Staff Reporter

Thrissur: An ‘Ashta Dravya Maha Ganapathy Homa’ (offering holy material in sacrificial fire to propitiate Lord Ganesa), ‘Gaja Puja’ (worship of elephants) and ‘Aanayoottu’ (feast for elephants) will be held at the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple here on Friday.

In all, 1,008 coconuts will be offered in the Homa, to begin at 5 a.m. About 60 elephants will take part in the ‘Gaja Puja’, held once in four years at the temple. The elephant is worshipped as symbolic obeisance to Lord Ganesa. The event will begin at 7 a.m. A feast for elephants will be held at 8.30 a.m. Barricades have been erected at the Thekkinkad Maidan for the ‘Gaja Puja’ and ‘Anayoottu’.

Tens of thousands of people gather at the Maidan every year to witness the ‘Anayoottu’.

The events are held as part of observance of special religious ceremonies in the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam (July 17-August 16). The month is also called ‘Panja Masam’ (lean season), when monsoon unleashes its fury in the State.