Sordid story of theft of Antiques in Kerala Temples


Malayalam dailies have been reporting about a move to ‘refurbish’ the famous ”Ezharaponnana”(seven-and-a-half golden elephants) of Ettumanur Mahadeva Temple in Kerala. The Advocate Commissioner, who is appointed to supervise the repair works of the building projects related to Temples, has reportedly recommended the ‘reconstruction’ of the antiques. The Travancore Devaswom Board has a special officer in charge of the Thiruabharanam, sacred ornaments, and valuables, who is responsible for the handling of the valuables. However, as per the report of Janmabhumi, the Advocate Commissioner has not consulted with the Devaswom Board authority before recommending for repairs.

The ‘Ezhara Ponnana’ procession during the annual festival at Ettumanoor Sree Mahadeva Temple in Kottayam district of Kerala is a very magnificent sight. The King of Travancore, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma wished for the offering of Ezhara (seven-and-half) Ponnana’ (golden elephant). Although King Marthandavarama, passed away, his successor, Dharmaraja finished the work and presented the elephants before the Lord.  Each of the seven elephants is two feet high, and the eighth one is only half the size. Hence they are together called seven-and-half elephants. The ”Ezharaponnana” represents the ”Ashtadiggajam” which are ”Airavatham”, ”Pundareekam”, ”Kanmudam”, ”Anjana”, ”Pushpadantham”, ”Supradeekam”, ”Sarvabhauman” and ”Vamana”. The Ezharaponnana are taken out from the special secure room only during the annual festival of the temple during the procession of the devata, Ettumanoorappan (Mahadev). The darshan of the Ezharaponnana is very significant as it is considered to be the symbol of prosperity.

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