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Aanayoottu - the ceremonial feast for the elephants

The world’s largest mammals, the elephants, are an integral part of the Kerala culture and they maintain a very special place too. Their very presence in the South Indian temples explains their significance and feeding them is considered highly auspicious.

The Aanayoottu festival, which literally means the feeding of the elephants, is celebrated in the precincts of the Vadakkumnathan temple in Thrisur or Trichur district of Kerala. The annual festival is celebrated on the first day of the month of Karkkidakam (July-August) according to the Malayalam calendar.

Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine, considers this month ideal for all kinds of rejuvenation therapies. The core idea of feeding the elephants is to give them too, the rejuvenation therapies. A large crowd gathers around the premises of the Vadakkumnathan temple, to witness this ceremonial feast.