Latest Kerala Local News: Gajasangamam will be held at the premises of Thirunakkara Temple on A

Kottayam: A Gajasangamam or the big jumbo festival, to summon the Onam season in style, would be held in Thirunakkara. The Elephant Party will be at 4 p.m. on August 27.

The Thiruonam festival takes place on August 29. This year, up to 40 elephants are expected to participate in the Elephant Festival, which is offered as a special ritual by elephant lovers, at the premises of Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple. This is the second time that the Anayoottu festival would be held in Thirunakkara. Last year, 35 elephants participated in this festival.

In Kerala, elephants are revered as much as the physical incarnation of Lord Ganesh. Meanwhile, Anayootu, or feeding the jumbos, is also a ritual that takes place after the iconic Pooram or the annual temple festival.

A special Ganapati pooja led by Tantri head priest Kandaru Mohanaru would be held at the temple before the festival. Holy water would be sprinkled on the elephants and adorned with tilak (application of sandalwood paste to the forehead) before welcoming them to the temple floor via the eastern direction. During this time, the spirit of the ritual would be enhanced by the driving rhythms of the pancharimelam or the traditional percussion orchestra. The names and fabulous physical attributes of each jumbo would be announced as they were welcomed into the temple grounds for the ritual.

The Anayoottu ritual would be inaugurated by the president of Travancore Dewaswom, K Ananthagopan. Meanwhile, Minister VN Vasavan would launch the logo and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan MLA would inaugurate the nilavara nirakkal ritual.

Chairman of the temple’s advisory board, TC Ganesh, said about 300 kilograms of rice would be used to feed the elephants on a special day. Rice dumplings mixed with ghee, jaggery, coconut and other delicacies, sugar cane and medicinal herbs were also given to the elephants. The ritual will be conducted jointly by the Dewaswom Council and the Temple Advisory Committee. During this time, police personnel and the Forest Service would organize security facilities.

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