The Travancore Devaswom Board has decided to discontinue rituals using elephants in temples under it, as they are dangerous to the people and harmful to the elephants.

A meeting of the Deputy Devaswom Commissioners of the board held at its main office at Nanthancode here on Tuesday, with president M. Rajagopalan Nair in the chair, resolved to ban rituals like “anayottam” and “anaval pidutham” held in the Thiruvarpu and Uamayanelloor temples as they were causing severe physical problems to the animals, leading to accidents and even death of devotees.

The “parayeduppu”, which made the elephants bearing idols stand on roads for hours, would be stopped. It asked the Devaswom Commissioner to submit a report on conducting the “ezhunellippu” on a palanquin. K. Cicily, board member, attended the meeting.

Only the number of elephants sanctioned by the board would be allowed for festivals. The temples would not be allowed to use more elephants by taking them on hire from outside or resorting to sponsorship by the devotees.

The meeting asked the Chief Engineers to submit an estimate for the immediate repair of leaking sanctum sanctorum of the temples. It decided to open an Assistant Devaswom Commissioner office in Idukki for administrative convenience.

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