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An elephant and his master stand under the arcade of the Shri Minakshi hindu temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India, on December 27, 2007. Upon entering the sacred site, hindu devotees make coin offerings to the elephant in return for a gentle trunk tap on the head, in lieu of blessing. Elephants are revered in India as they are associated with Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva. Ganesh is often invoked at the beginning of any undertaking, as he is the 'remover of obstacles'.