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district from December 19 to February 4.

Ramalakshmi, which had the pleasure of travelling to the relaxation camp last year with Bhavani (52), had to travel alone this year as Bhavani had died in last year’s camp while being taken for a bath. It had come to the temple as a six-year-old calf and had been in the temple for 46 years. Ramalakshmi had joined her in 2007.

This was the third camp for Ramalakshmi and it quietly got on to a truck for the long journey on Thursday, Joint Commissioner of the temple C. Selvaraj said. Both Bhavani and Ramalakshmi were donated to the temple by P.R. Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha, chairman of Ramco Group.

K. Mayilvakanan, Temple Assistant Divisional Engineer, said two temple mahouts and two assistants were accompanying Ramalakshmi. He also said that he would be visiting the camp site along with Mr.Selvaraj to hand over the elephant to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department, which was conducting the camp.

They would visit the camp site on February 4 to bring the elephant back after completion of the camp, he said.

Dindigul

Kasturi, 47-year-old female elephant under the control of the Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple administration, was sent to the rejuvenation camp for elephants near Mettupalayam in a truck on Wednesday.

Earlier, the elephant was brought to the 7th Battalion ground in Palani around 9 a.m.

After checking its health condition, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry V. Rajendran said that the elephant, weighing around 4.9 tonnes, was in good health condition.

Meanwhile, Regional Transport Office officials inspected the vehicle. Later, the elephant moved on to the lorry and left for Mettupalayam. The elephant mahout and helpers accompanied the elephant.

Temple sources said that 43 temple elephants and 47 forest elephants would take part in the camp scheduled to commence on Thursday.

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