An exemplar gory story of how the British/East India Company colonialist Goras, slaughtered the majestic elephants of the Cumbum valley near Dindigul/Kodaikanal (Tamilnadu) in cold blood - all in the name of 'sports' and 'entertainment.' THREAD 1/n

"The mode of taking the elephant in the neighbouring district of Madura is very different: there the herds are driven to the top of a natural pass (named Cumbum), near the head of the Dindigul valley, whence they have a view of the cultivation of the low country, and ... 2/n

"... having been harassed in the jungles by fires and hunger, and being driven by the hunters in their rear, they at length rush through an opening between two rocks, so narrow as to admit but of one elephant at a time. The descent being thence rapid, they rush down and... 3/n

"... fall into pits prepared for their reception, about ten feet square and ten deep. The ground here is chequered like a chess-board, if I may use the expression, with these pits, with a steep mountain on either side, and a ditch in the front. The pits being covered ... 4/n

"... loosely with straw, several of the elephants fall into them at the first rush, when the rest, making a precipitate retreat, occupy the ground between the entrance and lines of pits.

Here they are shot by the sportsmen posted on each side. ... 5/n

"... On one occasion sixty-three elephants were
in this manner destroyed by "Mantons and Purdeys," in about four hours... 6/n

[SIXTY THREE elephants! This is a cowardly bloody SLAUGHTER, not entertainment!]

"... and at another time in Coimbatoor, before the art of taking them was so well understood, one sportsman, an acquaintance of mine, bagged twenty-six elephants in the course of the day. ... 7/n

[ONE 'hunter' massacres TWENTY SIX elephants in a single day!]

"... But on both occasions, the sportsmen knew their work
better than the “murderers of Chuny in Eareter Change.” A single small ball in the front of the head, in the hollow just above the insertion of the proboscis, or (should the animal present his side) ... 8/n

" either temple, conveys immediate death to the largest of the tribe. ... 9/n

"...The rush of the elephants towards the pits is a grand spectacle; the forest crashes and seems alive with them, and their trumpeting, when they discover the pits, is a terrific, but to the sportsman, not an unpleasing sound. ...10/n


[I am from a nearby town called Periyakulam; and, in the late 1980s, after I had read the book from which these excerpts have been taken - I went to this part of the Cumbum valley, actually to the exact spot where these 63 elephants were massacred in cold blood - and wept.] 11/n

All above excerpts, but for 11/n, are from the book: Narrative of a Journey to the Falls of the Cauvery: With an Historical and Descriptive Account of the Neilgherry Hills by H. Jarvis (Smith, Elder and Company, 1834) 12/12


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