is the most colorful of all the temple festivals of Kerala
and one of the most interesting Festivals in India
. It is celebrated in Thrissur
at the Vadakkunnathan
Temple (dedicated to Lord Shiva) in the month of Medam
(April/May in the Hindu calendar). Situated on a hillock right in the center of the city, the spaciously laid out temple attracts thousands of devotees and tourists from around the world during the festival.
Thrissur Pooram is a magnificent spectacle with night long fireworks, colorful 'Kudamattom' (a parasol & peacock-fan performance), the famous 'Elanjithara Melam' (traditional Indian orchestra) and a splendid elephant procession. The best looking elephants from the various temples in Kerala are sent to Trichur to participate in the grand eight day Pooram Festival.
The 36 hour celebration at the end of Thrissur Pooram commences in the morning with a procession of fifteen elephants marching from the Thiruvambadi temple to the nearby Vadakkunnathan temple. The main elephant of the group carries the idol of Lord Krishna. At the same time another group of 15 elephants starts on the same journey from the Paramekavu Bhagavathy temple. The leader of this group carries the idol of the Hindu Goddes Devi on its back. These thirty decorated elephants stand facing each other in two rows in the Tekkinkadu Maidan (the grounds surrounding the Vadakkunnathan temple) while a melam (orchestra) plays traditional music.
The melam includes about 80 drummers as well as many musicians playing nadaswarams (a flute like instrument) and other traditional instruments. In the early afternoon a crescendo of music starts from the area under an Elanchi tree called the 'Elanchithara Melam' that lasts for three hours. The elephants, which seem to shake their heads in rhythm to the drum beats, are a fascinating sight to behold..
In the evening, participants carrying beautifully embellished parasols and 'Venchamaramas' (peacock-fans) stand on the elephants and the parasol competition called 'Kudamattom' begins. This fascinating performance created by moving the parasols and fans in rhythm to the music is one of the highlights of the festival.
At the end of this performance the statues of Krishna and Devi are returned to their temples. When night falls lamps are lit all over the grounds, creating a serene yet festive atmosphere. In the very early morning a spectacular display of fireworks begins and lasts for about three hours. The display of fireworks is a competition between the two groups representing the twodivisions of Trichur’s temple districts, Paramekkavu (East Side) and Tiruvuvampadi (West Side). Each year the display gets more spectacular as the two groups try to outdo each other.
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