An awesome lovely sight near Guruvayur temple is the life size statue of Gajarajan Guruvayur Keshavan. Guruvayur Keshavan, who, according to records, was donated to the temple by Royal family of Nilambur on January 4, 1922, is the most famous and widely known temple elephant of Kerala. At that time he was only 10 year old. Padmanabhan was the leading elephant at that time and Keshavan quickly imbibed the impressive stature and gestures of the great temple elephant. While standing among other elephants Keshavan’s head always was held majestically higher.
Guruvayur Keshavan, with a majestic height and appearance of over 3.2 meters, was one of the most favourite elephants of Guruvayurappan. Keshavan is well known for its devotion to Guruvayurappan. He allowed only the person carrying the idol of Guruvayurappan through his front legs.
Keshavan was conferred the title of Gajaranan in 1973 in recognition of his exemplary behavior, depth of devotion to Guruvayurappan and intelligence.
Guruvayur Keshavan died at the age of 72 on December 2, 1976. That day was Guruvayur Ekadeshi, when all devotees spend the day fasting. Even on his day of death, Keshavan is said to have fasted for the entire day and died facing the temple raising his trunk in prayer. Death anniversary of Keshavan is held every year in Guruvayur.