Elephant processions, naaga temples

Das Menon dmenon at pacific.net.sg
Mon Jan 27 01:35:34 UTC 1997

The biggest event during which elephants are taken out in procession is
during the Pooram festival which takes place usually the first week of May,
so it is not applicable here. The other "contrived" event during which
elephants are taken out in procession is the "gaja mela" which is around the
17th of January. So it is also out. Neverthless most of the Krishna or
Vishnu temples around Trichur (now changed to Trissur) does take out a
single elephant on procession as part of the daily 'seeveyli', with the
Guruyaur temple (19 miles from Trissur) having a three elephant procession
in the morning. The largest of the Krishna Temple in Trissur Town itself is
Thiruvambaady.  The other temple in the vicinity (around 16 miles) is the
Sree Ram temple in Thriprayaar, where also there is a daily seeveyli with

There are no naga temples per se in Kerala, but almost all temples have a
site for naga idols. Most of the naga "kaavu"s can be found in traditional
Nair ancestrel homes. One need to search this out.

A word of caution - most of these temples will only admit a hindu into its
premises, also without exception any male entering the temple should be
wearing the traditional 'dhoti' and either should be bare chested or have an
'anghavastram' draped over the shoulders, and certainly  no footwear!


At 03:01 AM 1/26/97 GMT, Ashok Aklujkar wrote:
>I received the following queries from a person planning to visit Kerala 
>(especially the Trichur and Cochin areas probably from 10-14 February.
>When are the elephants taken out in procession and in which areas? 
>What are the addresses of snake shrines or naaga temples that one should 
>visit? Are there privately owned sacred places falling in this category?
>Any help that individuals knowledgeable about Kerala and its culture can 
>provide will be gratefully received. If communication through fax or 
>telephone is more convenient, kindly use the following numbers: fax: 
>604-822-8937. Tel: 604-822-5185 or 604-274-5353.
>, Professor, Asian Studies, University of B.C., Vancouver, 
>Canada V6T 1Z2.

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