Thrissur, Mar. 13: Devotees and tourists thronged Guruvayur Temple in Kerala to watch the annual elephant race, which heralds the beginning of a 10-day-long festival in the temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
The elephant race, locally known as ‘Anayottam’, marks the beginning of the annual Guruvayur festival, celebrated in the month of February-March at the Guruvayur Sreekrishna Temple in Thrissur district of Kerala.
It is believed that the temple did not have any elephant and one pachyderm went running to the altar of Lord Krishna’s idol in the temple.
“Today the programme is commemorating the day when there was no elephant owned by this particular temple. And for the temple rituals, it is believed that an elephant came from some other place, and it ran to the temple for carrying the idol of the god. And today, as a part of the festival of this Guruvayur devaswom (town), they are celebrating that day. Starting with that, we will have the flag hoisting ceremony for the one weeklong festival, which is going to happen in this temple,” said a veterinary doctor, Rajeev.
As part of the race, elephants start from half a kilometre away till the eastern entrance of the temple. After entering the temple, the elephant is supposed to take a full round of the sanctum sanatorium and then only it is declared a winner. (ANI)