Raju (pictured above) and Lakshmi the elephant (you can see her shadow behind Raju), live in the Virupakasha temple in Hampi. Hampi is a village located in a very special place. The whole area around the village is full of boulders (huge rock fragments) that were created millions of years ago.
Lakshmi is the elephent of Lord Shiva’s temple. Her job is to gurd Shiva during the puja ceremonies that are held in the temple.
Puja is an Indian prayer ceremony held all over India.
Raju, Lakshmi’s caretaker, is responsible to prepare her for the ceremony.
Every morning he takes her to the river and washes her thoroughly.
Then he paints the colors of The puja on her forehead and ears.
Now Lakshmi is ready for the ceremony!
If you want, you can play with her and get a blessing from her (she will put her trunk on your head) when she is not busy.