Elephant Festival in India
Indian subcontinent, since the ancient time, is regarded as the original native land of the Asiatic Elephant. The elephant is also deeply associated with the Indian Hindu mythology in which the association of elephants with water and rain is stressed in the mythology of Indra, who sits on the elephant Airavata when he overcame Vritra. The elephants were also widely used during the time of the Lord Buddha and Jainism. Since that time, the elephants had remained the mark of power and status Rajas and Maharajas as they used this animal during the time of war and procession. It is because of this heritage, it has transformed into the festivals of the Rajasthan and Kerala. In Rajasthan, this elephant festival is the reflection of the glorious past of the Rajput’s bravery, forfeiture and magnificence. The Rajasthan Elephant Festival is celebrated in the month of March on the eve of Holy (the festival of colours). During this festival, the whole Jaipur looks in a colorful association of elephants meant to represent the royalty of bygone era of Rajasthan. In this festival, the royal procession takes place where Maharaja sat on a gold and silver ‘howdah’ placed on the backwards of the most favorite elephant decorated with glaring ornaments and gold broidered velvet Jhalars accompanied the royal elephant. During this festival the tourists and jury of experts get an opportunity to select offer a shield for “Best Decorated Elephant”. Elephant polo game, ‘Gaj Shringar’ exhibition are being organized to display everything related to elephant ornaments.
There is another Elephant Festival held in God's own country - Kerala attracts thousand of international tourists to witness the grand elephant procession. The custom of elephant festival is so dominant that almost all the well to do families of Kerala used to keep an elephant as a part of their family member. This festival is generally held in the month of May in which at the Thekkinkadu Maidan in which highly decorated elephants in two processions presenting the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples, contend to create strong or vivid impression. For each one is granted to accomplish with a maximum of fifteen elephants and full efforts are made by each party to assure the best elephants of South India and the most coloured and aesthetic robes, various kinds of which are raised on the elephants during this elephant festival of Kerala.