Elephant Blessings

At the temple in Pondicherry, after making an offering in the temple, you can take the garland and coconut out to the temple elephant. First though you have to give him a coin, which he dutifully passes to his handler, and then he takes any yummy edible offerings for himself. After deeming your gifts to be acceptable, he blesses you by bopping you on the head (it hurts to be blessed, who knew?) although I did notice that he uses a gentler bop when blessing very small children and infants. For most of my trip, I saw very few temple elephants, which we soon found out was because all temple elephants in India are given a holiday every year and are taken off to an elephant preserve to relax and have fun with their fellow pachyderms.

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