Kavja’s India Part 3: The Elephant Spa
Kavya, a Year 6 Young Journalist based at Burgh School, has family roots in India and the highlight of her year is when she makes her annual visit to see her relatives based in New Delhi. She has decided to share her love of this vast country with YJA readers!
Part 1 – Monkey Business
Part 2 – Snakes and Ladders
The population of India is a very industrious one. The people toil for their family and try to make them and their country proud. Working so hard, at the end of their long day they need to find time to relax and often head for the nearest spa. But the odd thing about India is that a certain special animal gets a spa of its own! These very lucky animals are … elephants!
The state of Kerala has set up an outstanding spa just for elephants. In July, at the Punnathur Kotta Elephant Yard, dozens of these pampered gentle giants receive a spa, foot massage, scrubs and enjoy a nutritious eatery.
This tusk-friendly spa is attached to the famous Guruvaya temple, where elephants play a vital role in temple processions. Kerala has a long history when it comes to elephants.
Many people wonder why they are the lucky ones to get a free spa but there is a clear reason. It’s all because of their hard work. Surprisingly, they have somehow helped build temples and other unique structures. In the absence of alternative transport, they were also a vehicle for gods and kings. (If you were rich in India then you may even have owned a pet elephant that only the wealthy ones could afford.)
Almost every temple festival calls for the presence of an elephant and hence almost every temple owns an elephant.
It is said to be good luck if you start your day by seeing an elephant from its back. So if you are ever visiting Kerala, you never know, an elephant might bring you good fortune!