In the south Indian state of Kerala, elephants hold a high place of honor and are often seen in their Hindu festivals. The gentle giants are not only protected by the various temples, but also pampered once a year with their own spa-like rejuvenation ceremony.
The event takes place in July, during monsoon season, and is part of the traditional Hindu medicine practices known as Ayurveda. The elephants are hosed down, scrubbed with herbs and oils and given treats.
Elephants in this area of the country have been endangered since 1986, their population declining over 50% over the last three generations.
As the state animal, it’s clear that they take their care for the big guys very seriously.
There are over 700 elephants owned by temples and individuals throughout Kerala.
Aside from the religious importance, a few of the country’s elephants are used to help work in the timber yards.
(via Daily Mail.)
I bet they spend the rest of the year never forgetting how relaxing this day was.
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