Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Anayoottu Ritual of Kerala


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Anayoottu

Mains level: Not Much

Anayoottu, an annual ritual at the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur was recently held.

Why in news?

  • There is a history behind this annual ritual at the temple.
  • Kerala’s elephant pooram was selected, along with other cultural forms of the country, for display at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games held in Delhi in 1982.
  • Elephants were transported all throughout the country to New Delhi.

What is Anayoottu?

  • The Aanayoottu (gaja pooja/ feeding of elephants) is a festival held in the precincts of the Vadakkunnathan temple in City of Thrissur, in Kerala.
  • The festival falls on the first day of the month of Karkkidakam (timed against the Malayalam calendar), which coincides with the month of July.
  • It involves a number of unadorned elephants being positioned amid a multitude of people for being worshipped and fed.
  • Crowds throng the temple to feed the elephants.

Mythology behind

  • It is believed that offering poojas and delicious feed to the elephants is a way to satisfy Lord Ganesha—the god of wealth and of the fulfillment of wishes.
  • The Vadakkunnathan temple, which is considered to be one of the oldest Shiva temples in southern India, has hosted the Aanayottoo event for the past few years.


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