Kerala

Watch majestic jumbos at leisure

Elephants undergoing rejuvenation therapy at the Mangalamkunnu elephant house in Palakkad district. —Photo: Special Arrangement  

After several months of taking part in temple festivals, all the 14 gentle giants of celebrated elephant house Mangalamkunnu near Cherpulassery here have just returned home to take part in a rejuvenation therapy lasting for more than one month.

The annual therapy happens during every monsoon and it attracts elephant lovers across the region, who reach the celebrated house to see their favourite pachyderms resting and relaxing.

This second largest home to tamed elephants in the State would be open to the public till the end of the treatment period. 

“The largest one is managed by Guruvayur Devaswom with 64 elephants. Here we have 14 elephants including the celebrated Mangalamkunnu Karnan,” said M.A. Parameswaran, one of the two owners of the elephant house.

Other tuskers like Arjunan, Ganapathy and Gajendran are also drawing crowds. Apart from adding attraction to temple festivals and public functions, some of these elephants have even appeared in films.

  “The treatment which begins in Malayalam month Karkkidakom would be extended till the middle of Chingam. The main part of the treatment is as per Hasti Ayurveda, the traditional book that prescribes treatment for elephants. The pachyderms are given a rejuvenating mix of rice, Ayurvedic medicines, and herbs. They also get oil massages and a scrub bath every day,” explained M.A. Haridas, bother of Parameswaran and other partner of the unique venture started in 1976.

Contrary to the previous years, Mangalamkunnu elephants are getting a mix of Allopathic and Ayurvedic treatments this year.

Dr Giridas from Veterinary College at Mannuthy near Thrissur would lead the allopathic mode of treatment while Maheswaran Namboodiri of Avanaparamba Mana is leading the Ayurvedic process.

The brothers had bought the first elephant Ayyappan way back in 1976 from Bihar for Rs. 22,000 and over the years, they bought 18 more. Four of them died.

“Now, the buying and selling of elephants is prevented by law. In another two decades, there will not be many domesticated tuskers left to hold even the Thrissur Pooram or Nemmara Vallangi Vela. As per the official data, there are only 580 domesticated elephants left in the State,” Mr. Parameswaran said.

Mortality rate

Citing the growing mortality rate among captivated elephants, he said such elephants would become history in another two decades. Lack of scientific treatment facilities and experienced doctors were contributing to so many deaths, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 12:08:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/watch-majestic-jumbos-at-leisure/article7532987.ece

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