“Tara started her life as a begging elephant, who had to scrounge a living for herself and her keepers. In 1989, our friends Mark Shand and Aditya Patankar purchased Tara in Orissa. Mark then rode Tara, very gently, for several hundred miles to the Sonepur Mela, a huge animal fair held annually in Bihar. He was accompanied by a jeep load of stores and delicacies, with Aditya and a mahout in tow. His book about his adventures 'Travels on my Elephant' became a best seller.

At Sonepur, Mark set up his tent with a Union Jack fluttering outside. Dressed in a dhoti, he prepared to sell Tara to the highest bidder. Mark received a number of offers. Tara was a particularly docile creature who stood out among the many difficult elephants that were for sale. My wife and daughter, Anne and Belinda, were visiting Sonepur at the time. Mark was delighted to see them, and rather impulsively decided to gift Tara to us so that she would have a happy home at Kipling Camp, rather than continue life as a working elephant. Thereafter there was a certain amount of problem trying to persuade Tara to board a truck for the long drive to her new home in Kanha !

Tara is a much loved member of our family and very popular with all our guests who greatly enjoy walking her down to the Banjar River and assisting in her afternoon bathing. Tara lives in her enormous 'Palace' at the Camp… which replaced two that she had previously pulled down.”
...Bob Wright,
(October 2003)
“When asked what was his favourite place, Mark Shand replied “…Kiping Camp in Madhya Pradesh, where my elephant Tara lives. I ride, feed and wash her every day – the ultimate therapy for me.”
Interview with Mark Shand
Tatler Magazine, Jan. 2011
  Mark Shand
on Tara
Kipling Camp Kipling Camp Kipling Camp Kipling Camp Kipling Camp