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Meet CR Lejumol - boss of 44 Guruvayur elephants

An Ardent devotee of Lord Sree Krishna of Guruvayur, C R Lejumol is not scared of the temple’s elephants.

Published: 23rd June 2022 06:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2022 09:29 AM   |  A+A-

CR Lejumol

CR Lejumol

By Express News Service

KOCHI: An ardent devotee of Lord Sree Krishna of Guruvayur, CR Lejumol is not scared of the temple’s elephants. Born into a family of mahouts, she has been obsessed with elephants and loved to feed them. Lejumol, who took charge of Guruvayur temple’s Punnathur Kotta on Wednesday, says it is a blessing from the Lord. She is the first woman manager in the 47-year history of the elephant camp.

Punnathur Kotta houses 44 elephants, which have been donated by devotees at different periods of time. Lejumol will be in charge of the elephants’s upkeep. The Punnathur Kotta was a fort owned by a local ruler, which was purchased by the Guruvayur Devaswom in 1975 to keep the temple elephants. The camp is a sprawling green area spread across 10 acres.

“She will have to coordinate the 150 staffers including the mahouts and ensure the wellbeing of elephants,” said temple administrator K P Vinayan. Lejumol’s father Ravindran Nair and father-in-law Sankara Narayanan had retired after years of service as mahouts of the devaswom. Her husband Prasad was also a mahout.

Lejumol, who had joined the Guruvayur Devaswom as a lower division clerk in 1996, was an assistant manager in the works department before taking charge of the Kotta. “It is a great privilege to look after Lord Guruvayurappan’s elephants in such an official capacity. We have 44 elephants here and 150 employees including mahouts. The devaswom has given contract for the supply of palm leaves, grass and banana stem for the elephants. The quantity of food for each elephant is fixed by veterinarians. Next month, we will have an ayurveda rejuvenation treatment for the elephants,” said Lejumol.

“My duty includes ensuring deployment of elephants for daily rituals at the temple. During festival season, we send around 20 elephants to other temples. When elephants are in masth, we have to give them rest and select other elephants after conducting medical checkup,” she said. Lejumol’s sons Akshay Krishnan and Ananthakrishnan are also thrilled over their mother’s new job.



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  • T G Ramachandran

    Are the elephants in good health?After seeing the way the temple & its surroundings are functioning which is not hard pressed for funds,I have my own doubts about the fate of these elephants!
    5 days ago reply
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