Temple elephants are a type of captive elephants. These elephants are a vital part of many temple ceremonies and festivals in India, particularly in South India. Many major temples own elephants; others hire or are donated elephants during the festive seasons. It is estimated that India has an elephant population of about 80,000; of this, about 550 are domesticated elephants that live in Kerala, the southern Indian state. The Indian elephant population has actually decreased from around 100,000 at the early part of the 20th century; widespread poaching of adult male elephants for ivory has wiped out entire herds, leading to trauma among the younger elephants.
Gallery on elephants
- Animal worship
- Cultural depictions of elephants
- Elephants in Kerala culture
- Guruvayur Keshavan
- Thrissur Pooram
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Temple elephants.|
- Temple Elephants Video A short QuickTime video of Elephants from Tiruvannamalai, Sri Rangam and elsewhere.