Thursday, August 16, 2012

Getting ready for the Elephant race-Guruvayur, Kerala

The Hindu--Feb. 17,2011

An elephant ran amok during the Guruvayur Anayottam (elephant race) on Wednesday creating panic in the temple town for nearly an hour.
Seven persons, including Kunnamkulam Police Circle Inspector K.P. Haridas and Alakkal Jayaraman, an employee of the Punjab National Bank at Guruvayur, were injured. Mr. Jayaraman had a miraculous escape after the elephant tried to gore him. He suffered injuries and has been hospitalised.
The other injured are policeman Vinod Kumar, 25; Chittur Prabhakaran, 75; Kanakam of Pazhayannur, 56; Asokan Puthambally, 48; and Pakkath Kesavan, 80.
The elephant race that marked the beginning of the 10-day festival of the Guruvayur Sreekrishna Temple began at 3 p.m. Though 34 elephants had been lined up at the starting point of the race at Manjulal, only five had actually participated in the race. The elephant, Srikrishna, which was running in the second position turned restive when it reached the temple premises. Thousands of people who were viewing the Anayottam ran helter-skelter as the elephant pushed the barricades erected to control the crowd. Some persons suffered minor injures.
The jumbo which ran out of the temple premises entered the T.C. Block of the Temple Satram. It was brought under control by mahouts after an hour and was later tethered.
Meanwhile, the Elephant Lovers' Association asked the authorities to take action against the Guruvayur Devaswom for conducting such a race, which, it said, was against the law.
Gokul, a 19-year-old elephant of the Guruvayur Devaswom, won the first place in the race place for the second consecutive year. Sivarajan, Sankaran Kutty and Krishnan Kutty were the mahouts of Gokul.

'I have often wondered what would happen if those males all of a sudden decided to throw down on each other.  I kinda have an idea now.  I just can't imagine the skill it takes to move these big guys around."

No comments: