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What makes you feel alive? Jumbo bath!

Elephant bath

I remember as kids, we used to hate being pulled into the bath. We loved getting dirty, and covered in grit, but when it came to cleaning up, we would procrastinate. This week’s refreshingly fun Alive is Awesome project visual revolves around a girl being bathed by an elephant. Go check it out – it does seem like a lot of fun!

Now maybe, if we had that option when we were kids, we wouldn’t have any problems heading for a bath…

Elephants are usually really gentle creatures. The domesticated ones, at least. They share a great chemistry with their mahouts and it’s quite a pleasure to watch them in action. Elephants are domesticated for different reasons in India and participate in different activities ranging from ceremonial, logging and construction, ceremonial and temples.

Elephant and mahout

The relationship between the elephant and the mahout is a special one

If you want to have this experience yourself (or at least one close to it), try the Dubare Elephant camp, which is on the way to Coorg. You can watch mahouts giving the elephants a bath and then get a chance to do it yourself. They seem to love it. As you scrub them, they lie back in the water, totally revelling in the feeling. And if they’re in a good mood, they might give you a bath back too. It’s their way of showing affection and gratitude, would be my guess!

Dubare Elephant Camp

Pic credit:

These are, by the way, the same elephants which are taken to the famous Mysore Dassera parade every year.

Another place, where we witnessed the elephant bath is at Sri Lanka’s famous Pinawalla Elephant Orphanage.

Hundreds of these elephants saunter down to the river, led by the mahouts, with visitors perched everywhere trying to get a glimpse.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Head to Sri Lanka’s Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage for the famous elephant parade and bath in the Oya river

It was planned for the orphanage to attract local and foreign visitors and the income helps looking after the elephants. The Pinnawala Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction. As of 2012, there were 78 elephants living here and I didn’t count, but we sure did see a lot of them during our visit.
Elephant parade

Elephants and mahouts making their way into the river for their daily ritual

The orphanage is open to the public daily. If you’re visiting you can take a look at the care and daily routine of the elephants, bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding and bathing in the Oya River.

Makes me want to get myself my own elephant, aka jumbo bathing system now!

Jumbo life

Mahout bathing an elephant

Interact with elephants in Kannur, Kerala

Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Elephant bath in Thailand

— Also read Part 1 and Part 2

(This is a part of the blogging series for the Alive is Awesome campaign by Cinthol)

Note: All photographs used are mine, except when indicated otherwise and credited accordingly.


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