"The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has given permission for 30 elephants to participate in the event. (The elephants) are a special feature of the traditional Teej procession in Jaipur," Bina Kak said.
Teej marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). An elaborate procession is taken out in Jaipur for two consecutive days on the festive occasion, and the spectacle draws a large gathering.
NGOs working for the welfare of animals have protested the use of elephants for festivities, and two major events, the elephant festival and Gangaur festival, did not see elephants this year.
The elephant festival is held in Jaipur each year on the day that the festival of colours, Holi, is celebrated. Special events, like elephant polo and elephant dance, take place at the festival.
The Gangaur festival, in honour of Gauri, a manifestation of Parvati, Lord Shiva's consort, is celebrated in March-April. It is a celebration of spring, the harvest, and marital fidelity, and usually sees elephants in procession.
Randhir Vikram Singh Mandawa, general secretary of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association, said that the news of the elephants' participation in Teej is to be welcomed, for Jaipur is associated with elephants which add flavour to the city's festivals.
--IANS (Posted on 03-08-2013)