We were walking along the clifftop at Varkala Beach one morning at the end of February when we noticed a poster which seemed to be advertising a parade, including elephants, at a temple. A tu-tuk driver noticed us and said that if we came back at 4pm he could take us to the temple in question, for a reasonable price.
Well, it was too hot that afternoon to walk all the way back to the cliff, but at about 4pm I asked one of the tuk-tuk drivers who parked outside our hotel if he knew about the parade, and he said yes, he would take us there and back. We didn’t find out the name of the temple, but it was about 20 minutes away, and just as we arrived, the parade started. A wonderful experience – very noisy, with lots of enthusiam from the drummers, and at first it seemed chaotic, but it was actually well organised. People with gold sashes seemed to be in charge. We never knew what was going to appear next on the road – a giant model fish on the back of a truck, or a giant model tiger.
Click on the image above to watch a short video of the procession.
Just north of the cliff, where most of the hotels, restaurants and shops were located, was a small fishing village.