Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I was driving towards Vytilla from Palarivattom on the bye pass road and suddenly I saw this majestic elephant walking briskly on the side road. I stopped the car a little ahead of the elephant on the main road and waited excitedly for it to arrive to take some photos. As the elephant came close I got ready to click.

Suddenly the mahout swirled the elephant to the main road where I was standing and to my horror the elephant came straight towards me like a whirl wind. My heart stopped with fright and some how I managed to jump out of its way. As the elephant whizzed past very close to me, I felt the ground shake under my feet and a vacuum was created where the gargantuan had passed. I could feel the incredible power, enormous strength and the ferocity of the brute.

As I stood frozen I heard the loud laughter of the mahout and his assistant. I became furious and hurled some abuses at them. The vehicles passing on the highway slowed down to take a close look at me. They must have thought that I was a lunatic escaped from the asylum. Then I noticed the elephant's direction was turned to the side road again. When I looked, I found the side road was damaged for a short distance and that is why the mahout had changed the course.

Once more I over took the elephant and managed to take some photos. You can see the chains on the elephant's legs. It is also carrying its own food. The mahout is sitting on top and his assistant walking at the side as fast as the elephant. The tiny mahout has complete control of the mammoth animal and his instructions are obeyed immediately without any hesitation.
In Kerala, elephants are used mainly in timber yards and temple festivals. You can also see them in zoos and circuses. In ancient days, the kings used them in wars.

The most amazing thing about the elephant is that it is a vegetarian and yet it is so huge, strong and powerful.


Paul said...

Hi JP Chettan, I am happy that U escaped from elephant in time. The photos are excellent.U are really a treausre for the nation. ThanX and Regards, Paul PS.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Paul :)

You lavish praise makes me blush!

Have a good day :)

JM said...

I really hate when guys try to scare people just for fun! It doesn't matter if they have everything under control once you can die from a heart attack! Glad you didn't, Joseph! :-)

Mark in Spokane said...

What a story! I'm glad the elephant missed you! What incredible photos -- you are in such a colorful and interesting part of the world. It is a great blessing to those of us who are elsewhere to be able to see your photos and experience, in a little way, the incredible culture there in India. Thanks so much for sharing!

And please know that our thoughts and prayers are with India as it deals with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai.

Leo said...

How exciting! I have never been one-on-one with an elephant. We don't have them here, but I always watch elephant documentaries with fascination. They are strong vegetarians - like me!!

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Wow, this blogspot is quite an exciting place to come! What a great story, I felt you fear and tembling as this huge beast came towards you! but I have to say you left me laughing with the image of you hurling abuses at the manout!
Too funny and so interesting.
God bless,

magicpolaroid said...

hello dear! how are u? great story!! like ur new home site design.

venus66 said...

Thank God.
The pics are nice.
Thank you.

Maria said...

Fortunately you escaped the terrible elephant without getting hurt! I also hate people who scare others just for fun!

I read with great interest your previous posts and I feel very sorry for the terror victims in India. I do hope for a solution!

Thank you so very much for your kind words encouraging me to be a non-smoker :-)))

I love to see the powerful pictures from your country, but when I read your stories about police terror I feel very sorry for the people.

I am so glad that in our European societies corporal punishment in judicial settings was abolished after World War II, and also arbitrary actions by the police have been increasingly banned since then.
Since the 1960-ies and 1970-ies, European states began to forbid corporal punishment also in schools, and in the new millennium, about half of the European states do not accept even mild forms of physical violence even in families. Austria is among them. Of course, many children are still punished...
You find more info here:

manivannan said...

Thank god! That seems to be a narrow escape sir.But the post was quite hilarious :)

Yea vegetarians are always strong and powerful. Thanks for sharing.