Njangattiri Aanayoottu: The Festival of Feeding Elephants


Njangattiri Aanayoottu is a grand festival celebrated at the Njangattiri Bhagavathi Temple in Pattambi’s Palakkad district. The term Aanayoottu means feeding elephants and hence this festival is dedicated to the elephants. This year the festival is going to be celebrated on 20th July 2018.

The ceremony of this festival is based on the principles of Ayurveda which consider the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam as the month of rejuvenation. During the ceremony, the elephants are fed with medicated food for their well being and good health. It marks the expansion of Ayurvedic tradition of rejuvenation to the elephants.

During the festival of Njangattiri Aanayoottu, elephants are lined up in a row at the premises of the temple and are given delicious, healthy food. This grand feast for the elephants is prepared by following the principles of Ayurveda. Besides, elephants are considered to be sacred animals and feeding them is considered to be auspicious in Hindu mythology. In order to celebrate the ritual, the elephants are offered with garlands and then they are worshipped and fed with nutritional food containing Ayurvedic herbs.

Several people gather in the temple premises to feed the elephants and rejoice. Although it’s not quite popular for those residing in the northern part of India, it’s a popular and significant ritual in the South. The nearest railway station to Palakkad district is 18kms away at Shoranur while the nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport of Tamil Nadu from where Palakkad is 55 kms away.