Coimbatore, Jan 12 (PTI) A jumbo with a bushy mop of hair on its forehead is the cynosure of all eyes at the annual rejuvenation camp for temple elephants near Mettupalayam, 50 km from here.

The pachyderm, Chengamalam, from the Rajagopalasamy shrine, ambles contentedly with a mahout in tow.

Visitors and tourists thronging Thekkamapatti, venue of the camp, look at Chengamalam affectionately.

An added feature is the foot long hair which the mahout has been grooming for the past six years.

According to officials at the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department (HR & CE), which is organising the camp, another jumbo displays its prowess in the traditional martial art of wielding a stick (Silambu) using its trunk.

The elephant is from the Renukambal-Raman temple at Thiruvannamalai.

Another elephant, Lakshmi of Arivindalochanar temple at Srivaigundam, is attracting visitors by playing a mouth organ.

The jumbo holds the organ in the trunk to play notes to the accompaniment of ringing tones from a small bell tied to the leg which it wiggles now and then,they said.

The annual rejuvenation camp, a pet project of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, began on January 4.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.