Some mahouts have walked the extra mile to make their elephants have a style statement of their own. Elephants sporting stylish hairdos were spotted at the special rejuvenation camp that began at Thekkampatti near Mettupalayam on Thursday. Adhinayagi, the 20-year-old elephant of Adhinatha Azhwar temple in Azhwar Tirunagari, was one of those which had well maintained hair. Karim Seth, the 55-year-old mahout says he uses a brush to clean Adhinayagi’s hair while bathing her. “Usually we rub her with a stone to scrape off dirt when we wash her. But we use a brush for her head. If we use a stone, hair wouldn’t grow,” Seth says. R Balan, the mahout of Lakshmi, the 19-year-old elephant of Aravindalochanar Temple from Sri Vaikundam, says he uses coconut oil to maintain the elephant’s hair. “Lakshmi is like my child. I wanted her to have a special look,” Balan says. He says he uses around 100g of coconut oil for Lakshmi’s hair daily. “When I bathe her, I wash away the oil using soap,” he adds. Rajkamal, 30, the mahout of Sengamalam, takes his elephant’s style statement to another level. Sengamalam has been brought from Rajagopalaswami temple, Mannargudi. He says he uses shampoo to clean his elephant’s hair. “We clean Sengamalam’s hair by using shampoo five times,” he says. “It will completely remove dirt from her head. Or else, it would feel itchy and she would scratch away all her hair with a twig or a shoot,” he says.
With thick, neatly cropped and copper-tinted hair, Sengamalam stands nearby and nods as if in agreement. Earlier in the day, ministers Dindigul C Srinivasan and Sevvoor S Ramachandran inaugurated the special rejuvenation camp for temple elephants, organised by the state government, at Thekkampatti near Mettupalayam.
Source : The Times of India