On 4th Feb 2020, Tuesday, Sri Krishnan, an elephant owned by the Guruvayur Devaswom, ran amok at a temple festival at Karalam killing the Mahout by stabbing. The 42 year old Mahout Nandan, from Sreekrishnapuram in Palakkad, took over the mahoutship of the notorious elephant Sri Krishnan after the same elephant killed his friend and Mahout Subhash a few years ago.
With time the seasoned Nandan who was an expert in elephant maintenance was able to build a rapport with the elephant and on several occasions in the past he had successfully brought the charging elephant under control most skillfully and bravely, saving several lives including that of Alukkal Jayaraman who escaped with a stab on his arm. However on the ill-fated Tuesday, Sri Krishnan turned aggressive again and this time went straight for the life of Mahout Nandan who was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Meanwhile elephant Sri Krishnan who had by then wreaked havoc in the locality, could be controlled only after several hours by the elephant squad.
The loss of Nandan is irreparable say the natives of Guruvayur , as he was known to be one of the most accomplished Mahouts under the Guruvayur Devaswom.
An ex Supervisor of the Anakota at Punnathur remembers him as an affable, humble and highly knowledgeable staff who was always a source of inspiration and support to his colleagues and superiors alike. Everyone had a good word to say about the brave mahout.
His death is being mourned by his family and friends. He has left behind his wife and a toddler.