Did you know that former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa had donated an elephant to the famous Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple in Kerala and he turned out to become the temple’s ‘star’ elephant in 2004?
This year was 2001. On the advice of her astrologer Parapppanangadi Unnikrishna Panicker, Jayalalithaa gifted ‘Krishna’ (former name was Kannan) – an elephant at the Guruvayur temple- as a ‘pre-election’ vow. The ritual of offering an elephant is called ”nadairuthal” and it is revered as a sacred offering for Lord Krishna at the Guruvayur temple.
Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala had accompanied her to Guruvayur temple.
But the elephant offering did not proceed smoothly witnessed a volatile stand-off between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony when she visited the famous Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple to offer an elephant at the temple.
Due to political tensions, Kerala Chief Minister A.K. Antony had phoned and asked Jayalalithaa to postpone her visit, citing that it could lead to a law and order situation in Guruavayur.
Adding more tension to the already politically charged environment, Tamil Nadu police decided to take charge of Jayalalithaa’s security arrangements at the temple – something that did not go down well at all with the Kerala government – and this was finally settled with the intervention of senior level police officers.
But Jayalalithaa did not pay heed to Kerala Chief Minister A.K. Antony’s request.
Coming back to ”Krishna” – the elephant offered by Jayalalithaa – he was reported to be the ”star” among temple elephants. In 2004, Krishna the elephant won the famous ”aanayottam” or elephant race held at the Guruvayur temple.
The star elephant Krishna may not remember the superstar turned Chief Minister who offered him at the temple but the Guruvayur temple officials and priests will always remember Jayalalithaa because of the star “Krishna” elephant she gifted to Lord Krishna, the deity of Kerala’s most famous temple.