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Punnathur Kotta: Grooming, respecting and worshipping

 
 

Location: 2 km from the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple, Thrissur District.

Over forty elephants are groomed at the Punnathur kotta (kotta means 'fort'). Many elephants are brought as ritual offering to the temple. You can spend a whole day with these huge mammals here.

Watching the naughty baby elephants' playful antics is an entertaining experience. The place provides you an opportunity to watch how the sick elephants are medically treated in the traditional manner. One can also watch the training given to the elephants for various ritualistic performances.

Remember you are in the land where people worship the elephant-faced god Lord Ganapathy. Grooming elephants was considered a status symbol. With the decay of the joint family system, supporting elephants became a financial burden for many families. Gradually various temple managements took the charge of looking after these animals. Anyhow, even today elephants play a key role in Kerala's fairs and festivals.

Getting there: Guruvayoor is about  32 km from Thrissur town.
Nearest railway station: Guruvayoor station is at a walkable distance from the shrine. 
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about  58 km from Thrissur town.

 
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