It was one of the majestic elephant which served the Lord in all its sincerity and uniqueness. Valiya Raja of Nilambur once prayed to the Lord to save his family and property from the enemies attack. He promised to offer one of his many elephants if his wish is fulfilled. His wish was fulfilled and he offered an elephant which later became the famous Guruvayur Kesavan.
On his arrival, Kesavan was 10 years old and elephant Padmanabhan was the undisputed king. Young Kesavan acquired all the kingly gestures and nobleness of Padmanabhan and even excelled him. He would bend his front-legs only before those who holds Lord's Thidambu to enable them to climb upon him, all others were to climb by his behind-legs. He never caused any bodily harm to anyone. He sometimes was called "Lunatic Kesavan", but never spoiled any sanctity.
Even if he became wild outside Guruvayur, he would straightaway come to Guruvayur, go round the temple and stood where he used to be chained.
In 1973, first time in history, the Golden Jubilee of the services of an elephant to the temple was celebrated. Kesavan was conferred upon the honour of "GAJARAJAN" (king of elephants ).
However, on famous Ekadasi day, 2nd December 1976, Kesavan fell ill while Thidambu was placed on his head. He couldn't hold on his legs. The Thidambu was soon transferred to another elephant and Kesavan was brought to the Kovilakam compound. He died in front of the Lord with his trunk stretched in front. He was 72, 3.2metres tall, and participated in every ceremony at the temple. Kerala's biggest and grandest elephant, Gajarajan Kesavan, served the Lord and people for the long 54 years. Who have seen him will never forget Kesavan. To commemorate him, a 12 feet high statue has been erected in front of Sreevalsam rest house.
Famous elephants of Sree Guruvayurappan