Last updated

Place of interest
Punathur Palace
India Kerala location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Kerala, India
Coordinates: 10°36′51″N76°1′47″E / 10.61417°N 76.02972°E / 10.61417; 76.02972 Coordinates: 10°36′51″N76°1′47″E / 10.61417°N 76.02972°E / 10.61417; 76.02972
CountryFlag of India.svg  India
State Kerala
District Thrissur
  Official Malayalam, English
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code91487
Vehicle registration KL-46
Nearest city Guruvayur

Punnathurkotta is a fort and former palace located in Kottapadi, about 3 km from the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple, in Thrissur District of Kerala State in South India. [1]



The statue of Guruvayur Keshavan placed at Guruvayur Temple premise Guruvayur Kesavan Statue.jpg
The statue of Guruvayur Keshavan placed at Guruvayur Temple premise

Punnathurkotta was once the palace of a local ruler, but the palace grounds are now used to house the elephants belonging to the Guruvayoor temple, and has been renamed Anakkotta (meaning "Elephant Fort"). There were 86 elephants housed there, but currently there are about 59 elephants. The elephants are ritual offerings made by the devotees of Lord Guruvayurappa.

Described as a 'Palace for Elephants,' [2] this facility is also used to train the elephants to serve Lord Krishna as well as to participate in many festivals that occur throughout the year. The oldest elephant is around 82 years of age and is called 'Ramachandran'. The rituals of Gajapooja (Worshipping Elephants) and Anayoottu (Feeding Elephants) are observed here, as an offering to Lord Ganesha. The legendary elephant "Guruvayur Keshavan" was housed here.

The compound also has a naalu kettu, a traditional rectangular home with a central courtyard, which belonged to the Punnathur Raja. It presently houses a training school for Papans (Mahout).

This complex also contains a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Bhagavathy. Some scenes in the famous Malayalam movie " Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha " (starring Mammooty) were filmed at this location. The visiting hours are 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM. The entry fee is Rs 10 per adult. An extra Rs 25 is charged for to use a camera inside the complex.now a days camera usage is not allowed in punnathurkotta

Guruvayoor Elephant Farm house.JPG
Punnathur Kotta

Elephant Camp at Punnathurkotta

The Elephant Camp is located in Punnathur Kotta, at a distance of 3 km from the Guruvayur Temple. This Elephant Camp houses 58 elephants in 11.5 acres of land and is home to the largest number of captive elephants. During the month July elephants are given special ayurvedic treatment and food. [3] But this practice has been criticized by the Animal Welfare Board of India in a study commissioned on the welfare of the elephants. This study also found many glaring issues on the treatment of elephants and suggested remedial measures many of which has not been implemented. [4]

Elephants chained at punnathor kotta Elephant chained in punnathoor kotta kerala.jpg
Elephants chained at punnathor kotta
Elephants chained to concrete posts Elephants at punnathoor kotta1.jpg
Elephants chained to concrete posts

See also

Related Research Articles

Guruvayur Place in Kerala, India

Guruvayur also written as Guruvayoor, is a municipal temple town in Thrissur District, of Kerala State in India.it is suburban town of Thrissur city, located 28 km from Thrissur towards the north-west. It houses the famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple. It is located at a distance of 494 km from Bengaluru towards the south-west, 292 km from the state capital Trivandrum towards the north-west, 645 km from Chennai towards the south-west and 80 km from Kochi towards the north.

Guruvayurappan form of the Hindu god Vishnu, worshipped mainly in Kerala

Guruvayurappan also often written Guruvayoorappan, is a form of Vishnu worshipped mainly in Kerala. He is the presiding deity of Guruvayur temple, who is being worshiped as Shri Krishna in his child form, also known as Guruvayur Unnikkannan. Even though the deity is that of chaturbahu Vishnu, the concept (Sankalpam) of the people is that the deity is the infant form of Lord Krishna. The deity represents the purna rupa revealed by baby Krishna to his parents Vasudeva and Devaki immediately after his advent in Kamsa's jail. So this is the reason why baby Krishna is worshipped on a Vishnu deity. The temple is located in the town of Guruvayur, Thrissur district, Kerala, India, which is named after the deity itself.

Guruvayur Temple Hindu temple in the town of Guruvayur, Kerala, India

Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu god Guruvayurappan, located in the town of Guruvayur in Kerala, India. It is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus in Kerala and is often referred to as Bhuloka Vaikunta.

Elephants in Kerala culture role of elephants in the culture of Kerala state

This article covers the role of elephants in the culture of Kerala state, southern India.

Edappally Neighbourhood in Ernakulam, Kerala, India

Edappally or Idappalli is a region in the city of Kochi, Kerala, India. It is a major commercial centre as well as a prominent residential region. Edappally junction is one of the busiest junctions in the city.

Mammiyoor Temple a Siva temple in Kerala

Mammiyur Mahadeva Temple is a Shiva temple situated in Guruvayoor, Thrissur district of Kerala, India. Every devotee who goes to Guruvayur Temple is supposed to go to Mammiyoor also, as the ritual goes. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple premises. The temple is a part of the 108 famous Shiva temples in Kerala and one among the five Shiva temples around Guruvayoor. The main deity is Lord Shiva, who is installed in the concept of 'Uma Maheshwara' - His form with Goddess Parvathi on his left. There is a shrine for Lord Vishnu also here. The sub-deities are Lord Ganapathi, Lord Subrahmanya, Lord Ayyappan, Goddess Kali and Serpent deities. This temple is managed by Malabar Devaswom Board. Daily three poojas are conducted. Puzhakkara Chennas Mana is the hereditary Thanthri of this temple too. Shivaratri and Ashtami Rohini are the major festivals.

Thrissur district District in Kerala, India

Thrissur is a revenue district of Kerala situated in the central part of that state. Spanning an area of about 3,032 km2 (1,171 sq mi), Thrissur district is home to over 9% of Kerala's population.

Temple elephants are a type of captive elephant. Many major temples own elephants; others hire or are donated elephants during the festive seasons. Temple elephants are usually wild animals, poached from the forests of North East India from wild herds at a young age and then sold into captivity to temples. Their treatment in captivity has been the subject of controversy and condemnation by some, while others claim that elephants form a vital part of the socio-economic framework of many temple ceremonies and festivals in India, particularly in the South.

Thrikkakara Temple building in India

Thrikkakara Temple is one of the few temples in India dedicated to Lord Vamana. It is situated in Thrikkakara, Kochi in the state of Kerala, South India. Located around 10 km north-east of the city center between Thrissur-Ernakulam highway, Seaport-Airport Road, Cochin University of Science and Technology and Model Engineering College, it is the center of celebrations and place of origin for the popular Onam festival of Kerala. The temple is around two millennia old and is also listed as one of the 108 Divya Desams.

Chavakkad Town in Kerala, India

Chavakkad, formerly Chowghat, is a municipality in Thrissur District of Kerala state in India. It is a suburban town of Thrissur city. Chavakkad is noted for its beach and fishing. It lies on National Highway 66 is located about 75 km (47 mi) north of the city of Kochi, and 25 km (16 mi) northwest of Thrissur.

Guruvayur Keshavan

Gajarajan Guruvayur Keshavan is perhaps the most famous and celebrated temple elephant in Kerala, India. Keshavan was donated to the Guruvayur Hindu temple by the royal family of Nilambur on 4 January 1922. It is a common Hindu custom in Kerala to capture elephants either as calves or young adults from the wild and to donate them to the deity of the temple as an offering. Guruvayur temple currently has 47 elephants.

Kottapadi village in Kerala, India

Kottapadi is a village near Guruvayur town in the district of Thrissur, Kerala, South India. Kottapadi literally translates to Gates to Fort. Kottapadi has now gained prominence Punnathurkotta for which it has been named, which used to house elephants belonging to the Guruvayoor temple. Elephants that are an integral part of certain temple rituals are boarded and trained here.

Konni, Kerala Place in Kerala, India

Konni is a major town and a Taluk headquarters in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, India. Konni is known for its elephant cages, forests, and rubber plantations. Konni is also known as "Anakoodinte Nadu".

Guruvayur Ekadasi

The Vrishchika Ekadasi is called as Guruvayur Ekadasi in Guruvayur, Kerala. This falls in the Mandala season. The Navami and Dasami are also very important. Ekadasi Vilakku starts a month before the Ekadasi day as offering by different persons, families and organisations. After the temple is open on this day for Nirmalya darshan, it is closed only at 9.00 am on Dwadasi Day. On Dwadasi day there is a custom of offering a token amount called Dwadasi Panam in Koothambalam

Devaswom are socio-religious trusts in India that comprise members nominated by both government and community. Their aim is to manage Hindu temples and their assets and to ensure their smooth operation in accordance with traditional rituals and customs. The devaswom system notably exists in the state of Kerala, where most temples are either managed by Government of Kerala-controlled devaswoms or formed by private bodies/families. The properties of each temple are deemed to be the personal property of the presiding deity the temple and are managed through a body of trustees who bear allegiance to the presiding deity.

Chittoor Sree Krishnaswamy Temple, located at South Chittoor in the city of Kochi, is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is a major temple under the Cochin Devaswom Board. For centuries the temple was closely associated with the Kartha family of Cheranelloor Swaroopam and was later taken over by Rama Varma Maharaja of Cochin Royal Family. It is a classic example of Kerala temple architecture.

Krishnapuram Palace

The Krishnapuram Palace is a palace and museum located in Kayamkulam near Alappuzha in Alappuzha district, Kerala in southwestern India. It was built in the 18th century by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the Travancore kingdom. It is built in the architectural style of Kerala with gabled roof, narrow corridor and dormer windows, near the Krishnaswamy Temple at Krishnapuram.

Chavakkad Beach is beach in Chavakkad Municipality of Thrissur District in Kerala State. It lies on the coast of Arabian Sea and attracts domestic tourists and local people. The beach is situated 5 Kilometers from Guruvayoor Temple Sri Krishna Temple. In this beach, the river meets the sea known as estuary. The meeting point is known as Azhimokam in Malayalam. It is counted amongst Kerala’s most popular beaches because the beach is unexplored by domestic tourists.

Pepita Seth British writer and photographer

Pepita Seth is a British born writer and photographer, known for her accounts of the temple arts and rituals of Kerala and her photographs of the widely celebrated captive elephant, Guruvayur Keshavan. The Government of India honoured her, in 2012, with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for her services to the field of art and culture.


  1. Indian Columbus. "Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary - Guruvayur, Kerala, India" . Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  2. https://medium.com/@syngrafi/punnathurkotta-a-palace-for-pachyderms-in-kerala-5e72e4ed3c28
  3. Punnathurkotta
  4. Animal Welfare Board of India. "Report on the Welfare & Veterinary Status Captive Elephants (Elephas maximus) at Punnathur Kotta" (PDF). cupabangalore.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.