Friday, January 15, 2010

Thrissur Pooram - The Grand Temple Festival of Kerala

Thrissur Pooram happens to be the most colourful temple festival of Kerala. The festival is celebrated in the Thrissur district of Kerala in the Vadakkumnathan temple in the auspicious month of April or Medam. The Thrissur Pooram festival attracts thousands of devotees every year. This year in 2010, the festival falls on 24th April. The festival is a magnificent spectacle with gorgeous processions of elephants, bright fireworks, drum concerts and fancy umbrella shows. The best temple elephants of Kerala are sent to participate in this beautiful Pooram festival.

The amazing fireworks begin around 3 o’clock in the night and continue till 6 am. The festival ends by the afternoon. The beginning of this special Pooram festival is marked by ezhunellippu of the Kanimangalam Shasta. It happens in the morning and then starts the ezhunnellippu of six other smaller temples. Ezhunnellippu is a custom which signifies the visit of Goddess to the Vadakkunnathan temple from the temples of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi. The word ‘pooram’ means a gathering.

According to the popular belief, the dynastic gods and goddesses of different provinces came together on this day to celebrate. As the locals say the gods and goddesses arrived for this gathering on beautifully decorated tuskers. They also say that on this day Lord Shiva regains power. The Pooram festival is held in the grounds of Thekkinkadu. This mammoth temple festival was started by Sakthan Thampuran (1775- 1790). He was the Maharaja of erstwhile state of Kochi.

The festival is celebrated by two rival groups Thrissur Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi vying, each of which represents two divisions. The rivals are allowed to display only a maximum of fifteen elephants. So, to outdo the other, each group brings along the best elephants of Kerala or South India for that matter and showcase the most gorgeous and artistic parasols. As the Pooram festival draws to a close, the rival groups make their entry into the Vadakkumnathan temple through its western gate and then make their exit through the southern gate before aligning themselves face to face.

This makes for an enchanting visual glory as the two bejeweled rival groups stand in a procession facing each other. The Thrissur Pooram festival is in fact the last day of the Utsavam of nine temples which is an eight day festival. Several Maddalam, Thimila, Cymbal, Trumpet, and Edakka artists add spice to the festive scene with their programs. Pandemelam, a special musical show is also staged and all these talented artistes participate in this program. Then curtains of this festival are finally drawn down by bidding a grand farewell to the deities of Paramekkavu Devaswams and Thiruvambadi.

To become a part of this great festival travel with Paahun. Please check the tour at

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