Thrissur: After initially being denied permission, the famed elephant Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran opened the annual Thrissur Pooram festival at the ancient Vadakkumnathan temple yesterday.
Thousands of people thronged the temple to witness the grand opening of the festival that is considered as the mother of all temple festivals. The 10.5-foot-tall Ramachandran with the idol of ‘neithilakkavilamma‘ atop it pushed open the southern entrance of the temple.
According to a media report, the police and temple authorities had tough time shifting the jumbo from the ground after the rituals and they had strict instructions by the district authorities.
Several restrictions were made – the elephant can take part in the ritual only for an hour from 9.30 am, four mahouts should escort the animal and barricades should be constructed on a 10-metre radius to prevent people from getting closer to the jumbo.
Kerala’s tallest elephant, has been been performing the ritual since 2014, was given conditional nod Saturday to participate in the event after the animal cleared the fitness test.
A team of three veterinarians conducted the medical examination of the 54-year-old elephant and the team had also submitted a report to the Thrissur collector T V Anupama stating that the elephant was fit to participate in the vilambaram ritual as part of ‘pooram‘.