Musical start to jumbo camp

Published Dec 20, 2013, 3:09 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 1:27 am IST
The jumbo plays the mouth organ, accompanying it with simple dance movements.

Coimbatore: A temple elephant from Rettai Tirupathi in Thoothukudi district has turned out to be a skilled player of the mouth organ.

Lakshmi, 10, played the instrument, accompanying it with simple dance movements, like nodding the head, at the elephant rejuvenation camp, a pet project of chief minister J. Jay­alalithaa, which began in Mettu­palayam on Thursday.


Lakshmi, who was shipped to Rettai Tirupathi from Ya­lpanam in Sri Lanka when she was barely a year old, learnt to play the instrument from her mahout. “Lakshmi picked up the nuances at the tender age of two after  a year’s training,” said R. Balan, her mahout.

­ “I found that she was fond of music as she would listen keenly whenever I played the mouth organ. That’s how I thought of training her and she picked it up very easily,” he said.

Holding the mouth organ to her mouth, she blows into it rhythmically. It’s become a regular ritual for Lakshmi to perform in front of the main deity at the Aravindhalochanar temple for the last several years, in the mornings and in the evenings before the closure of the temple. She can play the instrument for up to half an hour, according to the proud mahout. 

Homecoming jumbos

Coimbatore: It has been like homecoming for Saravanan, (7), an elephant from the Vandaur Zoo, after six long years.

The pachyderm, which was rescued from the forests of Coimbatore division after it was abandoned by its herd with injuries, was sent to the zoo in Chennai for rehabilitation.

“The pachyderm suffered injuries after it got caught in a snare. It was less than one year old when it was rescued and taken to Chennai. We are now happy to see it again here,” said forest veterinarian NS Manoh­ara­n, who fondly recalled the inc­ident.  

Saravanan was one among the 49 elephants (31elephants from temples and mutt and 18 forest department elephants) which began their retreat and relaxation on Thursday with a warm scrub bath in the cool waters of Bha­vani in a natural ambience at the 48-day rejuvenation camp at Mettupalayam in Coimb­ato­re district. 

Two elephants- one from Nagore Darga and another from ‘Ma­navala Vinayagar temple’ in Puduc­herry- are expected to join the camp by Thu­rsd­ay night. 

The temple and m­utt elephants are kept at Thekka­mpa­tty area while forest depar­tment elephants are camping a little distance away in the Nelli­t­hurai area. 

The ailing elepha­nts and those refusing to bo­a­rd the lorry were left out and were given rejuvenation at their own place.

The elephants which came from different places have now started to bond well with each other.

The youngest of all among the temple and mutt elephants, Sundaravallithayar, 7 from Madurai is visibly happy to be back here again after nearly a year. 

“It has begun to show signs of remembrance and feels tempted to play with its friend Kothai, 16 a pachyderm from Sriperumbudur, that was tied a little distance away,” said its mahout R Chandrasekar. This elephant has been attending the rejuvenation camp for the third time.

The mahouts said Kothai is also a ‘close friend’ of Lakshmi, 19, an elephant from Thir­uva­nnamalai district. 

Forest Minister MSM Anandan, HR and CE Minister Senthurpandian inaugurated the rejuvenation camp in the presence of officials from forest department and District Administration. 

Location: Tamil Nadu