Two New Yorkers spend six months 18 months!?! in Bangalore and other places in India.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pondicherry Elephant

Everyone loves the French-provincial-town qualities of Pondicherry (lots of fresh paint; buttery seafood; wide, nearly empty, well-marked, rectilinear streets), but it's also in India -- and that means temples. Here's the Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple's elephant. You can give it a rupee and then it will give you a blessing by stepping on your foot. Just kidding, it blesses you by putting its truck on your head.

There was a sign that you couldn't give it any bananas or other food -- maybe it was reducing or the pilgrims' bananas had had a too vigorous laxative effect in the past. Either way, Don didn't like the looks of its stamping and thought it might go on a rampage at any moment. But it didn't, and we kept walking.

Incidentally, the three horizontal lines on the elephant's forehead, his tilak, marks him as a devotee of Shiva.

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