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.

Plan your 2021 Adventure

With the world beginning to open up again, now is the time to begin planning your 2021 holiday to Asia. Our Travel Specialists are ready to take your call and discuss the adventure you have spent 2020 dreaming of.

Make an enquiry

07947 761 237