It’s not every day that you ship a three tonne elephant across the Arabian Sea, through the Suez Canal, across the Mediterranean and finally down the M5 to Devon. Once you’ve met our newest edition to our store and café you’ll understand why. This beautiful and ENORMOUS solid wood elephant is over 70 years old, and after a long life outside in the sunny climes of Rajasthan he is now safely under cover, in the not - so sunny- climes of Devon.
We first fell in love with this beautiful antique Ele a few years ago, and on our frequent visits to India we have always pondered shipping him home with us. There was something magical about his size and sense of calm. It was on a trip last year that our band of four children helped persuade us to finally do it and so the epic journey began.
Before he set out on his trip some repair work was required to his majestic head and some iron staples were installed. He was then wrapped in bubble wrap, giant sheets that took four people to wrap around his huge frame and finally he was loaded by a small crane into his own 20ft container. The container was then collected by a colourfully decorated transport truck and driven across India to Mumbai before being put on a cargo ship to sail to the UK.
The tricky part was unloading him at the store, and some heavy machinery was brought in by friend and he was carefully placed in the courtyard for all to see. Sadly his stapled head is still fragile and some more repair work is required but he is still stoic, solid and beautiful.
Hindus have worshipped elephants for centuries and consider them the representation or the living incarnation of Ganesh, the elephant headed deity. Each part of the deity Ganesh represents a symbolic function. The large ears mean he is a patient listener. His small eyes are believed to behold the future, recognize truth and see not from the physical but through the spirit. The long narrow trunk allows him to smell what is good and evil, while the big belly symbolizes its ability to digest all the good and evil in life.
The only small downside is that Indian mythology also believes that white elephants are associated with rain and are identified with rain-bearing clouds, so we apologise if we bring any more rain to the area. Come and see our beautiful Ele the next time you visit our Nkuku Lifestyle Store & Cafe.