Oh, for a bite of 100kg, jumbo-shaped peda

Sweet-makers of Bokakhat gear up to prepare giant delicacy for Kaziranga Elephant Festival
Guwahati, Jan 29 : According to Hindu mythology, the mouse of elephant-headed God Ganesha is very fond of sweets.
So what better way to propitiate the elephant-headed God than by serving him an elephant-shaped, 100kg peda when the seventh Elephant Festival gets under way at Kaziranga National Park on February 9?
Apart from the gargantuan peda, 100 elephants will display their skills at the festival. “We are expecting a large number of foreign tourists this year at the park,” said Mridul Mahanta, sub-divisional officer of Bokakhat and the secretary of the festival committee.
“The town nearest to Kaziranga is Bokakhat, which is famous for its sweetmeat delicacies. So a jumbo-sized peda is the best gift we can offer to the tourists,” the official said.
The job to prepare the elephantine peda has been entrusted to the sweet-makers of Bokakhat town. Mahanta said nine quintals of milk, 25kg of sugar and mawa would be required to prepare the peda which would be formally cut by chief minister Tarun Gogoi while inaugurating the festival.
“We have already placed the order for the ingredients required to make the peda and every one in Bokakhat town is excited about the idea,” he said.
Apart from the local milk suppliers, a dairy farm at Bokakhat town will supply the bulk of the milk. “We are thrilled about the idea to prepare such a huge peda, it has become a challenge for us,” said an employee of Gopal Krishna Mistan Bhandar, one of the oldest and famous peda outlets in Bokakhat town, over phone. He said it would take skilled hands to prepare the gigantic sweet but “since all our employees are experienced, we think we can pull it off.”
Mahanta said the number of elephants at the festival has been restricted to 100 since it becomes difficult to manage the animals. “We have learnt a few lessons from the six times we have organised this event and are keeping the number to 100.”
Nearly 200 elephants from various parts of the state took part in last year’s edition of the festival.
Apart from the peda and the elephant procession, a marathon has been organised to spread the word on wildlife preservation during the four-day celebrations.
The marathon will start from Bokakhat town and end at Kohora. It will cover a 30km stretch along National Highway 37.
A traditional food festival and an exhibition of handloom and handicraft products will also be held.