Coimbatore, Jan 18 : Pongal celebrations in Coimbatore have something special to offer to its participants. Elephants are included in the celebration and they have become the main attraction here.
Pongal is celebrated at a place called Top Slip at Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Over 5000 people from all over the State participated in the celebrations. Tourists from abroad also attended the event. The participants were very enthusiastic to take part in the traditional festivities.
"I think it is a good thing for the families and it is a very interesting festival. I think the elephants probably enjoy it too. It is very good to have rice, cashewnuts, raisins, ghee, jaggery and so many good things", said Marcus Sherman, a tourist from United States.
The elephants were first taken to the celebration venue in a row and special poojas' were conducted there. Then the women cooked the traditional delicacy called "pongal" in front of the elephants. The elephants were then treated with the cooked "pongal", bananas and coconuts.
"Actually Pongal is celebrated only for cows and goats. This is called Mattu Pongal. But here, it is very unique. It is also celebrated for elephants. It is called Elephant Pongal in Top Slip. They are given special food and special items," said a visitor named Abunanda.
In rest of the state, Mattu Pongal was celebrated by honouring cattle like cows and goats. The animals are given bath and their horns are painted. Then they are served the traditional delicacies.