Coimbatore

Elephant Pongal celebration brings festive mood to ATR camps

Elephants bowing before the idol of Vinayaka at Kozhikamuthi camp in ATR on January 15, 2022.

Elephants bowing before the idol of Vinayaka at Kozhikamuthi camp in ATR on January 15, 2022.

Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) celebrated ‘elephant Pongal’ at Kozhikamuthi and Varagaliyar elephant camps, near Top Slip, in the presence of Forest Department staff, residents from tribal settlements and tourists on Saturday.

The celebrations at Kozhikamuthi camp, where 24 camp elephants are sheltered, started with puja and preparation of Pongal as per tradition.

Camp elephants Abhinaya and Sanjay bowed a Vinayaka idol. Residents from tribal settlements, who also work at the elephant camps, prepared Pongal.

Sweet pongal, sugarcane, coconut, jaggery and fruits were given to the elephants that were lined up with decorations and garlands.

A tug-of-war was organised for the elephant camp staff for which two teams were formed with kumkis Kaleem and Ramu as their leaders. The team led by Kaleem won the competition.

At Varakaliyar elephant camp, the staff celebrated Pongal with three captive elephants.

In view of the continuing spread of COVID-19 in the region, ATR administration allowed visitors to the Kozhikamuthi camp with certain restrictions.

Visitors were allowed to Top Slip after checking their temperature and complete vaccination certificate at the Forest Department checkpost. They were taken to the elephant camp from Top Slip in Forest Department vehicles.

ATR Field Director S. Ramasubramanian, Deputy Field Director (Pollachi division) M.G. Ganesan, Coimbatore District Forest Officer T.K. Ashok Kumar and forest range officers from ATR were present.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 6:35:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/pongal-celebration-brings-festive-mood-to-atr-elephant-camps/article38274874.ece