Why This Kerala Elephant’s Death Anniversary is Celebrated

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An elephant of Guruvayur garlands the statue of Kesavan
An elephant of Guruvayur garlands the statue of Kesavan

Guruvayur: Kerala’s temple town Guruvayur is observing the 38th death anniversary of its favourite elephant. This morning, in keeping with tradition, the ‘chief elephant’ of the Guruvayur temple, accompanied by other elephants, garlanded the statue of Kesavan in the town.

Kesavan, who died in 1976 at the age of 64, had served the Sri Krishna temple of Guruvayur for over 50 years. As the chief elephant, it was his task to carry the idol of the deity for all the rituals of the temple.

Kesavan was just a calf then, only 10 years old. But he grew to…

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