Elephant beauty pageant held in Nepali tourist hotspot


A beauty pageant of elephants was held at Sauraha in Chitwan, a tourist hotspot destination in central Nepal as part of a three-day elephant festival.

The festival that carries on every year includes elephant soccer match and a 300-meter race of elephants.

This year, six elephants wearing colorful clothes and their bodies painted by handlers participated in the beauty pageant held in Chitwan National Park where tourists enjoy elephant rides and jungle safaris.

Six elephants– Bhawanikali, Chanchalkali, Roopkali, Dhirendrakali, Basantikali and Birendrakali –contended each other with their catwalk, taking forward and backward steps moves.

Finally at the day end, six judges scored their performance based on their poise, discipline, appearance and overall health.

Dhirendrakali scored the highest points, followed by Chanchalkali and Bhawanikali. The elephant festival has been held every year since 2004 by the Hotel Association of Chitwan in an effort to promote tourism and conservation of wildlife, according to Keshav Poudel, coordinator of the event. The beauty pageant was added to the festival this year.

“Elephants are a very important part of jungle safaris and tourism. Therefore it is important to keep them healthy,” Poudel said, elaborating on the purpose of the event.