Images: Elephant race where winner gets a jumbo feast
Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple's annual festival kick-started with jumbo race last Friday. Five elephants competed with each other to carry Lord Krishna's idol during the festival.
Every year, an elephant race (locally called Annayottam) is held at the Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple in Kerala marking the begining of the annual festival. This is a unique race where over 30 elephants run over a kilometre to win the right to be the main elephant to carry Krishna's idol during the festival. The winner gets a special treat during the festival. Legend has it that at one point of time, the temple did not have an elephant during the festival and Manjula, a devotee, called out standing at the edge of a forest and elephants came running. Long ago, the forests vanished in Guruvayur giving way to highrise buildings and a railway station. But the tradition continues.