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Pooram is a one-day temple festival celebrated annually across Kerala. It is considered very auspicious and celebrated in a grand way by a few temples. Thrissur Pooram has grown far beyond being a temple festival. It has become the pride of the entire city. Every person who belongs to Thrissur celebrates this festival of colours, fireworks and culture in full fervour.

The History of Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur photoPhoto by Haridas Pangayil1

The story goes back to the days of Shakthan Thamburan. Those days, the biggest pooram was the Arattupuzha pooram wherein groups from Thrissur and other towns used to participate. Once, due to nonstop rains, the Thrissur groups reached late and were denied permission to join the festival. The temple groups complained to their ruler Shakthan Thamburan who came with the idea of conducting another Pooram. He grouped 10 temples around the Vadakkumnathan Temple and started the legendary Thrissur Pooram!

Temples that Participate in Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur photoPhoto by ArunaR

Shakthan Thamburan grouped these temples into two sides. The Thiruvambady side consists of Thiruvambady Sri Krishna temple, Laloor Bhagavathy, Ayyanthole Sree Karthyayani, Kanimangalam Shasta, and Nethilakkavu Bhagavathy Temple. The Paramekkavu side consists of Paramekkavu Bhagavathy, Panamukkumpally Shasta, Choorakkottukavu Bhagavathy, Chembukkavu Bhagavathy and Pookattikkara – Karamukku Baghavathy Temple. These groups enthrall the spectators with a competitive display of splendor to praise and please Lord Siva.

The Ceremonies involved in Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur photoPhoto by Rameshng

Summer is the season for Thrissur Pooram. In Medam (April-May), the Thrissur city gets ready for this grand celebration of colors, culture, elephants, fireworks, percussion and people. There is a ceremonial flag hoisting or Kodiyettam that marks the beginning of the celebrations.

The Pooram Chamayam

Thrissur photoPhoto by Haridas Pangayil1

The Nettippattoms or the Elephant caparisons are kept on display on the 4th and 5th days of Kodiyettam. The Thiruvambady side and Paramekkavu sides choose different venues for displaying the nettippattoms, anachamayam, Alavattom, Venchamaram and bells. The biggest highlights are the colourful decorative umbrellas that are displayed in competition by both during the main event. This display itself attracts a lot of visitors.

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Thrissur photoPhoto by manusankerms

One of the main attractions of Thrissur Pooram is the display of amazing fireworks. There’s usually a sample firework that happens on the 4th day of Kodiyettam. The full-fledged one happens the next evening, after the day-time events of Thrissur Pooram. The city sky lights up to a million colors of firework during the night. Every year, the spectators come excited to see something innovative in the fireworks and they are never disappointed.

 The Gala Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur Pooram photoPhoto by challiyan

The main event of Thrissur Pooram happens at the Thekkinkad Maithanam on the 6th day of Kodiyettam. It starts with the Ezhunnallippu or welcoming of Kanimangalam Shasthavu followed by 6 other temples. More than 200 artists perform live during the Madathil Varavu which is a main attraction of Pooram. More than 50 elephants stand tall on either side completely decorated. The percussion recital involving Madhalam, Trumpet, Thimila, Edakka and Cymbal attracts a lot of visitors. The Ilanjithara Melam by Vadakkumnathan temple is particularly famous among the crowd.

Thrissur photo

Photo by Rameshng

After the Ilanjithara Melam, the famous Kudamaattom starts. Both groups of elephants stand at a distance facing each other and start showcasing umbrellas on top of the elephants. These umbrellas are huge, beautifully decorated and uniquely made every year.

The Farewell

Thrissur Pooram photoPhoto by Haridas Pangayil1

On the seventh day of Kodiyettam, a day after Thrissur Pooram, the city ceremoniously bids farewell to the temples. The idols from Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu are paid respects and taken back to the respective temples. This marks the end of the gala Thrissur Pooram celebrations. The ground is cleared soon and life returns to normal in the city. The merchants are happy with the business that the crowds bring and the blessings showered by the Gods and Goddesses.

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Thrissur Pooram – A Secular Celebration

Thrissur Pooram photoPhoto by Rameshng

The umbrellas made for Kudamaattom are usually sponsored by the merchants, mostly by Churches and the Christians, who belong to Thrissur. The Pooram ground and the vicinity are brightly decorated by the Muslims of the area. The entire city comes together to make the arrangements and celebrate Thrissur Pooram as a regional festival. The crowd that gathers in tens of thousands is familiar with the rituals and become a part of them.

Featured Photo by Rameshng

Thrissur Pooram – A Festival Of Elephants, Colours And Fireworks

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