'Aanayoottu' festival in Thrissur turns celebratory with 53 elephants, huge crowd
Fifty-three elephants including the celebrity tusker 'Thechikottukavu Ramachandran' were present during the elephant-feeding ceremony.
Published: 18th July 2022 03:47 AM | Last Updated: 18th July 2022 03:47 AM | A+A A-
THRISSUR: As rain relented for a while, and with hundreds of devotees in attendance, the 'Aanayoottu' ceremony was held at the Sree Vadakkumnathan temple with fanfare on Sunday. Fifty-three elephants including the celebrity tusker 'Thechikottukavu Ramachandran' were present during the elephant-feeding ceremony organised by the Sree Vadakkumnathan Kshethra Upadeshaka Samithi.
Marking the beginning of the ceremony, main priest Payyappilly Madhavan Namboothiri gave the first ball of cooked rice mixed with herbs and medicines to Vadakkumnathan Chandrasekharan, the eldest among the jumbos present.
Devaswom Minister K Radhakrishnan and Revenue Minister K Rajan honoured the elephant with a 'ponnada'. As this was the first 'Aanayoottu' with the participation of so many elephants after the COVID outbreak, a large number of people thronged the temple premises right from the morning.
While many were busy counting the elephants that lined up around the temple, others made video calls to their dear ones to show the beauty of Vadakkumnathan temple, a UNESCO heritage site, and the elephants gathered for 'Aanayoottu'.
Many elephant lovers waited for Thechikottukkavu Ramachandran, the second tallest elephant in Asia, as the partially-blind tusker rarely appears in public events these days.
The tusker was welcomed with claps and joyous cries, even as many used the opportunity to photograph the giant tusker. For the 'Aanayoott'u ceremony, which completed 38 years on Sunday, the organisers used about 500 kg of rice mixed with jaggery, ghee and turmeric powder.