Sashtipoorthi Fete of Gvr Padmanabhan

Published: 16th November 2014 06:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2014 08:48 AM   |  A+A-


THRISSUR:  Have you ever seen the celebration of an elephant’s ‘Sashtipoorthi’? If not, you can come to Guruvayur Sree Krishnan Temple here, the only place in the country where huge cut-outs and flex banners of elephants still greet people.

In a unique function, the Guruvayur Devaswom will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Guruvayur Padmanabhan, the most sought-after elephant in Kerala, on Tuesday with a number of elaborate rituals, marking the rare milestone in the life of an elephant. In fact, the elephant is about 74-years-old now, according to the records available with the Guruvayur Devaswom. But the occasion is being celebrated to mark the completion of its 60th year since it was offered to Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple by M/S EP Brothers, Ottappalm, said Guruvayur Devaswom Managing committee chairman T V Chandramohan.

“So we have decided to commemorate the event as it is the only elephant out of the 57 elephants in the Devaswom elephant yard, which fetches a collection of `2-2.5 lakh as fee for attending a festival in the peak season,” he said. According to the Hindu culture, the age sixty has great significance because it is considered as a turning point in one’s life. At this age, one usually begins his spiritual pursuit after fulfilling worldly commitments.  “Here in the elephant’s case too, the Devaswom has decided to give adequate rest to the jumbo and we will send the elephant to only select festivals from this year onwards,” Chandramohan said.  It is estimated that around 90 captive elephants in Kerala have crossed the age of 60 and these elephants have to be given adequate rest, said government veterinarian and elephant expert Dr P B Giridas.

Though the Kerala Captive Elephants (Management and Maintenance) Rules placed curbs on featuring of elephants that crossed 65 years in festival processions, the age limit has to be lowered to 60 considering the welfare of elephants, he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp