Ganesh (the elephant god) has a temple in Pondicherry. If your god is an elephant you might as well have a full grown real elephant stood outside. It brings in the tourists, generates a bit of spectacle and no doubt a good supply of fertilizer for the plants.
You feed the elephant some offerings and he pats you on the head. Nice. You are now guaranteed your place in nirvana or something. It all seems a lot easier than all that catholic rosary business.
Interestingly, the elephant wasn’t chained up, the “keeper” had a small garden cane to keep it in check. I rather get the feeling that if the elephant decided it was fed up with all this anointing business and fancied a stroll along the promenade there would not have been a great deal anyone could have done about it.
Still, with a steady supply of coconuts, peanuts and the occasional tourists straw hat it seemed happy enough with its position in life. At least nobody was eyeing it up with a view to creating four umbrella stands.