Sadly, the Indian elephant is now an endangered species because the population has declined by half over the past three generations. The usual culprit is at play – habitat loss. But Kerala comes out well. There is still a considerable population in the wild and we, at Raheem Residency, can arrange for you to see them. There are also elephant ‘orphanages’ and we can arrange a trip to bring you on a visit. These elephants have been injured in the wild and are are homed in venues around the state.
If you take a tour of an elephant orphanage it’s possible that you can bathe them in the early morning, feed them and even ride them. But you need to check with Raheem Residency’s Front Office as naturally the elephant population changes in the ‘orphanage’ as rehabilitation is ongoing.
These glorious animals play a significant role at Hindu temple festivals too. One of Kerala’s best known temples at Guruvayur has an average sixty elephants and at the famous Thrissur Pooram (festival) the large collection of caparisoned (decorated) elephants is an unforgettable sight. The role of the elephants at temple festivals is to carry the deity in a procession where their mahout who guides them will be decked out with multi-coloured silk parasols, silky white tufts and ofttimes swaying peacock feather fans.
India knows how to create a spectacle. There’s no denying that.