Spl food, prayers for jumbos

Pampered pachyderms

This prayer, attended by nearly 10,000 devotees, is done once in four years.

M G Jagadeesh, the temple manager, said, “Gaja pooja’ (elephant prayers) is basically a special session of prayers for the well being of the elephants. The pooja is done by the ‘tantris’ (priests) and five elephants are lined up at a time and are asked to squat on specially laid woollen carpets. The prayer ends in about five minutes and the next set of elephants are lined up “

The temple invites contributions from the devotees to cover the expenses for the prayers. “The total expense for this came to around Rs 5 lakh. After the pooja all the elephants are treated to a sumptuous meal which includes 5 kg of rice, pineapple and other items,” said Jagadeesh.

Meanwhile, in the famed Guruvayoor Temple, around 30 km from here, nearly 65 elephants will go for a month long rejuvenation programme.

Guruvayoor temple has 65 captive elephants.

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