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The Elephants Punnathoor

For the purpose of drawing the Elephants directly, I went to Punnathoor fort at Guruvayoor. It is situated 3 kms away from Guruvayoor Temple at Kottappadi. Actually, the fort is of Punnathoor Royal Family and today it is under Guruvayoor Dewasswam. The elephants presented by the believers are nurtured here and this is known to be Kerala’s biggest Elephant Centre. This place resembles a small forest. The believers do Pooja for Shiva and Bhagavati here.
A member of  Punnathoor Kovil picked up me in his car and led me to the fort. He was an editor of Mathrubhumi for the past 15 years and named Janardhanan and his friend Manoj also accompanied us. This Punnathoor Fort was filmed in The Vadakkan Veeragadha. Krishna Moorthy, the art director portrayed the fort as Puthooram Home.
The elephant named Pathmanabhan has got the luck to participate in Guruvayoor festival after the elephant Guruvayoor Keshavan. I drew a lot of pictures of bathing elephants. It took 3 hours for the servants to make the big elephants clean and neat after the festival season. The elephants kindly followed and obeyed the instructions. Today there are about 40 elephants chained there. I enjoyed the scene of them eating the palm leaves with the trunks. Another interesting fact is that daily these elephants while going to the temple used to stop in front of a hotel named ‘Welcome’. From there the owner gives them eatables like banana and they ate it happily. This practice has been continued till now.
I returned from there after drawing a couple of pictures and I felt like the deep eyes of the elephants were looking at me with pride and anger.

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