‘Anayoottu’ is an annual festival celebrated at Sree Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur in Kerala. In 2013, Anayoottu date is July 17.
Anayoottu is a festival dedicated to elephants. It means a ‘feast for elephants’. It is celebrated in Karkidakam Month (Ramayana Masam – Panja Masam) as per Kerala calendar.
Devotees believe that worshipping Lord Ganesa will ward off troubles of the season. The elephant, a symbol of Lord Ganesa, is worshipped.
At 5 AM, a team of 50 priests will perform ‘Ashtadravya Maha Ganapati Homam’. And at 7 AM, ‘Gajapuja’, in which each elephant is worshipped, will be held. The ceremony is held at the Vadakkumnathan temple once in four years.
According to the temple officials, more than 70 elephants will be fed at the annual ‘Anayoottu’ (feast for elephants) to be held at 9.30 AM. Temple Melsanti will offer rice balls to the youngest elephant of the lot to kick off the event.
The Sree Vadakkunatha Kshetra Kshema Samithy has insured the event for 1 crore rupees.
Around 12,000 coconuts, 3,500 kg jaggery and 1500 kg puffed rice will be used for the ceremony, the 30th edition of which is being conducted by the Samithy. Melam will be held in the evening.
Inputs from The Hindu.