TGIF: World Elephant Day, People With/On Elephants

My sister’s visiting, I’m feeling lazy, and it’s World Elephant Day on Sunday.  So that’s as good a reason as any to look at people with elephants, right?

First, let me make sure I fully understand the elephants in India situation.  Elephants are wild, but there are also domesticated elephants who have long been friends to man.  They work on farms, they carry burdens, and they are beloved family pets/partners.  Sort of more like horses are in America.  Thot that uncommon (in America and other places, an elephant would be something you only see very rarely, and only in zoos or perhaps circuses, not working on farms).

This also means that elephant abuse is a real concern.  Elephants being beaten, overworked, left to die in the street, terrible things.

How this relates to my photos post is just that, on the one hand, it seems like movie stars are unlikely to do photo shoots with elephants because they don’t want to imply disrespect or abuse of them.  And on the other hand, just searching “elephant” and looking for images doesn’t bring up much, because elephants are so every day, it would be like searching for “Shahrukh Khan grass”.  Why would you identify a photo by the boring everyday element in it?


And so, although I am aware that images exist in the world of practically every movie star in India with an elephant, I am tragically limited to just these few.  But hey, gave me an excuse for a nice little side trip into elephants and their issues!

And as you look through these photos, here is what you can consider:

Which is your favorite elephant?

Which star actually seems to know what they are doing with an elephant?

Which star seems LEAST to know what they are doing with an elephant?


Shahrukh Khan on an Elephant.  He looks very much like a city slicker trying to ride an elephant.  I like the side-eye that the Mahaut’s in front are giving each other.

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Prabhas!!!!  Or rather, BAHUBALI!!!  Now, I am pretty sure this is more a CGI elephant than an actual elephant.  But it is still very impressive looking, and Prabhas certainly seems very comfortable atop it.

Image result for prabhas elephant

Mohanlal seems very very comfortable.  From what little I can see in this grainy photo (as I said, very hard to find elephant photos, even for people I KNOW should have loads of them)

Image result for mohanlal elephant

Awww, this is a nice Mammootty picture!  And I don’t think it is from a movie (although I could be wrong), I think it is just him hanging out with an elephant.

Image result for mammootty elephant

This is from a movie, I think the one where Rajinikanth unites the baby elephant with it’s mother.  Rajinikanth looks very comfortable, and that elephant is cute cute cute!

Image result for rajinikanth elephant

Kamal Haasan, with a full grown elephant, tusks and everything.  And I am not sure about his elephant safety standards, hanging onto the tusk and all that.

Image result for kamal haasan ram lakshman poster

More CGI!!!!  But I don’t care, it’s such an epic image, Anushka astride an elephant.

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Not CGI, and it really really should be!  I can’t believe they managed to make Haathi Mere Saathi without massive onset injuries.  Or maybe they did have them and just hushed it up.  Anyway, Rajesh Khanna playing soccer with an elephant!

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And here’s Jackie Shroff doing something with an elephant, I am not sure what.  But he looks very manly and competent while doing it.

Image result for sridevi elephant

Vidyut Jamwal getting perhaps too intimate with an elephant.

Image result for sridevi elephant

Akshay, being delighted with an elephant.

Image result for suniel shetty elephant

Bobby Deol, a bit calmer.

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Oh it’s a widdle widgy wiggums teeny tiny sweetums!  And also Salman Khan.

Image result for salman khan elephant

Yes, Salman, this is also how I feel about this elephant.

Image result for salman khan elephant

Rana, with an elephant that really really seems too large to be true.  Perhaps a photoshopped image?  But Rana looks good.

Image result for rana daggubati elephant

Sid, nothing fancy, simply bringing them some water and saying “hey”.  And these seem like very calm and comfortable elephants.

Image result for varun dhawan elephant


Hrithik, in a blurry still from the most famous recent Hindi elephant sequence.  The man does look comfortable on an elephant.  He would have to be, after filming that whole “elephant taming” scene without a stunt double.

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And finally…….

Image result for rana daggubati elephant


Now, my responses which you can feel free to disagree with:

Favorite elephant:

Obviously, the widdle woodle baby with Salman

Image result for salman khan elephant

Most comfortable with an elephant


Image result for mohanlal elephant

Least comfortable with an elephant

Shahrukh, hands down.  He never should have allowed photographs of this.

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12 thoughts on “TGIF: World Elephant Day, People With/On Elephants

    • The elephant’s eyes were there too, but they couldn’t really compete.

      On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 6:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  1. The Haathi mere saathi elephants makes my dil go mmm… Really, Rajesh and Tanuja are replaceable and the film can be remade anyday.The elephants are the real stars. In Kerala we take elephant madness to a whole new level.Every so often the newspapers run stories about rescued baby elephants or the ‘ lootera’ elephants which raid grocery shops or even stop vehicles in lonely mountain roads and demand ‘tribute’ in the form of food before allowing them to go. In the ‘Garland of Legends’ which is a collection of folktales from all over Kerala, the elephant tales have a section of their own along with local heroes like Kayamkulam Kochunni (Nivin Pauly’s new film). The names and tales of the really famous elephants are thus immortalized.Here’s a link to the kindle edition


    • Thank you! I definitely need to read that. I tried to read a straight up history of south India and it was sooooooooooo boring, so I stopped. Although it did teach me that umbrellas are important, so that’s something. Anyway, a book of folklore looks like a much more painless way to learn stuff.

      In your opinion as a Malayali, Haathi Mere Saathi elephants are the best elephants then? Not the adorable little baby one with Salman?

      On Sat, Aug 11, 2018 at 12:58 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • The poor baby elephant looks undersized next to Salman.Rajesh never believed taking away his co-stars glory.So the Haathi mere saathi elephants appear in all their glory. I’m a bit puzzled by your reference to umbrellas.Do you mean the decorated parasols they carry on top of the elephants when the God is carried on festivals? Or perhaps the wooden parasols with which the Brahmin women of old veiled their faces?
        Garden of Legends has a nice collection of folktales.But it is by no means complete.It does not the have tales from the popular Northern Ballads of warriors such as Arokal Chekavar, Unniyarcha or Othenan of Thacholi.Perhaps the author assumed that these tales are familiar and need not be elaborated.


  2. Check this fight scene with elephant in an old malayalam film…

    Jayan,the old super star of malayalam cinema is known for performing daredevil action scenes..


    • He looks pretty comfy up there! He seems like a guy who would know how to ride an elephant somehow. The right sort of laidback but strong attitude.

      On Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 1:07 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kerala’s Celebrity Elephant at Thrissur Pooram “at 10 feet 3 inches, he is the tallest captive elephant in the country and fans just love his look – those sharp tusks, towering persona and a trunk that he drags on the ground as he walks …. What people don’t understand is that he drags his trunk to find his way forward,”

    The 53-year-old is branded the most dangerous captive elephant in the state, having killed a record 11 people and 3 elephants in its lifetime. It is also the most popular tusker with a fan following of thousands, perhaps giving close competition to Mollywood superstars in the state.
    Back in April, over 50,000 fans gathered to see this big elephant.

    Found this interesting that this blind elephant is so cared for


    • I also find it fascinating that a deadly elephant is so cared for. I could see still looking after him after the first death, maybe 2, but 11?

      On Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 7:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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