Travels on My Elephant

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Overlook Press, 1998 - Travel - 266 pages
Started on a whim and pursued with a passion, modern-day adventurer Mark Shand's remarkable journey through India on the back of a 30-year-old elephant named Tara covered 800 miles, from the Bay of Bengal to the world's largest elephant bazaar at Sonepur on the Ganges. Rescued from a life of begging, Tara, scrawny and mistreated, was transformed through Shand's tender attention and care on their journey into a star attraction. Blessed by priests, entertained by princes, they shuffled happily through towns and villages, Tara sucking up rice and bananas from roadside stands and Shand scattering rupees in compensation. Everywhere they went, the adventurer, his unusual steed, and his five eccentric Indian companions drew an inquisitive crowd of admirers. Rivaling Kipling, this story of man and elephant is by turns exciting, terrifying and moving. Merely arriving at Sonepur on the Ganges was not the end of the story, and finding a good home for Tara was to present the greatest challenge of all for a man who had just traveled 800 miles through heat, hardship and danger. With an ear for the comic, an eye for the exotic and a taste for the bizarre, Shand informs as he entertains, painting a vivid picture of Indian life, customs and locale as he takes us through his daily adventures with Tara in this transporting memoir.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SueinCyprus - LibraryThing

Fascinating account of the author's trek across India on an elephant. The story starts as he decides to do this slightly crazy feat, and then tells of the difficulty of purchasing an elephant. Tara ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

``I was restless again. The last time I had been restless, I ended up being pursued by cannibals in Indonesia.'' This is how British travel-writer Shand explains why he skipped off to India to buy an ... Read full review

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