The Elephant Bath @Thirparapu Falls is one of the Hidden Gems of Kanyakumari sight-seeing tour. The Locals love the Elephants as much as the visiting tourists wouldn't miss a chance to climb up the elephant and pose for a few pics. Most Europeans and Americans, used to seeing the elephant at the Zoo are awed by this opportunity to enjoy and experience this gentle gisnt at close quarters.
Thirparappu is famous for the Mahadeevar Temple built in the 9th Century by Pandya King.
On most days of the week you can witness the elephant bath at Thirparapu falls unless the giants are taken out for the local Temple Festivities through which the caretakers make a living.
This young calf is taken to the preferd place of bath, a pool made by the small waterfall ahead of the main falls.
Training the calf from a very young age, the Mahout and the animal build a relationship that lasts. The Mahout trains the elephant to obey to his every command. The Elephant half squats to let the mahout unboard.
Drawing close to his preferred spot for the bath.
The Elephant calf folds knees and gently lays himself on the hard rock bed of Thirparapu falls, for his master to give him a bath.
Getting him into a position for the men to work on and turn him clean.
The elephant holds his trunk above the water surface to breath while the mahout's helpers tend to the baby giant.
They scrub his entier body from head to tail, pullinf out ticks and bugs that settle on him. They also keep an eye out for injuries or boils that may show up on the skin of the elphant.
Giving the elephant a bath is not an easy task. The scrubbing itself takes two or three men the best of an hour and a half.
The Elephat Scrub Stone is a piece of cement-sand block.
When one side of the elephant is cleaned, he is washed and turned over on the other side.
A view of the elephant pool at Thirparapu atop a bridge across banks of the river Kodhayar.
A view of Mahadevar Temple, built on a rock-bed river bank by 9th Century Pandaya Kings, framed by the 21st Century bridge.