On seeing it start to rain with the singing of Cacofonix at the village of the Gauls, the Indian fakir Watziznehm falls off from his flying carpet. He explains to Chief Vitalstatistix that he came searching for someone to make it rain in his country, a kingdom in the Ganges Valley within the following 1001 hours. Else as he explains, Princess Orinjade, daughter of Rajah Wotzit, will be sacrificed to the gods. Apparently, this prophecy is part of an evil scheme by the Grand Vizier Hoodunnit, to seize the throne.
Vitalstatistix agrees to send the rain-making Cacofonix to India, accompanied by Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix. All five mount the flying carpet, but their journey is often interrupted either by Obelix's insistence on stopping for food, by Cacofonix's attempts to sing, and once by a lightning strike which forces them to replace the carpet. The Gauls eventually arrive in India with exactly 30 hours, 30 minutes, and 30 seconds to save Orinjade; but Cacofonix has lost his voice during the journey. Rajah Wotzit's doctors proclaim that to regain his voice, Cacofonix must take an overnight bath in a combination of elephant milk, dung and hair. Accordingly, the Gauls and Watziznehm take Cacofonix to elephant-trainer Howdoo and set up the bath, but Hoodunnit sends his henchmen to kidnap the bard and take him to an elephants' graveyard to be trampled by the wild elephant herd. The Indian adventure continues…