Here we are at the Elephant Festivals! One of the key highlights of the Elephant Festival was the elephant soccer event. 2 teams on elephants aim to kick a ball into the opposing team’s goalpost. As you can see in the image, elephants make pretty good billboards.
The Elephant festival had been ongoing for sometime before we arrived and the elephant soccer event happened to be the last event of the day. Good thing we rushed here in time! Apparently, there was an elephant beauty event prior to the soccer event and the elephants came out to parade with their proud owners after the soccer event. Each elephant was beautifully adorned with flowers, scarfs and makeup (from chalk I think). Event their toenails were painted!
At the sidelines of the soccer field was a variety of 20 something stores arranged in a straight line. These stores offer a variety of good and services, contributing greatly to the festive atmosphere. There was even a wooden man-powered ferris wheel for the kids! The Elephant Festival was where we tried out our first ‘street’ food. Despite the fact that the food here were all being cooked outdoors, most of the stores seemed pretty clean. We chose a plate of local chicken meat from the cleanest store possible and enjoyed our virgin meal 😀
There was so much to see here at the Elephant Festival – one of our more interesting finds were plates made out of leaves. After a meal you can simply throw these plates away and let nature take its course. Another interesting find was notebooks made out of elephant dung! Our guide explained that elephant dung was mostly made out of fibre, due to the inherent nature of their diet. Thus, with proper washing and treatment, the fibre is being extracted and used to make paper. Eco-friendly and 100% usable! The elephant dung paper seemed like a thicker version of tracing paper, and totally bereft of any unpleasant smells.
We made our way to the Elephant Conservation Centre where female and young elephants are kept for conservation and breeding efforts. Wild male elephants venture here during mating season, on their quest to find a suitable mate. In our 2nd trip, about a third of the centre was cordoned off to us because a large wild male elephant was visiting. We observed safely from a distance.
Sunsets are Chitwan are extremely beautiful 🙂 At night, we had a campfire with the guides of Chitwan Jungle Safari Lodge. Guides typically do not join guests at the campfire at night, following a policy either by the tour agency or the lodge. When we first went there in 2012, the guides made themselves subtly disappear after we sat down by the campfire. In 2013, we made sure the guides sat down with us and our friends. After all, we’ve come to know our Chitwan hosts pretty well over the past 2 years. And so we chatted about our countries, sang traditional songs (us Singaporeans sang our national day chorous lol!) and danced till late night. It was a fun and unique experience which made us a little sad to leave when the time came. We’ll definitely be back here again to Chitwan Jungle Safari Lodge! Onward to Day 4 where we show you the beauty and mystery of Chitwan Nature Reserve 🙂
Journey Nepal Series
Journey Nepal Part 1: A Majestic and Beautiful Country
Journey Nepal Part 2: Onward to Chitwan!
Journey Nepal Part 4: Wild times in Chitwan National Park