Palakkad: The story of an autorickshaw driver buying an elephant may sound surprising to most of us. But it was one of the biggest dreams of Vadakkanthara native Saravanan. He wanted to own an elephant. So he bought a tusker from a Kottayam native last year and named it Thirupuraykkal Rajendran.
Rajendran was 10.5 feet tall Bihari elephant. He was aged more than 55 years and was suffering from physical ailments. But Saravanan managed to get him proper medical help with his meager earnings from auto service. Also he allowed Rajendran to be part of some processions and programmes.
Unfortunately, the tusker died two days ago putting an end to Saravanan’s dreams and efforts. Just like maintaining an elephant, its cremation process also is very expensive. It costs about Rs 2 lakh, and Saravanan was unable to find this amount. He approached many people for a helping hand.
When elephant lovers, owners and mahouts learnt this incident, they came forward to help Saravanan and raised the amount required for cremation. Finally, the carcass was cremated in Walayar on Friday evening.
The elephant was also known by many names such as Thambalakkad Rajendran, Chamappuzha Kailas, Vattamkuzhiyil Prithviraj, Guruji Chandrasekharan, Athira Rajendran, Edakkuni Rajendran, Nandikkara Rajendran, Arun Rajendran, Chirakkal Rajendran, Mouttath Rajendran and Nagerimana Ayyappan.
A Kottayam Kuravilangad native person who bought the diseased tusker from Thrissur had named him Vattamkuzhiyil Prithviraj. The owner provided expert treatment for the elephant and improved his health.
Later, a Valayamchirangara native purchased the tusker and called it Valayamchirangara Kailas. Since then, the tusker started participating in processions. In 2017, the elephant was bought by a person from Kottayam.
Auto driver Saravanan from Palakkad bought the elephant from this person. Tusker Rajendran was a noted presence in famous temple festivals such as Chembuthra Makarachovva, Cherayi festival, Nenmara-Vallangi Vela and Thrissur Pooram.