A highlight of any trip to Kerala is the chance to experience its extraordinary festivals, staged at temples across the state throughout the winter months. Spectacular elephant parades are a prominent feature of most of them. Up to 13 tuskers, draped in gold caparisons, stand in ranks in the courtyard surrounding the main shrine, each with a team of three bare-chested Brahmin boys on their backs performing routines with peacock-feather fans, yak-tail whisks and colourful silk parasols (symbols of divinity). 

Facing the phalanx will always be a troupe of ear-splitting chenda melam drummers and traditional trumpet players, who accompany the pachyderms as they move in stately, highly choreographed processions around the temple. The music builds to a crescendo when the parade completes its circuit and the largest elephant carrying the deity stands directly in front of the shrine. Performances of lamp-lit Kathakali, devotional music and other, still more ancient, theatre forms are held in the temple precincts afterwards – a wonderful opportunity to experience Keralan ritual in its authentic context.

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At TransIndus we are committed to quality and determined to ensure every one of our clients enjoys the best holiday possible. Having lived or worked, and travelled extensively in their specialist countries, our consultants are experts whose advice can be depended on. To make an enquiry, call us on 0208 566 3739

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