Over three dozen tame elephants from temples across Tamil Nadu have been brought to the village of Thekkampatti to rejuvenate at a special 48-day camp. They are being given special food and long periods of rest. Accompanied by their caretakers or 'mahouts', the tuskers were tethered in the open, with large piles of sugarcane, leaves and bucketfuls of grain.

"We have come to this camp, where our elephants are given special food with vitamin supplements. The elephants are happy to see each other, as they are lonely at the temples. We are also happy as a result," said Dinesh, a mahout.

"These elephants are also being given special medicines. The camp is on the banks of the Bhavani river, and the arrangements made for the camp are very nice," said Balan, another mahout.

Captive elephants are an important element of many religious ceremonies and festivals at temples and shrines across south India.