The temple elephant of Sri Akilandeswari-Jambukeswarar temple at Thiruvanaikaval near here, died at the temple on Thursday.
Fifty-four-year-old Shanthi was donated by the late actor Shivaji Ganesan in 1961 when it was about five years old. The daily ‘pujai’ around noon is associated with the elephant and devotees make it a point to go behind the elephant around the ‘praharam’ of the temple.
The elephant was said to be ailing the past couple of months and was under the observation of a team of veterinary doctors in the last couple of weeks. The elephant died at about 11.20 a.m. on Friday.
Temple authorities made arrangements for burying the carcass at the ‘nandavanam’ of the temple near the Sundarapandian gopuram. Using a crane, the carcass was lifted and brought to the ‘nandavanam’ later in the evening. Devotees offered floral tributes to Shanthi.