Guruvayur temple elephant dies

An elephant credited with carrying the 'Thidambu' --the miniature of the presiding deity of Lord Krishna of Guruvayur Temple-- for several decades during temple rituals died on Wednesday at the age of 84, a top Gurvayur Devaswom official said.

The elephant named Guruvayur Padmanabhan, who gained the title of 'Gajaratnam' due to his attractive features like long trunk touching the ground and well-carved shape, died at 2.10 pm, Guruvayur Devaswom Chairman K.B Mohandas told.

He said the tusker had been undergoing treatment for the last few weeks after it suffered swelling on its body.

With the death of Padmanabhan, the number of pachyderms in the elephant sanctuary managed by Guruvayur Devaswom has come down to 47, he said.

Padmanabhan, one of the oldest elephant in the captivity, was much sought after during the temple festivals across the state including famous Thrissur Pooram.