Elephant climbs steps of famous Garjiya Devi Temple near Corbett Tiger Reserve, video goes viral
A video of the elephant climbing the steps to Garjiya Devi Temple was caught on CCTV on June 28.
A video of an elephant climbing steps to the famous Garjiya Devi temple near Corbett Tiger Reserve in Ramnagar Forest division has gone viral on social media.
“The elephant climbing the steps to Garjiya Devi Temple was caught on CCTV on June 28. The elephant probably came to the temple premises in search of food as there are many shops around it and prasad is also offered to the pilgrims there. But these elephants had to return as the temple is closed after the pandemic started. One of these elephants can be seen climbing the steps”, Anand Rawat, range officer Kosi, said.
He added that they have increased the patrolling in the area. “There are small hutments near the temple, which these elephants trample upon. When they come near the villages in this area, we fire in the air to shoo away the elephants”, he said.
BP Pant, former range officer Kosi, who knows the area well, said these elephants come towards the temple area primarily for food. “In the video, one of the elephants can be seen climbing the steps of a bridge in front of the temple. As this temple is located on a big rock in the Kosi River, elephants also come to this area to drink water. As pilgrims would throng the temple every day, earlier elephants would not climb the steps close to the temple. But these days, as the temple is closed, there was almost no one there. So it is likely this elephant decided to explore further and climbed the bridge,” he added.
Garjiya Devi Temple is located in Garjiya village on the outskirts of the Corbett Tiger Reserve in Ramnagar, dedicated to the Goddess Garjiya. Situated over a large rock in the Kosi River, thousands of pilgrims visit the temple during Kartik Poornima (November–December).
With an increase in the elephant population, the man-elephant conflict is increasing in some areas in and around the Corbett landscape. According to the latest elephant census released a few days back, there are 2,026 elephants in Uttarakhand, a 29.9% increase since 2012 when there were 1559 elephants in the state.
A group of four to five ‘loner male tuskers’ often attack vehicles for food on a nearly 20 to 25 km road stretch near Corbett Tiger Reserve. The local forest officials and wildlife experts say these elephants have made this stretch of the road between Garjiya and Mohan their primary target area. Elephants regularly create ruckus on this stretch, leading to traffic interruptions and causing damage to vehicles.
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