The sights and sounds of fabulous Indian elephants

The sights and sounds of fabulous Indian elephants

Grand entrance

The sights and sounds of fabulous Indian elephants – they can be found in their most magnificent attire during a religious ceremony in Kerala involving greatly loved, admired and cared for elephants.

With an invitation to give a plenary session to a literary conference in India, who wouldn’t take the opportunity to see something more of the country?

I did just that when invited to the ‘Globalisation and Literature’ conference held at Hyderabad’s Osmania University last month, by travelling via Kerala in South India.

Kerala culture

Here are some happy memories shared with you from my detour to Kochi and Thrissur, on the way to and from the literary conference. Hope you enjoy them!

The posters make the celebration clear: it’s a local temple festival and the temple’s name is Kappayoor Sri Chirakkal Bhagavathi.

Elephant ceremony posters

The star elephants’ names are Pambadi Rajan and Mangalamkunnu Ayyappan (shown on the poster of two elephants) and Chirothu Rajeev, who is shown standing alone on his own poster.

The writing translated from the first poster indicates that the two elephants are speaking to each other saying, ‘We are only afraid of the God who looks after the world and the Serpent who looks after the stone (Manikya). Everything else is nothing for us’. The stone is referred to as Manikyam, a rare stone.

Sitting atop an elephant evokes elation



the splendour of each part of an elephant



If you would like to take part in a visit to the elephant sanctuary temple and also to see traditional Kathakali dance performances on a tour being organised for October this year, please go to our website page to register your interest here. Or email

On this special tour, morning writing sessions will be conducted daily while afternoons will be kept free for exploring the local culture and cuisine.

3 elephants of the 10 in the ceremony

Further enquiries can be made on 0432 289 311. A deposit for the trip will be required by July 31, after confirmation following get-to-know meetings in Sydney for those interested in joining our party. Harmony with adventure and comfort is our aim.  Christine Williams

a local band



  1. Cathie Bloor
    14 March, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Love the elephant ceremony pictures! Gorgeous ,

    Reply »
  2. Geetha Waters
    22 March, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I am so glad to see that they all have their tusks Christine! Did you go for a ride too?

    Reply »
    1. mm
      23 March, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Yes, Geetha, these elephants are dearly loved and their tusks are as fiercely guarded and nurtured as every other part of their anatomies. To watch them being given baths by mahouts with a hose and scrubbing brushes was a wondrous sight.

      Reply »
      1. mm
        23 March, 2017 at 6:05 pm

        Haha - no rides. I didn't even try to interfere in the ceremonial celebration by asking for a ride!

        Reply »

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