Thursday, October 04, 2012

Punnathur Kotta, Guruvayoor

Aana (foreground) with the Kotta (background)
The name Punnathur Kotta (Palace) evokes images of a stately palace steeped in distinct Kerala architecture with its open courtyards, sloping red tile roofs and ornate wooden carvings. It also evokes images of the royal scions of the Verma lineage inhabiting the Palace. But here's the shocker. The Kotta is more known for the happenings outside the Palace than inside. Its inhabitants all stay outside of the Palace in the open - all 63 of them. The only beings that command respect and love of the people of Kerala after the Royal Vermas are the Elephants of the state. And it is them that have made the Punnathur Kotta their home. These elephants belong to Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple. They have been donated by different devotees to the temple for its various festivities.

I cannot be more cuter than this
There are elephants of all sizes, shapes and ages here. The younger ones are trained to become future temple elephants. Luckily for them, these elephants are very well taken care of. They are given an elaborate bath, lots of greens to chew on and in most cases enough shade to stand in. And then there are the elephants in heat, which are kind of quarantined from the rest with a Warning signboard cautioning the visitors from getting close to these mammals.

The Punnathur Kotta (now known as Aana Kotta) is a 30 acre Elephant Park in an erstwhile Palace of a local Ruler. It’s a nice way to relax in the hot Kerala sun after a visit to Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple and the Mammiyoor Temple. Children will especially love this place as they get to see so many live Jumbos up close and personal. And if you are lucky, you might even get to see the little kutti-aanas too. We weren't.

Getting-there: About 2 kms from Sri Krishna Temple and 1km from Mammiyoor Temple. For about Rs.130 an autowallah will be willing to cover this circuit, including an acceptable waiting period.
Ah... What a Life!

Must-Do: Try to get a glimpse of the cub elephants.

Must-Don't: Getting too adventurous and venturing close to the elephants (especially the ones in heat)

My Rating: 5/10


  1. It is a heaven for elephants. Nice post.

    1. Thanks Niranjan. Yes indeed its a heaven for Elephants :)

  2. wow..this is super piece of information. My visit to the Krishna Temple surely will have this place in the agenda.

    Elephants how many times you look still raises interest bar..but have to be cautious.

    Very nice narration!

  3. Thanks Sri. You must make a visit to Guruvayoor temple someday. You will love it (except of course the long Queues).

  4. I've been there once and I really enjoyed the walk. There's this elephant that my FIL had given to the temple so when hubby inquired about that one, there was a drunk paapan who offered to take us to it and since it was on the other end, we heard a lot of stories on the way (they were these nice spiced-up tales,thanks to the fact he was intoxicated.)It was a very entertaining tour. :D

    And this is a superb post. Love the intro!!

    1. Your FIL owned an elephant :O

      Hahaha, yeah its fun listening to stories of the drunk mallus :D