Punnathur elephant sanctuary (Punnathur Kotta/ Anathavalam) Guruvayur

Punnthur Kotta or Punnathur elephant sanctuary is the largest elephant sanctuary in India. It is a place where one can see more than 60 elephants within a small locality. This sanctuary is owned by Guruvayur devaswam and it is located 2Km from Guruvayur Sreekrishna Temple. The elephants in the punnathur Kotta are trained to serve Lord Srikrishna in Guruvayur temple. punnathur Kotta will be one of the best place in Kerala to enjoy the holidays.

Punnathur Kotta

Punnathur Kotta and Ganpathi
The Kerala is blessed with so many rivers, waterfalls, hills, rain forests, lakes, coastal areas and many more. Because of these reasons, in each year so much of tourists are visiting for enjoying their holidays. The tourists are not only attracted by the natural beauty of Kerala but also due to the existence of various centers in Kerala. In which the Punnathur elephant sanctuary has a great role in attracting tourists from outside and within the country. Punnathur elephant sanctuary is the largest elephant sanctuary in India. It provides shelter to more than 60 elephants at a time. The punnathur elephant sanctuary is also known as Punnathur Kotta (Fort) or Anthavalam in Kerala. This sanctuary is owned and maintained by Guruvayur Sreekrishna temple Dewaswam. The most of the elephants in the Punnathur Kotta are ritual offerings made by the devotees of lord Guruvayurappa. These offerings are carried out at different points of time. The punnathur kotta is spread upto 15 acres of land for providing a good atmosphere for the elephants. When punnathur Kotta was established years ago, the land was not so vegetative. But after years, now this land is full of trees in order to provide the shadows for the elephants. The growth of Punnathur Kotta or Anathavalam was a combined effort of both Guruvayur devaswam and people of that village.
elephant in punnathur kotta

Elephants in Punnathur Kotta

Punnathur Kotta is one of the best elephant training centres in india. Eventhough this sanctuary doesn't provide the training from the initial stages; they trained them in order to serve to Lord Guruvayurappa in Guruvayur temple. The elephants of this sanctuary are also used for various festivals in temples across the state Kerala. Punnathur kotta is the best place to watch large number of elephants within a short locality. This experience is really memorable in our life time. The sanctuary includes very small baby elephants to old elephants. Some elephants are very famous for various qualities like, height, age, and more over its service to Lord Guruvayurappa. Legendary elephant Guruvayur Kesavan was one of the famous and most blessed elephant of Lord Guruvayurappa. Now Guruvayur Pathmanabhan is most famous and blessed elephant of Punnathur Kotta.
Guruvayur kesavan
A Lord Ganapathi temple is existing inside Punnathur Kotta. According to Hindu Puranas, feeding elephants is considerd to be the best offering to Lord Ganapathi. Presently the guruvayur devaswam is planned to construct very large statue of Lord Ganapathi inside the Punnathur Kotta.that will be the biggest Ganpathi statue in Kerala. The elephant sanctuary includes number of ponds for elephant bath. There is palace inside the Punnathur kotta which was owned by a local ruler earlier.
bathinf of elephants

Visiting time

The Guruvayoor devaswam provides various facilities to tourists and devotees who visit the Punnathur Kotta. There is a time schedule for visiting the Punnathur kotta, which is from morning 8AM to evening 5.30 PM. The entry fee to Punnathur Kotta is Rs 5 for adult and additional charges will be deducted in order to use cameras inside. For using cameras inside, Rs 25 will be charged at ticket counter. The devaswam provides good parking facility for vehicles in which the tourists reached there. Each person can spend the whole day inside the sanctuary by watching the activities of elephants.
The best timing for visit is from June to December; because, during other months various festivals are taking place in temples across the Kerala. So, many elephants may be going for the festivals.

Major festivals inside Punnathur Kotta

  • Gajapooja
    This is a festival of worshiping elephants. This is actually great practice that proves the culture of Indians in serving all forms of life on earth.
  • Anayootu
    This is another festival that taken place in Punnathur Kotta. In which the devotees will feed the elephants with various types of foods like Sharkkara( Molasses), Bowls of Rice and Ghee, Sugarcane etc. This form of festival is not only conducting in Punnathur Kotta but also in many temples across Kerala.

Treatments to elephants

The Devaswam authority is taking good efforts in order to increase the health of elephants of Punnathur Kotta. In each year there will be a Rejuvation Therapy or Sukha Chikilsa for elephants, which is usually started at June month. During this time the Punnathur Kotta authority provides complete rest to elephants. Various medicinal plants are feeding during this treatment period. All these practices are carried out under the guidance of various well experienced Veterinary doctors. The proper dieting is the major task of this treatment. Various Ayurvedic medicines like, Chavanapravasyam,Ashtachoornam ,Ragi powder etc. will be given to elephants as the part of treatment.

How to reach at punnathur Kotta Guruvayur

rout map to punnathur elephant sanctuary
The Punnathur elephant sanctuary or Punnathur Kotta is located at Kottapadi 2km from Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple. The transportation facilities are available to Punnathur Kotta from various towns in Kerala. Tourists from long distances can reach at Guruvayur railway station first and after that Taxi services are available to Kottapadi. Foreign the tourists from outside the country can reach at Cochin international airport fist and from there by traveling 109 Km, they can reach at Punnathur. Various private and KSRTC services are available to Kottapadi from many towns in Kerala.

A video from Punnathur Kotta Guruvayur

Some famous elephants in Punnathur Kotta

  • Guruvayur Pathmanabhan
  • Guruvayur Valiya Keasvan
  • Guruvayu Cheriya Kessaavan
  • Guruvayur Narayanan Kutti
  • Nandini
  • Guruvayur Sredharan
  • Guruvayur Kannan etc

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