Postcard: The Holy Elephant

025 The Holy Elephant (Hampi, Karnataka, India)

11th March 2013

Hampi, Karnataka, India

Animals have traditionally been accorded a special place in Hindu mythology as vehicles of gods or deities themselves. That is the reason some animals are considered sacred even today in Hindu culture. Apart from the ‘Holy Cow’ which is considered the most sacred of all animals, elephants are a regular feature in temples all over South India. In Kerala especially, the Elephant is decorated and worshipped, and many major temples own captive elephants. I got to meet the captive elephant of the famed Virupaksha temple of Hampi, immediately upon entering the premises. The gentle creature was standing obediently in its designated place and letting people pat him on the trunk. After a while, it was led away by the mahout but not before I could get a picture.

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