Thrissur Pooram is one of the most famous and spectacular temple festivals held annually in Thrissur, a city in the state of Kerala, India. It is a grand event that attracts thousands of people from different parts of the world. The Pooram is celebrated at the Vadakkunnathan Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in the heart of Thrissur.
The festival is known for its magnificent display of traditional music, percussion ensembles, and a grand procession of decorated elephants. The highlight of Thrissur Pooram is the competition between two groups of temples, the Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple and Thiruvambady Bhagavathy Temple. Each group presents a series of caparisoned elephants, adorned with gold ornaments, colorful umbrellas, and nettipattam (decorative headdress), which create a mesmerizing sight.
The main event of Thrissur Pooram is the ‘Kudamattam’ or the changing of colorful parasols atop the elephants. The two groups try to outdo each other by displaying the most impressive and vibrant umbrellas. The beating of traditional drums like chenda and melam, accompanied by the cymbals and trumpets, adds to the electrifying atmosphere of the festival.
Apart from the elephants and musical performances, the festival also features fireworks displays, traditional dance performances like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, and a variety of cultural programs. The streets around the Vadakkunnathan Temple are filled with food stalls, vendors selling traditional artifacts, and enthusiastic spectators.
Thrissur Pooram usually takes place in the Malayalam month of Medam (April-May) on the day when the moon rises with the Pooram star. The festival has a rich history dating back over 200 years and is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of Kerala.