Two enormous vats boiling with medicinal herbs. Captivating to watch. The odor, intoxicating. Given the chance, I would have watched them and the surrounding activity all day.
The Guruvayoor Devaswom elephant sanctuary, Punnathurkotta, holds the most elephants I’ve seen in one location. It’s an amazing place. The elephants are well-attended by their mahouts and temple vets, who prepare them for various rituals and festivals at the nearby and enormously active pilgrimage site, Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple. Today a number of the massive creatures at Punnathurkotta were getting scrubbed down (see video below).
I’ve been here many times. No idea how many. And yet, just as in previous visits, my first day back in Connaught Place is marked by a couple hours of hurried, aimless walking around and around CP’s circular blocks. This visit things look pretty much the same as always. Most of the retail shops and restaurants are the same as they were ten years ago. There appears to be as much pedestrian, rickshaw, and car traffic as I remember a decade ago (despite a relatively new and efficient underground metro shuttling countless people throughout the city each day). The familiar sounds are all still here: endless car and autorickshaw horns, squealing brakes, bicycle bells, hawkers’ chatter, scraping of iron spades mixing wet concrete, the occasional growling mutt, among others. Curiously, I’m seeing more cats around the area than I recall seeing in the past. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a three-minute clip of what’s been a mesmerizing scene outside my hotel window on the outer ring, Connaught Circus, the past three days.