Coimbatore

Pongal celebrated at Top Slip

V. Ganesan, Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director of Anamalai Tiger Reserve, feeding an elephant as part of Pongal celebration at Top Slip on Monday.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

With its playful moves, the yet to be christened two-and-a-half-year-old female elephant turned head-turner of this year’s Pongal feast given to elephants attached to Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) at Top Slip on Monday.

The female calf, which was rescued and brought to Kozhikamudhi Elephant Camp of ATR from T.N. Palayam range of Sathyamangalam Forest Division in April 2014, grabbed the attention of 1,000-odd crowd, especially children. With a yellow garland in its neck, the youngest member of the camp found place in the front row while others were lined up in another row.

V. Ganesan, Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director of ATR, said that the annual Pongal feast, which was started in 2006, was organised in a pompous manner this year with the support of Lions Club of Pollachi Success.

“Its our tradition to offer thanks to animals as part of the harvest festival celebrations. The elephants attached to ATR has been doing a commendable job assisting us in various fields ranging from tourism to safety of people. The celebrations were revived this year to honour their work for the department,” said Mr. Ganesan.

Of the 22 elephants attached to Kozhikamudhi Elephant Camp, 15 were brought to Top Slip in the early hours of Monday by foot for the event. The elephants were decorated with garlands and holy ashes after bath. After being lined up for a parade, the pachyderms were feasted with pongal, sugarcane, jaggery, rice, and fruits. Apart from the female calf, the 15-member team of elephants included Vijayalakshmi (64), Ramu (47), Rajavardhan (18), Avinaya (11), Bharani (32), Selvi (57), Kalpana (37), Narasimman (11), Kaveri (8), Devi (12), Durga (21), Mariappan (28), Suyambu (19), and Tamizhan (12). “Apart from feasting the animals, 15 mahouts and 15 cavadis (assistants) attached to each elephant were also honoured during the celebration. The elephants were taken back to a temporary camp at Chinnar after the celebrations.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 6:40:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/Pongal-celebrated-at-Top-Slip/article17049055.ece

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