Remembering Guruvayur Kesavan

published on November 20, 2007


GURUVAYUR: Many may wonder when they hear that the death anniversary of a tusker is being observed for the last 30 years.

The jumbos of Sree Guruvayurappan pay tributes to their late ‘karanavar’, Guruvayur Kesavan, on Dwadasi annually.

Guruvayur Kesavan was offered to Sree Guruvayurappan by Nilambur Kovilakam when the tusker was hardly 15 years old.

The adolescent tusker was naughty but had certain special behaviours.

Later, Kesavan turned out to be a perfect tusker with a majestic outlook blended with behaviour of quality and won the hearts of lakhs of devotees of Sree Guruvayurappan.

The pious and friendly tusker Kesavan was later coronated with the title Gajarajan

The tusker used to bend the ‘nada’(front right leg) and bow only for mounting the tidambu or kolam of the deity. The men had to mount over it through the hind legs.

During a life-span of nearly five decades at the temple, Kesavan never attacked any one but had saved the lives of few when other tuskers ran amok.

The devotees always considered Kesavan as a blessed tusker of Sree Guruvayurappan and it is believed that the tusker which was fortunate to die during the brahma muhurtham of Ekadasi day on December 2, 1976, had attained moksha at the feet of the lord.

The Guruvayur Devaswom invited sculptor M.R.D.Dathan for making a statue of the legendary tusker.

Dathan, after making comprehensive study on the life history of Guruvayur Kesavan, sculptured a life-size stautue of Guruvayur Kesavan at Sreevalsam compound in the South Nada where Kesavan was buried.

Kesavan’s statue also brought laurels for Dathan. The statue was unveiled by the then Chief Minister K.Karunakaran on November 23, 1982, Ekadasi day.

Since then, the thousands who throng Guruvayur temple used to pay their respects at Guruvayur Kesavan’s statue.

The tale of this legendary tusker was penned by writer Puthoor Unnikrishnan.

The work has been titled ‘Guruvayur Kesavan’. A film titled Guruvayur Kesavan had also immortalised Kesavan.

Nearly 40 jumbos of Sree Guruvayurappan led by Kesavan’s successor tusker Gajaratnam Guruvayur Padmanabhan will march down from Sree Thiruvenkitachalapathy temple to the statue of Guruvayur Kesavan to pay floral tributes and to bow their heads in respect to the tusker on its 30th death anniversary on Dwadasi day.

Anayoottu will be performed at the Thiruvenkidam temple in the morning.

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