Anathavalam, when translated from Malayalam means “Elephant hideout”, is just three kilometers from Guruvayoor. A very fascinating place where you could see more than 50 domesticated elephants resting, feeding, and bathing.
The Guruvayoor temple is one of the most visited pilgrim places in Kerala – Offering an elephant to the God is something very auspicious and you can see many people do this to get favor from God or for something that they have already received. These elephants are moved to Anathavalam where they spend the rest of their life. They come to the temple once in a while for festivals and ceremonies.
The Punnathur kotta was the palace of the local ruler and was later renamed Anakotta. The land is now utilized to house the Elephants of the Guruvayoor temple. Rituals like Anaottu feeding the elephant and the “elephant pooja” are held here. You can see a elephant cage in house to lock and control the naughty ones. There is an entrance fee of INR 5, separate fee for cameras.
Written by Benjamin John