Thrissur Pooram 2019: Elephant Thechikottukavu Ramachandran Arrives at Vadakkumnathan Temple After Being Deemed Fit And Kickstarts Festivities (Pics And Videos)
Elephant Thechikottukavu Ramachandran at Thrissur Pooram in Kerala (Photo Credits: @SurajRaman2 Twitter)

As speculations continued, Kerala's tallest elephant, Thechikottukavu Ramachandran was paraded at Thrissur Pooram 2019 on Sunday morning. The 54-year-old celebrity elephant was given a conditional nod on Saturday to participate in the largest temple festival of Kerala after it cleared the fitness test. While every year the jumbo arrives walking towards the temple ground, this year, Ramachandran was driven on a lorry owing to health concerns. The main event began as the 10.5-foot-tall elephant pushed open the southern entrance gate of the Vadakkumnathan temple, host to Thrissur Pooram, denoting the start of the celebrations. The elephant took part in the ritual only for an hour from 9.30 am to 10:30 am this year, due to the restrictions. Thrissur Pooram 2019 Date: History, Significance, Celebrations, Controversies Related to Kerala's Largest Temple Festival.

Thrissur Pooram is held during the Pooram star in the month of Medan according to the Malayalam calendar. It was introduced by Raja Rama Varma, famously known as Sakthan Thampuran, the 17th-century ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin in Kerala. Thrissur Pooram 2019 will be held on May 13 and 14. Sample Vedikettu at Thrissur Pooram 2019: First Round of Fireworks Dazzle The Skies at Kerala's Largest Temple Festival (Watch Videos)

Thechikottukavu Ramachandran arrives for Thrissur Pooram:

Watch the video below:

Ramachandran kickstarting the celebrations at the temple:

Ramachandran after being deemed fit by doctors:

While Ramachandran was earlier stated unfit for a parade, the ban was overturned by another medical report which let the jumbo kickstart the festivities. On Sunday, large crowds gathered at the grounds of the Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur to catch a glimpse of their most loved celebrity animal. Videos and pictures being massively shared on social media show people welcoming the elephant with much enthusiasm. Caparisoned elephants are an integral part of temple rituals in southern India, especially in Kerala. They are loved and people have an emotional attachment to the temple elephants in their region. Elephant to Undergo Medical Test for Thrissur 'pooram'.

Three veterinarians conducted Ramachandran's medical examination and submitted a report to the Thrissur collector TV Anupama. Following which it was deemed fit to participate in the 'Vilambaram' ritual as part of Pooram. Ramachandran's presence at the pooram was highly debated as animal rights activists suggested it should not be paraded at the ceremony owing to its ill health. The elephant has in the past killed 13 people including a mahout and three other elephants. While it was said to be blind in its right eye, a medical examination confirmed that it is not completely blind in the eye.