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The History behind Anayoottu: paved way from Asian Games

Published: 22nd Jul, 2022


Anayoottu is an annual ritual celebrated at SreeVadakkunnathan Temple at Thrissur.

Asiad Appu

  • The elephants included Kuttinarayanan of GuruvayurDevaswom, later came to be known as ‘Asiad Appu’
  • They are now the mascot of the Asian Games.


  • This ritual was started to help elephants paraded at 1982 Games’ opening ceremony held in
  • Accordingly, Kerala’s elephants were selected, along with other cultural forms of the country, for display at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games held in Delhi in 1982.
  • Many of them belonged to the Guruvayur temple from PunnathurKotta.
  • After participating successfully in the parade at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games, the elephants returned.
  • But the long journey made many of them sick and weak.
  • To help them regain health, Anayoottu was started at the SreeVadakkunnathan temple, where special nutritious food was fed to the

About Anayoottu

  • The Aanayoottu(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.
  • Aanayoottu, gajapooja, is conducted every year.
  • 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 fulfilment 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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