In 2013 and 2014 our 28 year old Rukku, the Arunachaleswarar Temple Elephant, participated in the Rejuvenation Camp in the forests of Tamil Nadu; which occurred directly after the end of the Karthigai Mahadeepam Arunachala Festival.
At the camp in 2014 she joined with 30 elephants from Temples throughout Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. However after the 2015 Deepam, when she was probably expecting her “time away” nothing happened. I worried whether she would go on her yearly jaunt. Happily the Rejuvenation Camp went ahead, but in January 2016 instead of December 2015.
The 48-day-long Rejuvenation Camp is being held at the foot of the Nilgris Hills on the banks of the Bhavani River at Thekkampatti near Mettuppalayam. This year there are 43 elephants attending the rejuvenation camp; two of whom hail from Pondicherry.
|Rukku on her way to the 2016 Rejuvenation Camp (i.e. elephant party-time!)|
Thus in the very early morning of January 7, 2016 sweet Rukku loaded up on the back of a lorry for the eighth time to set off for Camp. It was reported that her “exit” weight was 4,800 kgs which she is sure to increase as a result of all the good food and snacks she will eat at Camp.
At Camp all the elephants will be given special food and medicines and have their health carefully monitored by a battery of veterinary doctors and elephant specialists.
On reaching the Campsite it has been reported that the elephants arrived cheerful and happy with no sign of fatigue or tiredness owing to the long distance they had travelled at the back of their individual lorries. Simple. They must know its “PARTY TIME”.
Have a lovely holiday all of you, specially to our own dearest Rukku.