Aanayottu – A unique & grand feasting festival for elephants, Thrissur, Kerala, India.

Kerala is a paradise on earth with the lush green spread, attracting the whole world to taste the bliss of pure and unadulterated nature. Apart from its breathtaking beauty and scenic locations, Kerala is very proud of its rich and vibrant culture and traditions that are perfectly reflected in its people, architecture, art forms, cuisines and especially festivals. Kerala which is deemed as the ‘Land of Festivals‘ has a handful of festivals celebrated throughout the year with great pomp and grandeur. The festivals, rituals, and ceremonies of Kerala still follow the Malayalam Calendar. Kerala festivals are not just celebrations, it is also regarded as the occasion for remembering and honoring the traditions passed down by our ancestors.

The picture of beautifully caparisoned tuskers is the first thing that comes to the scene when we think about Kerala Festivals. Elephants are an inherent part of Kerala culture and are treated with much respect in Kerala. It is the presence of richly adorned elephants that gives a majority of the traditional festivals of Kerala a touch of grandeur and glory.

The famous Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur district of Kerala hosts the Aanayoottu, a ritualistic feeding ceremony of elephants every year in the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam that falls between the month of July to August that takes place inside the premises of the famous temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva. Over 50 unadorned elephants are arranged in a single row and thousands of people stand facing them, eagerly waiting to feed these humble beasts. The special feed for the elephants is prepared following the Ayurvedic principles using rice, coconut, sugarcane, ghee, and jaggery which are mixed with Ayurvedic medicines and fruits. Much prior to the feeding ceremony, Mahaganapathi Homam will be conducted. The youngest elephant among the herd will be fed first according to the ritual and tradition.

What you Experience:

It is really a wonderful experience to see a large number of giant, yet humble tuskers together, lined-up in a single row, waiting to be fed. And if you are an elephant lover, this will be an unforgettable treat for you. Beyond that, the divinity of the Vadakkumnathan Temple adds to the whole ambiance of the ceremony. One could see the contentment that vibrates on the faces of these lovely beasts after feeding them and that feeling you cannot express in just words.

The Specialty of the festival:

The salutation of an elephant after Aanayoottu (feeding of elephants) held at Chirakkakode Elangallur Mana, Thrissur, Kerala held on 09 Aug 2014

Feeding the elephants is considered as a very auspicious thing in Kerala. The main aim of conducting Aanayoottu or the ceremony of feeding the elephants every year is to enhance the well-being of the domesticated elephants. The main specialty of this festival is that the devotees believe that worshipping the elephants and feeding them with delicious and healthy food is a way to satisfy the Hindu God Lord Ganesha who in turn bestow his blessings upon them.


Vadakkumnathan Temple, Thrissur district of Kerala State, India.

Getting there:

By Air:

Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport to Vadakkumnathan Temple which is situated at a distance of 51.8 Km.

By Rail:

Thrissur Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Vadakkumnathan Temple which is situated at a distance of 1.7 Km.

By Road:

Vadakkumnathan Temple is easily accessible via road by bus, cabs, and autorickshaws. Thrissur Bus Station is the nearest bus station to Vadakkumnathan Temple which is just 900 m away.

Book your Kerala tour packages from KeralaTourism.Holiday and witness this grand and unique festival during your trip to Kerala which is going to be celebrated on July 17, 2019, in Thrissur.

Click to book customized Kerala tour packages & get exciting deals for Kerala voyage and explore this beautiful place on your trip to Kerala.

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