Aanayoottu (Elephant feast) at Vadakkumnathan Temple
Aanayootu is the ritual of feeding of elephants, held in the precincts of the Vadakkunnathan temple. The festival is held on the first day of the month of Karkkidakam (July). The elephants are aligned in a single row, with numerous people facing them to feed the elephants. Gaja pooja is conducted every year during Aanayoottu. People believe that offering poojas and feeding the elephants is a way to satisfy Lord Ganesha. Sugar-cane leaves, coconut, jaggery and the sweet mix of Ganapthi pooja prasadam are the special feed of the elephants.
Importance of Aanayoottu
Elephants are regarded as sacred animals by people of Kerala. This is the main reason why majority of the famous temples have their own elephants. The presence of elephants can also be seen on all important Kerala temple festivals and other rituals. Feeding elephants is also considered very auspicious.
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