'Guruvayur Padmanabhan' much loved tusker of Guruvayoor Sreekrishna Temple dies at 84

Thrissur (Kerala) [India], Feb 27 (ANI): Guruvayur Padmanabhan, the much-loved elephant of the Guruvayoor Sreekrishna Temple, here died on Wednesday at the age of 84, Guruvayoor Devasom Board confirmed.

The jumbo who had won the venerated title 'Gajarajaratnam' given to elephants as a mark of honour had been undergoing treatment for the past one month for age-related problems.

Guruvayoor Padmanabhan was paid Rs 2.25 lakhs, the highest procession fee for any elephant in Kerala.

The tusker rose to fame after he defeated the famous Guruvayoor Kesavan in an annual elephant race held at the Guruvayoor temple.

Padmanabhan was donated to the Guruvayur temple on January 18, 1954, and after the death of Guruvayoor Kesavan in 1962, he has been carrying the 'Thidambu' or replica of Lord Krishna, the presiding deity of Guruvayoor Temple.

To enable devotees and elephant lovers to pay homage, the Guruvayoor Devasom Board has kept the body of the elephant at Punathoorkotta till 9 am on Thursday. (ANI)