Punnathurkotta is a fort and former palace located in Kottapadi, about 2 km from the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple, in Thrissur District of Kerala State in South India.Punnathurkotta was once the palace of a local ruler, but the palace grounds are now used to house the elephants belonging to the Guruvayoor Temple, and has been renamed Anakkotta (meaning "Elephant Fort"). There were 86 elephants housed there, but currently there are about 66 elephants. The elephants are ritual offerings made by the devotees of Lord Guruvayurappa. This facility is also used to train the elephants to serve Lord Krishna as well as participate in many festivals that occur throughout the year.
The oldest elephant is around 82 years of age and is called 'Ramachandran'. The rituals of Gajapooja (Worshipping Elephants) and Anayoottu (Feeding Elephants) are observed here, as an offering to Lord Ganesha. The legendary elephant "Guruvayur Keshavan" was housed here. The compound also has a naalu kettu, a traditional rectangular home with a central courtyard, which belonged to the Punnathur Raja. It is poorly maintained and presently houses a training school for Papans (Mahout). This complex also contains a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Bhagavathy. Some scenes in the famous Malayalam movie "Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha" (starring Mammooty) were filmed at this location. The visiting hours are 8.00 AM to 5.30 PM. The entry fee is Rs 5 per adult.
Elephant Camp At Punnathurkotta:
The Elephant Camp is located in Punnathur Kotta, at a distance of 3 km from the Guruvayur Temple. This Elephant Camp is one of its kinds in the World and is considered to be one of the largest elephant sanctuaries housing around 60 elephants. The fascinating feature is that all the elephants are offerings that are made by the devotees, at the temple. The camp also acts as a training school for the elephants. Most of the elephants are trained to participate in major processions and daily temple rituals. This camp is visited by several tourists every year.