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Saturday, August 14, 2010

JLR K-Gudi Elephant bathing

Elephant ride was supposed to part of our package (subject to availability) when we stayed at Jungle Lodges and Resorts, K Gudi (stands for Kyata Devara Gudi), B R Hills, but the ride was denied on the reasoning that two female elephants are over aged and 2 male elephants are in their heating period…

However during my afternoon walk we spotted this elephant having its bath. The scene immediately took me back to Dubare Elephant camp, Coorg, where tourists can bath the tuskers…elephant-bathing-k-gudi

Two caretakers were bathing the elephant. What they were doing in reality was scrubbing the body (the super thick skin) with some rough stones and brushes. What caught my attention was severely torn dresses of these mahuts (Kannada word for elephant caretaker). May be they were paid so little that they can’t afford better dresses or may be they don’t prefer new dresses since dresses are bound to get torn while walking in deep forests or may be these guys are spending their income on arrack.

bathing-elephant

I too ventured into the water and tried my hand cleaning this king sized animal. As I went little more into the water the mahut warned me to step back, saying if elephant gets up I’ll be under its leg. Just when I moved back the unthinkable happened- Elephant got up to change sides…
tusk P7301042
Every evening these elephants are let free into the forest and they roam around freely. Next morning caretakers go to forest and fetch them back. These are highly domesticated elephants and do not mind when people go up close. During our jungle safari a few of them came very close to the jeep, probably anticipating some food. During the annual event of Mysore Dasara, elephants from these camps are taken to Mysore for procession.(julus/meravanige)
elephant-close-to jeep Elephant-on-our-path
Sadly I am not able to recall the names of these elephants and their caretakers. For the local people, dealing with these elephants is as easy as dealing with dogs and cats. Often we outsiders get frightened and end up scaring these animals.
Shrinidhi-bathing-elephant
Above: Me posing for camera with the elephant and its bath tub…(Photo by Raviraj)

11 comments :

imntjack said...

Looks like you got a new job.. The last photo confirms it..

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Lol

hari said...

Great photos there! :-)

Indrani said...

Reminded me of my trip to Dubare elephant camp. And I liked the first comment. ;)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hari,
Thanks. Do check other posts also, you might find those pics interesting as well

Indrani,
yes, in Dubare you'll have more elephants. Here we accidentally spotted the bathroom scene

Simulation said...

In 1982, I got a similar opportunity to bahte the elephants. Have a look the picture.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dEXIaYgIItY/S44mlhc43GI/AAAAAAAAA50/HhLo6n2fkf0/s1600-h/Kallar+001.jpg

Anu said...

K.Gudi is a wonderful place! we didnt bathe the elephant there, but watched and clicked as one bathed by himself... it was such a sight!!!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sundar sir,
really memorable photos

Anu, any pics?

Lakshmi said...

K Gudi is one of the best places ive been too..btw, not everything in an elephant camp is hunky dory..in fact, I was so upset when i heard about the way some elephants are captured and put in these camps

Shrinidhi Hande said...

You mean creating a trap called Khedda and make elephant fall into it and so on right?

Unlike zoo animals its a bit consolidating that they're let free in forest during night time...

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!