TAMIL NADU

Elephants begin their journey to Mudumalai

Tamil Nadu Bureau

PALANI: Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple elephant Kasturi along with two elephants, Ammu and Lakshmi, owned by private people, began her journey to Mudumalai on Saturday.

Elephant trainers had imparted one-week training to all the three elephants on how to board the lorry.

Having undergone `intensive and rigorous' training, Kasturi took nearly four hours to board to the lorry.

Two other elephants took three hours to board.

However, an aged elephant Sumathi would not take part in the camp this year also, owing to ill health.

Already, veterinary doctors checked the mammoth animal and declared that it was not fit for travel.

Now, Sumathi was taking rest at Karunai Illam, owned by the temple administration.

Already, temple administration had brought elephant trainers from Kerala to treat and train the ill elephant.

After treatment, its weight had been reduced drastically.

Sumathi had gone up to Avinashi last year and returned to Palani, as it could not continue strenuous and gruelling journey in a lorry. It came afoot to reach the temple town.

Tirunelveli

Eight elephants in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts began their journey in lorries to Mudumalai on Saturday for the 48-day annual rejuvenation camp to commence at Mudhumalai from November 21.

The elephant of Sri Nellaiyappar - Gandhimathi Ambal Temple, Gandhimathi, was taken to Sarada College for Women, where it was loaded into the lorry. Then it was taken to Thatchanallur bypass road junction, from where the elephants began their journey after special poojas.

Along with Gandhimathi, Aathi Naayagi of Aathinaathar Alwar temple, Alwarthirunagari, Kumuthavalli of Vaiththamaanidhi Perumal Temple, Thirukoloor, Lakshmi of Irattai Thiruppathi, Valli of Azhagiya Nambirayar Temple, Thirukkurunkudi, and Gopalan of Thaanumaalayan Temple, Suchindram, left for Mudhumalai.

The elephant of Inamdhaar Gnaniyar Pallivaasal, Kadayanallur,`Jaini, and Gomathi of Sri Sankaranarayanar Temple, Sankaranvkoil, took the Tenkasi - Madurai national highway to join other elephants at Thirumanagalam near Madurai.

As the elephant of Syed Sirajudeen Oliyullah Dargah, Kulasekarapattinam, refused to board the lorry, it was left behind.

Besides the mahouts of the elephants, five veterinarians are also accompanying the pachyderms.

Virudhunagar

Sulochana, 26-year-old female elephant of the Sri Vala Subramaniya Swamy Temple here, proceeded for the annual rejuvenation camp at Mudumalai on Saturday morning.

Special poojas were performed before the elephant was led on to the truck.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Assistant Commissioner, Vijayarangadurai, and a veterinary doctor were accompanying it.