Thechikott Kavu Ramachandran’s recent attack at Perumbavur

It was through my maid that I heard about him for the first time. As I am residing in Thrissur right now, I have been fascinated by elephant festivals known as ‘aana pooram’ here. You might be wondering what’s the relationship between elephant festival and Ramachandran!
He is none other than Thrissur’s own pride – Thechikott Kavu Ramachandran, or simply Thechikott Ramachandran. He is an integral part of famous Thrissur Pooram. He opens the southern Gopuram of Vadakkumnatha temple to mark the beginning of the festival. The door remains closed for next one year till next Pooram.
When my maid praised this captive elephant giving a brief description on his glorifying stories, Gajaraja pattam (designation /award given to elephants of Kerala) and a fan’s association of his own, I began admiring him. I was most surprised to know that he is the second highest elephant of Asia, and currently the tallest among all Kerala captive elephants used for temple ceremonies. Such an icon stays in nearby temple, I was eager to see him though she told, he is notorious. Read more tales about Ramachandran.

Caparisoned Thechikott Ramachandran for a local pooram

Last January I got an opportunity to see an elephant festival at Cheeyamkuzhi Subramaniya Temple where Thechikott Ramachandran carried the main deity’s idol. Last year also, I saw him once in Thechikott pooram. But I didn’t notice him too much as I was not aware of his stories. I took my personal camera along with me and took some amazing photos too. I even tried to collect more information about him from local people.
Though he is the tallest elephant of Kerala, he has never given an opportunity to carry the idol known as Thidamb, in Thrissur Pooram. He is partially blind and notorious for his deeds; that could be the reason. When his name was announced through loud speaker and when he stood exactly in the middle of 15 elephants, I could see great waves of applause among the audience! No wonder, he is the local hero of the locality.
When he stood in the centre opposing the main shrine of the temple, I could easily point out his height. He is an elephant having 10 out of 10 ‘elephant lakshans’, no doubt! Not even a single elephant of those 15 could reach his pride. I enjoyed the pooram and left the place.

Close watch of Thechikottkavu Ramachandran

Exactly one week later I was shocked to read from the front pages, “Thechikott Ramachandran killed 3 people in a local pooram at Rayamangalam Koottumadam Sree Subramaniya Swamy temple, Perumbavur”. It happened when mahouts changed the idol from his head to another elephant. He is a mischievous elephant and great devotee of God who never allows any other elephant to carry the main idol, if it’s his place.
Even after knowing his character very well, why did they do so? Ramachandran never withstands such disrespect! Temple authorities said, as the main gate of temple is not tall enough for Ramachandran to get inside with thidamb, they did so. Anyhow the incident killed 3 ladies. For a moment he flashed through my mind, I saw him just a hand distance when he was inside the temple one week back! Now my mind is quiet whenever I think about him. 

Thechikott Ramachandran – The centre of attraction while carrying divine thidamb

He is 49 now (born on 1964) and he was gifted to a person here by a British. Originally he is from Bihar. According to records his height is 3.17 metre (10.4 ft). Ramachandran’s mischiefs prompted him to give him to temple. Mahout punished him severely for his mischiefs and took one eye too – says my servant. When he got mad, the first person he killed was that mahout, years back! Though he has many such stories written in his name, he is immensely loved by people of Thrissur. Should I admire him as before? No idea! 
All images have been added from recent Pooram at Cheeyamkuzhi. In the last photo, you can see him carrying Subramaniya’s Thidambh in the middle among the three.

The Jumbo at poora vilambaram ceremony at the south entrance gate of the Vadakkunnathan Temple to mark the beginning of Thrissur Pooram

Also watch: Thrissur Pooram gallery – A collection of 50 photos.

Read a few more articles on elephants and elephant festivals, deeply linked with the daily life of Keralites. Here is the page link. Click on the images in the gallery to read 

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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