Above all the religious Celebrations, the ‘Feeding of Elephants’ is an important South-Indian Festival. This very unique sacred gaiety is specifically observed in the Indian state of Kerala. During Njangattiri Aanayoottu, devotees gather in a throng and give medicated food after worshipping elephants as they believe, these large trunks, long curved ivory tusks, and large ears mammals are real manifestations of Lord Ganesha. Therefore it is said that: the most refreshing day to feed mammals as a ritual is Njangattiri Aanayoottu.
Every year, it is solemnized at the Njangattiri Bhagavathi Temple in Pattambi town, Palakkad district which is located a distance of 100 kilometers from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. As per the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam, Njangattiri Aanayoottu in Kerala celebrates on Friday, 22 July 2022.
In Kerala, the date and time of every single festival as well as the local traditions (customs) are followed in accordance with the Malayalam calendar. Therefore, the populace of Kerala prefers to commemorate any religious ceremony by cross-checking it with Malayalam Holy Book.
Some Basic Rituals of Njangattiri Aanayoottu
Monsoon in Kerala is the time for Reawakening:
Yes, the local people who reside in Kerala as well as the tourists who visit Kerala and nearby places, during this festival season wait for Monsoon to come as there is a quiet beauty found in nature when heaven pour its sheer love through rainfall. Hence, the local residents and natives involve themselves in rejuvenation and spa therapies.
The notable Custom of offering food to Mammals:
‘Aanayottu’ refers to feeding the elephants. As, in Kerala religious places, Elephants are essentially very significant for Kerala’s temple rituals. Therefore, the Celebration begins with the honor of feeding aseptic (hygienic) food to the elephants and pachyderms (a mammal similar to an elephant) as a part of the sacrament and the temple ritual by following Ayurvedic principles. The admirers adorn and decorate big elephants, very beautifully and let these elephants line up in a row for their traditional customs to feed them one by one by applying vermillion and rice in their heads.
The chief temple priest is the first one to offer the food
A large quantity of healthy and nutritive food-stuffs is cooked on the day of the festival inside the temple premises. In each and every famous temple or religious place, there is one foremost priest who performs the basic rituals and customs in the sanctum-sanctorum. At the time of the ritual, the main priest or the pandit is the one who feeds the elephant first with a proper set of customs and traditions, followed by the worshipers in the temple complex.
Kerala is full of alluring landscapes, charming riversides, emerald backwaters, lofty mountains, and unlimited adventure. Being the most attractive state of India, we suggest you take a visit to discover awe-inspiring festivals and their alluring rituals, especially in the month of June-July that for sure will leave imprints on your soul and heart.