Mon, Apr 24, 2017 | updated 12:52 PM IST

Beauty contest of elephants highlights the annual festival in Nepal

Updated: Dec 31, 2016 08:17 IST      
Beauty contest of elephants highlights the annual festival in Nepal

Chitwan [Nepal], Dec. 31 (ANI): A Beauty contests and polo races were the highlight of a five-day annual elephant festival that started on Tuesday in Chitwan, Nepal.

Guided by their mahouts, the elephants kicked around a ball and scored goals.

"They are playing here and there, sometimes even chasing each other, sometimes the ball goes out of boundaries...they have done extremely well," one spectator said.

"About 100 elephants took part in the 13th Chitwan Elephant Festival," the organisers said.

Mahouts around the world have come under fire from animal rights groups for what they say is the mistreatment of their elephants. Mahouts have defended their training methods and said the instruments they use to control the elephants do not hurt them.

One part of the festival involves parading the elephants painted colourfully. The animals are judged not only for their decorations, but also for the quality of their skin.

"The objective of the beauty contest for the elephants is to create a friendly atmosphere between the elephant and the mahout, apart from the displaying decorations on the elephants," one of the judges, Miran Rijal, said.

Chitwan is one of the most popular destinations in the Himalayan country. Located about 170 km (105 miles) from Kathmandu, the place is popular for its wildlife and elephant safaris.

Due to a devastating earthquake in 2015 and a four-month blockade along a major trading point with India that was lifted in February this year, tourism numbers have dwindled.

"Mainly, after the earthquake and the blockade from India, the tourism in Nepal has gone down so badly. So, we are in the phase of increasing the number of tourism arrivals in Nepal," said the elephant festival's media coordinator, Keshav Pandey.

Though the region used to welcome nearly 200,000 tourists in a single year, the number has dropped to less than half after the disaster of 2015. This year, the festival has introduced elephant polo for the first time in its history, which is expected to draw huge number of foreign and domestic tourists.

The tourism industry is one of Nepal's biggest earners, bringing in millions of dollars for the impoverished country. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): An application was filed on behalf of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh's wife Pratibha Singh alleging that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) didn't follow proper procedure while filing the chargesheet in connection with the disproportionate assets case the former is involved with.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr. 24 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today demanded that the ruling dispensation at the Centre must follow the footsteps of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and reach out to the disillusioned and angry youth so as to restore a peaceful atmosphere for governance.

Full Story >>

Panaji (Goa) [India], April 24 (ANI): The Panaji District and Sessions Court on Monday granted ex-parte interim bail to former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat in connection with the 2013 mining scam case.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr. 24 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence here today amid a deteriorating law and order situation in the state, stated it is important to hold talks at the earliest and restore a peaceful atmosphere.

Full Story >>

SC reinstates Kerala DGP T.P. Senkumar

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 11:47 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday directed the reinstatement of former Director General of Police (DGP) T.P. Senkumar after noting he was removed from the post "arbitrarily".

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], April 24 (ANI): With numerous incidents of triple talaq coming to the fore, All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) president Shaishta Amber on Monday advocated that justice will not be meted out until a law is made in this regard.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh is all set to get four new police stations.

Full Story >>

Mumbai [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Following reports of a track fracture between the Vashi and the Mankhurd stations, local train services in Mumbai were affected on Monday.

Full Story >>

BJP will meet Congress' fate soon: Shiv Sena

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 09:50 IST

Mumbai [India], Apr 24 (ANI): The Shiv Sena on Monday took a jibe at its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said its saffron partner in its incumbent times was enjoying the same political status as Congress used to do in its glorious time and hence, will meet a similar fate soon.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Apr 24 (ANI): A security guard at late Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's Kodanad estate was killed on late Sunday night by unidentified men.

Full Story >>

Hyderabad [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Amid the raging debate over 'Triple Talaq' and the rights of Muslim women, another case of the age-old practice has emerged in the by-lanes of Hyderabad.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Apr 24 (ANI): A crucial Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Uttar Pradesh Government coordination meeting will take place here today.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr. 24 (ANI): In the wake of the current turbulent atmosphere in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today to discuss the situation and possibly formulate a solution.

Full Story >>

Bengaluru/Lucknow, [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Niti Aayog meeting, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said that all political parties should work for the welfare of the people without politicising developmental endeavors.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Apr 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court will today hear the plea seeking a direction for filling up the vacancies in the police forces in six states.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Apr 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court will today hear the plea filed by former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and senior counsel Indira Jaising in connection with the designation of senior lawyers.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Apr 24 (ANI): Former Border Security Force (BSF) jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav, who was dismissed from the BSF over his viral video of poor food quality for jawans, is likely to appeal against his dismissal from service in a Delhi court today.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Apr 24 (ANI): A Delhi court on Monday is likely to pronounce its order in a fake passport case allegedly involving noted gangster Chhota Rajan and three others.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], Apr 24 (ANI): A Delhi Court on Monday, is likely to take cognizance of the charge sheet filed against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in a Disproportionate Assets (DA) case.

Full Story >>

BJP condemns Amroha triple talaq shocker

Updated: Apr 24, 2017 06:26 IST

Mumbai/Lucknow, [India], Apr 24 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday condemned the 'Amroha triple talaq', saying it is high time to abolish the Islamic practice to dissolve marriage which was destroying Muslim women's life.

Full Story >>