THRISSUR: The 10-day long annual festival of Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayur began with the elephant race on Sunday.Celebrated in the Malayalam month of ‘Kumbhom’, on the first day of the annual festival the ‘sheeveli’ was held without the elephant. After the ushapooja, the idol of Sree Krishna was carried by priest Nakeri Hari Namboothiri. Devotees waited from morning to witness the sheeveli without the elephant, a practice that happens only on the opening day of the festival.
The temple town is all set to celebrate the festival in all its charm. During the ten days, devotees from all over the world will arrive at Guruvayur for offering worship. Restaurants and hotels are all set to welcome the devotees, while the municipality is ensuring safe and hygienic food and water by carrying out routine inspections.Guruvayur Devaswom chairman K B Mohandas said an amount of `2.88 crore has been allocated for the festival this year.
The cultural programmes began with the kathakali performance on Nalacharitham and Duryodhanavadham, on Sunday. Various art forms will be performed throughout the day from 10 am to 10 pm during the festival days. Thiruvathirakkali, ottanthullal, kolkkali and ashtapadi will be performed.
Guruvayur Devaswom’s Gopikannan emerged winner in the elephant race. Out of the five elephants that were selected through the lucky draw, Gopikannan entered the temple gopuram and the tusker will carry the idol of Sree Krishna for the ‘sheeveli’ everyday.