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NadayirutthalElephants will be, sometimes, brought to Lord Guruvayurappan by devotees as an offering and the custom of offering an elephant to the lord is called “nadayirutthal”. till recently,there were 58 elephants belonging

to the Lord, all offered by different devotees at different times and with the demise of the famous Gajarajan kesavan, who was the tallest elephant than in kerala, and also of another small one, the number is now Fifty-eight of which Fifty-three are tuskers.

Nadayirutthal:-This offering is done in three different ways. They are

(1) Nadayirutthal with kalabham

(2) Nadayiruthal spreading vella (white cloth) and karimbadam (Black sheet)


Nadayiruthal with Kalabham
Of the three, this is the most elaborate and most expensive. Usually six balls of kalabham (special sandal paste) are required for this; apart from this usually Namaskaram (feast) also is to be had on that day. Namsakaram is faced with the nivedyam of 80 narayams (messages) of rice and all the usual poojas are also to be performed. This is addition to the customary function in the nadayirutthal.

Nadayiruthal spreading “vella” & “karimbadam”
This is the function usually performed when the elephant is offered to the lord, usually the elephant is made to sit before the lord just after the morning seeveli and so the elephant is to be brought and tied outside the temple in time. For the nadayiruthal of elephant an area six feet * six feet just east of the flag mast is to be cleaned and cow-dung and sanctified. At the western side of the area just east to the flag mast, the Nirapara is to be placed. Just east to this a good plantain leaf is to be placed wherein two and half Nazhis of vellari (rice) is kept. To the south in another plantain leaf jaggery, coconut cut pieces and two bananas are to be kept, this is to be offered to Ganapathy. Four lamps ( nilavilakku ) are to be filled with coconut oil and each provided with four wicks and placed at four corners to the sanctified area. In between the lamps the “vella” and “karimbadam” are to be spread and the elephant is to be brought to the east of it. Then the Melsanthi and kandiyurpattar (member of kandiyur family) properly dressed, will come there from inside the temple and will ask the marar (the employee appointed for playing instruments) to sound the conch, and then the Melsanthi will give permission to the owner of the elephant to present it. Then the elephant will then be made to sit at the spread “vella” and “karimbadam” then the Melsanthi will take the goad and stick, touch the tusk of the elephant and will entrust the elephant to the mahout. Giving him the goad and the stick, The Mallissery Namboothiripad will be present. The Melsanthi will give the elephant before it is entrusted to the mahout. “Theertha” (water) and ‘prasadha’ (flower) adorning it with sandal paste. He will also name the elephant after the formal function, the “vella” and “karimbadam” will be taken by the Madambat Nambiar, all this expense are to be met by the donor.

Just like cow’s calves, etc, are brought to the temple and offered to the lord, elephants also can be brought and offered without any proper function. This is called Nadathallal. Nothing is to be done specialy for this. When the elephant is brought to the temple, an entry will be made in the “jeevadanam” register and a proper receipt will be given to the donor. Nadathallal of elephants can be done on any day, but those who want to make this offering must inform the authorities, of it at least two weeks in advance so as to inform all concerned and also to make necessary preparations. Usually a nominal amount well be remitted to the Devaswom by the donor of the elephant, for the proper maintenance of it. (This procedure is not continued now).


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