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Friday, November 29, 2019

bonding of mahouts and elephants at Thiruppunithura

inமலைநாடு திவ்யதேசங்கள்  ~ மலையாள திவ்யதேசங்கள் 13 ~ கேரள நாட்டில் முக்கிய பல கோவில்கள் உண்டு - திருவனந்தபுரம் அனந்தபத்மநாபஸ்வாமி திருக்கோவிலும், சபரிமலை கோவிலும், குருவாயூர் கோவிலும் மிக பிரசித்தி.  இவற்றை தவிர பல சிறந்த கோவில்களும் உள்ளன. கண்ணன் வழிபாடு பிரபலம் - பகவான் ஸ்ரீ கிருஷ்ணருக்கு பல கோவில்கள் உள்ளன.  எர்ணாகுளம் எனப்படும் கொச்சி ஊர் அருகே உள்ள திருப்புனித்துரா ஸ்ரீ பூர்ணத்ரயேஸ்வரர், ஸ்ரீ பூர்ணத்ரயீஸர் எனப்படும் கண்ணன் கோவில்.

Thrippunithura is a prominent historical and residential region in the city of Kochi.  Located about 8 km (5 mi) from the city centre, Tripunithura was the capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin. Thripunithura is believed to be obtained from  "Poorna Veda Puri" - the town of Vedas in its entirety. Another possible origin to name comes from the meaning "the land on the shores of Poorna river".

Thursday, 28th Nov 2019 was a blessed day for me ~ for I had darshan at this beautiful temple of Sree Poornathrayeesar.  As I neared this temple, could feel the vibes of the festive atmosphere .. .. shops, people, jubilation and more !  .. .. as I entered the temple my joy knew no bounds .. it was the time of Vrischikothsavam, 8 day long annual temple festival of Sree Poornathrayeesar.  Vrischikol ulsavam marks the beginnings of the season of festivals .. ..  The highlight of Vrischikotsavam is the majestic procession or ezhunnallippu  ~ wonder what ?

Pets are often smaller animals kept for companionship and enjoyment. These are domesticated animals, which would obey commands and do things that would please its master [is that not what is wanted everywhere !] – man’s interaction with animals is boundless – there are wild animals [or is animals in wild more appropriate], livestock, laboratory animals, working animals, sports animals, breeding animals kept for food and making money – there are few others which are kept for their loyalty, playfulness, singing prowess, beauty and other characteristics.  Believers claim that pets would help relieve stress – but you need to love your pet and believe on this to really enjoy and get some health benefits ! Some say, merely looking at the swimming fishes would take away the strain and stress. Then suddenly there came the concept of vasthu and vasthu fishes. Going by available statistics, Cat tops the list of pets followed by Dogs, Fishes, small mammals, parrots, pigeons, lovebirds and other  small birds, reptiles, amphibians and equine – but keeping a pet would be more driven by one’s liking than by any empirical evidence. 

In foreign countries, there are some peculiar pets too !   In some countries, hamsters are quite popular.  They have been successfully bred and domesticated as small house pets.   The list of pets owned by people would sometimes take you by surprise.  There are reported incidents of people having – rabbits, guinea pigs, anteaters, foxes, coydogs, dingos, civets, deers, big felines, llamas  marsupials like opossum, wallaby, mongoose, even snakes, badgers, otters, rodents, hogs, suirrels, tapirs besides huge variety of small and big birds.   Most countries prohibit having wild and endangered animals as pets.  There is a market in Chennai near Mannadi, where on Sundays, exotic pets are sold – these include varieties of dogs, many a types of birds including pigeons, parrots, hen and more including monkeys.

The majestic, affable, gigantic pachyderms are not exactly pets .. .. they are adored – Elephants have been associated with temples for centuries.  The affectionate bonding between man and elephant is to be seen to be belived.  The most beautiful creation has a unique status in our culture blending with the lives of people. 

In Kerala Temples, the deity is carried atop the elephant thrice a day as a part of daily ritual called Seeveli (Sreebhutabali !) the elephant carrying the God circumambulates the temple with accompaniment of instrument music.   Yesterday it was the 8 day long annual festival at Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple – there were 3 elephants caparisoned, tall, gigantic carrying the thidambu (Lord) and I could not take my eyes away – when I realized there were more – it was heavenly feeling. Total of 15 elephants and  temple arts on air with instruments  like Melam, Panchavadyam, Thayambaka, Madhalapattu, Kombupattu, Kuzhalpattu.  The Royal procession (Ezhunnallippu) of the deity was certainly the most  fascinating sequence of this festival. Fifteen fully caparisoned tuskers accompanied  the deity along with the  orchestration,  Pancharimelam resembling an ensemble richly orchestrated. 

This post has some photos of the mahouts so closely associated with the elephants that might make you wonder, whether we have ever loved even our near and dears so much.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Nov. 2019.

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