India Has A Spa For Elephants In Kerala

In the southern region of India lies Kerala, a place where elephants are
accorded a unique royal treatment. When we say royal, we mean it in the
most literal sense, as elephants have held a significant position in the
cultural and religious fabric of Kerala for many years.
Nestled within Guruvayur, there exists a special haven called Punnathur
Kotta Elephant Yard, where these magnificent creatures experience a
range of lavish amenities. Within the realms of wellness and indulgence,
numerous elephants have the opportunity to indulge in massages,
rejuvenating body scrubs, and nourishing feasts. This sanctuary for
elephants, referred to as “Aanakotta” or the “Elephant Fort,” was once a
palace in its own right. Up to 60 elephants can find their dwelling within the
confines of Aanakotta. After all, why shouldn’t elephants have their own spa

Every July, behind the Guruvayurappan Hindu Temple at Punnathoor Cotta
Elephant Yard, these elephants are treated to a luxurious affair. This
sanctuary, intricately linked to the Guruvayur Temple, offers the majestic
pachyderms the gift of “Sukha Chikitsa,” or elephant ayurvedic treatments.
The distinct treatments encompass serene massages, opulent scrub
sessions, a meticulously curated diet, and herbal remedies that invigorate
these elephants and contribute to their well-being. However, not all
elephants have the privilege of partaking in this spa experience. Those
elephants that are difficult to manage or have a reputation for unruliness
are excluded, as excessive attention or pampering could potentially disrupt
the tranquility of others.

A select group of elephants relish the luxury and relaxation during a
designated spa day. The elephants that frequently grace processions at the
Guruvayurappan Hindu Temple are chosen to bask in a day of opulence.
Through the concerted efforts of the Kerala government and the local
community, elephants have ensured a secure and nurturing environment,
preserving their integral role in the cultural and religious narratives of the
region for generations to come.

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