Gokul wins Anayottam

via Pioneer News Service | Thrissur published on February 28, 2007

Thousands of devotees cheered on 14-year-old tusker Gokul as he emerged a winner in the Anayottam, an annual race organised at the Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayur on Wednesday. The Anayottam marks the beginning of the ten-day festival at the temple.


 


 


Gokul ran past four other competitors selected from a group of 42 elephants for the race, covering a distance of 1 km from Manjulal to the temple’s portal. Manjulal is the name of a spot in the East Street of Guruvayur town, named after legendary devotee Manjula.On entering the shrine, Gokul ran around the peripheral Chuttambalam outside the sanctumsanctorum and touched the golden flag post, as the jumbo victor in the race is expected to do so. Gokul would receive special treatment inside the temple on all the days, temple sources said.


 


A big crowd, including devotees, elephant lovers and foreign tourists watched the event with great enthusiasm According to Guruvayur lore, there was a time when the temple did not have a single elephant at its disposal. Once a group of elepha-nts came running to the temple voluntarily from Thrikkamathilakam, from 25 km away and the tusker that reached the shrine first did the festival duties, says the story.


 

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