'Aanayoottu', festival of feeding elephants begins at Vadakkunnathan Temple in Kerala's Thrissur

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A visual of 'Aanayoottu ' festival at Vadakkunnathan Temple n Thrissur (Photo/ANI)
A visual of 'Aanayoottu ' festival at Vadakkunnathan Temple n Thrissur (Photo/ANI)

Thrissur (Kerala) [India], July 17 (ANI): A total of 15 elephants participated in 'Aanayoottu ' the ritualistic feeding ceremony of elephants at the Vadakkunnathan temple on Saturday in Kerala's Thrissur. The ceremony, marks the start of a month of wellness treatment for elephants.

The month of Karikadam that began today is considered an ideal time not only for Ayurveda rejuvenation therapies for people but also wellness treatment for elephants.

The Vadakkunnathan temple that has been celebrating the ritual for close to four decades had allowed only 15 tuskers for the ceremony this time.

All 15 elephants were lined up on the temple ground and were fed healthy and delicious food.

"Medicines mixed in rice along with fruits such as watermelon, banana, and pineapple were given to the elephants. Also their favourite sugarcane. This marked the beginning of 30-day wellness treatment for elephants under the Cochin Devaswom Board. The treatment for elephants is carried out every year during the Karikadam month in Malayalam calendar," said Hari, advisory committee member of Vadakkumnatha temple.

Usually, the Aanayoottu festival draws big crowds, but due to COVID this time the public was not allowed to participate.

"Aanayoottu is a traditional festival held in Vadakkumnatha temple for many years. After Thrissur pooram, the event attracts elephant lovers from across the state. But this time only 50 people were allowed to participate that included the mahouts of elephants," said Raghu, temple committee member.

The ceremonies started with the 'Ganapati Homa'. Priest Tantri Puliyannoor Sankaranarayanan Namboodirippad performed 'Gaja Pooja' - elephant pooja before the elephants were offered the food. (ANI)

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