Thrissur Pooram

Kerala’s most spectacular elephant and fireworks festival, Thrissur Pooram attracts large number of devotees and spectators from all parts of the state, country and other parts of the world as well. Billed as “the festival of festivals”, the annual spectacle comprises processions of caparisoned elephants, orchestra of drums, horns and cymbals, religious ceremonies and fireworks.

Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the former Kochi State was the pioneer of this festival in the late eighteenth century. The Pooram started with the convergence of processions from eight temples in and around at the famous Vadakkumnathan Temple located on a hillock in the heart of the city. The extensive Thekkinkadu Maidan, en circling the Vadakumnathan temple, is the main venue of the Thrissur Pooram festival.

Since the word pooram literally means a group or a meeting, it was believed that every year the dynastic gods and goddesses of neighbouring province met together for a day of celebration.

The festival is celebrated during April – May by two rival groups representing the two divisions of Thrissur Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi contesting with each other in making the display of fireworks splendour and more colourful. Each group is allowed to display a maximum of fifteen elephants and all efforts are made by each party to secure the best elephants in South India and the most artistic umbrellas, several kinds of which are raised on the elephants during the display. And then ‘Kudamattam,’ a competition in the swift and rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequinned parasols is conducted. The whole event takes place in rhythm to the traditional orchestra ‘ Pandimelam’.

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