This temple in Kerala is getting a robotic elephant
Robots have entered several spheres of public life and now they have also made their way to temples in India. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has offered a robotic elephant to Irinjadapilli Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur, Kerala. The 800kg metal behemoth can move its ears and tail, spew water, and also carry people on its back.
Why does this story matter?
- Maintaining elephants for temple rituals is commonplace in India. However, their upkeep requires a lot of money and effort.
- Robotic elephants can serve as a suitable alternative. Not only can they help in bringing down costs but also save the animals from being harmed.
- We hope the steps taken by Irinjadapilli temple get emulated elsewhere as well.
A brief look at the robot elephant
The robotic elephant is called Irinjadappilli Raman. It has been made by placing a rubber coating on an iron frame. It is 11 feet tall and weighs 800kg. When its switch is pressed by the mahout, the robot spews water through its trunk. There are also five electric motors within the body for controlling various functions. Four people can sit on the elephant.
Who made the elephant?
The robotic elephant was made by four sculptors from Chalakudy, namely, Santo, Jinesh, Prashanth, and Robin. It was built for Rs. 5 lakh. The Irinjadappilli Raman will be formally inaugurated at the Irinjadapilli Sree Krishna Temple on the occasion of Nadayiruthal (when elephants are presented before the deity) on February 26. It will be the first such instance in Kerala.
Why is a robotic elephant being introduced?
According to office bearers of Irinjadapilli Sree Krishna Temple, maintaining and parading live elephants entail high costs and risks. Chances of animal cruelty are also there. By replacing them with robots, the temple authorities can cut down on expenses and also safeguard the animals from being tortured. This is a great initiative and could serve as a role model for other religious institutions elsewhere.
Robotic wild animal shows are held in India too
While robotic animals in temples are a novelty, robotic wild animal shows have been going on in India for quite some time. One such event started in Bengaluru back in 2017 when creatures like white tigers and hippos were showcased.