The Guruvayoor’s elephant named Guruvayur Padmanabhan died at the age of 84, a top Guruvayur Devaswom official said.
Padmanabhan was credited for carrying the “Thidambu” which isthe miniature of the presiding deity of Lord Krishn of the Guruvayur Temple for decades.
The elephant had also gained the title of ‘Gajaratnam” due to his attractive features like long trunk that touched the ground and well carved shape, said Guruvayur Devaswom Chairman K B Mohandas.
He said the tusker had been undergoing treatment for the last few weeks after it suffered swelling on its body.
With the death of Padmanabhan, the number of pachyderms in the elephant sanctuary managed by Guruvayur Devaswom has come down to 47, he said.
Padmanabhan, one of the oldest elephant in the captivity, was much sought after during the temple festivals across the state including famous Thrissur Pooram.
He got the highest pay of Rs 2.22 lakh in 2014 for participating in famous Nenmara-Vellangi Vela festival in Palakkad district in 2004, temple officials said.
The elephant was kept at Anakkotta (the elephant sanctuary) located in the vicinity of the Guruvayur Temple.
The sanctuary managed by the Devaswom attracts a number of devotees and tourists visiting the temple town every year.
When Padmanabhan was brought to Guruvayur in 1954, there were only few elephants there.
The elephant was caught from the Nilambur forest.
He was presented to the Guruvayoor temple by two brothers from Ottapplam in 1954, temple officials said.