Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ceremonial elephant - Pondicherry temple

Elephants occupy a most important ceremonial position in South Indian temples. Some temples have multiple number of elephants for various duties. They are used for carrying the deity idols and much revered for their duties. To read more about the temple elephants, use the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_elephants
This is from a temple in Pondicherry. We were walking from the market to Sri Aurobindo's samadhi (http://www.pondy.com/pgallery/ashram.html), and we saw this small street that was blocked for vehicular traffic. There were a large amount of devotees around the temple and was a lot of hustle and bustle. It is part of the custom when going to temples to offer sweets and flowers to the gods, and the whole area had the fragnance of the flowers used.
When we reached the temple entrance, that was the time that the ceremonial elephant was being led out so that the devotees could have a view. It seemed a very majestic elephant, being bedecked with ceremonial markings. I quickly got the camera out and managed to get this single shot amidst the crowd of devotees.

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