Life-size statue of elephant Shankaramkulangara Manikandan unveiled in Thrissur

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Thrissur: A life-size statue of celebrated elephant Shankaramkulangara Manikandan was unveiled at Shankaramkulangara Devi Temple, Thrissur on Wednesday as a mark of respect to the elephant which died in 2023.

Manikandan was a popular elephant known for its constant presence at Thrissur Pooram. He had been a part of the festival for 58 years taking part in flag hoisting to the grand procession. No other elephant has been part of the Thrissur Pooram for such a long duration.

Manikandan was brought to the temple from the Nilambur forest at the age of three due to the special interest of the former Chief Minister K Karunakaran, who responded to the temple’s request for an elephant. Over the years, Manikandan carried the thidambu (idol) during the fireworks display at Thrissur Pooram and performed similar duties at other significant events, including the return procession to the temple.

Manikandan also participated in Thrissur Pooram for Thiruvambady, Paramekkavu, Arattupuzha, Tripunithura, Koodalmanikyam, and Nenmara Vallangi festivals, marking his presence at various renowned festivals across Kerala.

The statue was made by artist Suraj Nambiyattil. The ceremony of unveiling the sculpture was led by Swami Sadbhavananda of the Puranattukara Shri Ramakrishna Ashram. An elephant feeding ritual (Anayoottu) was held in connection with the ceremony, marking the beginning of the Ayurvedic treatment month of Karkidakam, with nine elephants receiving special medicinal feed under the supervision of Dr PB Giridhas.

Temple president Prashanth Maruvanchery said that the statue evokes a feeling that Manikandan still resides at Shankaramkulangara. 

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