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Thrissur Pooram, A Festival of Culture and Religious Harmony

January 21, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 25   Category: Social    Views: 844

Thrissur Pooram is a festival of gala and culture, celebrated in Thrissur city of India. It is an example of religious harmony and entertainment.


The eyes of all the Malayalees of the whole world are fixed on Thrissur where the Pooram Festival takes place. It is a matchless cultural event of central Kerala, an Indian state, celebrated in the Malayalam calendar month Medam(April or May).


Pooram means a festival of the local deity. It is an occasion of the deity meeting other deities. It is celebrated once in a year to honor the deity taking it in a traditional procession on an elephant. Legend says that the gods of the neighboring temples visit Lord Krishna of the Vadakkunathan temple and the goddess at Paramekkavu temple. Vadakkunathan temple is the main place of celebration participated by the surrounding temples. The other temples that participate in the festival are the Paramekkavu temple, Tiruvambadi temple, Choorakkottukavu temple, Neithilakkavu temple, Kanimangalam temple, Chembukkavu temple, Purakkattupilly temple and the Panamukkampilly temple.


The venue of the main celebrations is the Thekkinkadu(Teakwood Forest) ground surrounding the Vadakunathan temple which exists in the heart of the Thrissur city. Nearly sixty five acres of this area is an ideal place for all the cultural events and various competitions that take place during this festival day. People gather in millions in Thrissur to participate in the historical events that take place on the Pooram ground.

Introduction to the Pooram Festival

It was during the golden period of Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the former Cochin State, that this festival was introduced in the late eighteenth century. For the past two hundred years, Thrissur Pooram has been attracting millions fro all over the world. Although temple festivals are celebrated throughout the state, it is a well-known fact that there is no other festival in Kerala that attracts such an unbelievable number of people to a single event.

The Three Main Events

The colorful procession of decorated elephants culminated in the changing of umbrellas, the heart soothing music of the Panchavadhya instruments and the colorful and artistic display of fireworks are the main three events that make the Thrissur Pooram so attractive.

Decoration of Elephants

The elephants taking part in the procession are adorned with glittering golden frontlets and other traditional ornaments. Around thirty elephants from each temple march slowly at the rhythm of the musical instruments.

The Change of Umbrellas

"Kudamattam" or the change of umbrellas is a competition between two teams of the two temples in the swift and rhythmic changing of brightly colored umbrellas.

It is conducted by the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi teams. Hundreds of artisans are engaged by both the temples for the fabrication of silken umbrellas in excellent colors to be exhibited during the enchanting event called "Kudamattam". More than a hundred expert artisans specialized in the fabrication of these umbrellas, work for more than two months to fabricate around 500 silken umbrellas for each temple. Richly decorated elephants stand in two arrays and the umbrellas are changed in a ritual order. Peacock "Alavattam" and white haired fans accompany the umbrellas. Orchestra groups of drums and trumpets stand between the two lines of elephants.

Instrumental Display

Orchestra with traditional drums and trumpets create a very heavenly atmosphere.

When each orchestra reaches a crescendo, a new display of brilliant ceremonial umbrellas blossoms over the elephants and a cheerful applaud soars up from the crowd.

World Class Fireworks

The Thrissur Pooram is also well known for the magnificent display of fireworks. Fire works start in the early hours of the day around two and the dazzling display lasts three to four hours. Both Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples display fireworks in competition. Under the supervision of pyrotechnicians Mundathikode Mani and Kondayur Surendran respectively the fireworks by Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu are being conducted this year.

Pooram: An Occasion of Religious Harmony

Thrissur Pooram is an occasion of promoting religious harmony. People of all religions take part in the events of the celebrations. The Thrissur Archbishops of Christian communities, the Islam religious leaders and other important religious leaders greet the temple officials and offer gifts. People of all religions also enjoy the gala of the events. .

Thrissur Pooram: A Festival of Culture

Thrissur Pooram is a festival that brightens up with a spectacular procession of decorated elephants, cultural shows of umbrellas, unimaginable display of fire works, dance and music competitions, prayer, worship, percussion performances and other colorful fiestas. It is enjoyed by many foreign tourists assisted with proper arrangements by the tourism department. Pooram is an occasion of healthy religious harmony. Thrissur Pooram is a festival of entertainment to all the senses of the body as well as all the perceptions of the mind.


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