Kerala’s iconic 200-year-old annual Thrissur pooram held in full grandeur

The famed pooram, at the Thekkinkadu ground, was attended by thousands, cutting across religion and age barriers.


Published Apr 20, 2024 | 1:30 PMUpdatedApr 20, 2024 | 4:18 PM

Thrissur Pooram

Thousands witnessed the high-octane Thrissur Pooram on Friday, 19 April, an iconic festival in this central Kerala city, held in full grandeur on the sprawling grounds of the famed Vadakkunnathan Temple.

The annual spectacle, which is generally billed as the mother of all temple festivals in the state, saw 30 caparisoned elephants —15 each from the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady temples— standing face-to-face and being a part of the centuries-old customs and traditions.

The elephants paraded at the temple had been given fitness certificates by the authorities.

The parade of ornately caparisoned elephants and a high-voltage traditional percussion performance enthralled a sea of cheering people.

The famed pooram, at the Thekkinkadu ground, was attended by thousands, cutting across religion and age barriers.

During the famed ‘Kudamattam’ ceremony, a much-awaited visual spectacle, which began shortly after 6 pm, both the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady devaswoms displayed numerous impressive illuminated cutouts of various deities, including Ram, Shiva, and Hanuman, among others.

Kudamattam is a change of colourful ornamental silk parasols in quick succession by people mounted atop the elephants.

The display of ‘nettipattams’ (the golden caparisons), ‘venchamaram” (ornamental fan made of peacock feathers) and ‘muthukkuda’ (decorative umbrellas) added colour to the festival, as always.

Earlier on Friday, the traditional music ensembles, ‘panchavadyam and pandimelam’, were performed by an array of percussionists who created an electrifying effect, keeping the crowd on their toes.

Thrissur Pooram

The two-centuries-old Thrissur Pooram has its origins in 1798, through a royal edict of the then Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Shakthan Thampuran, a powerful ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Cochin.

The edict entrusted two local temples— Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady— as the main sponsors of the festivities to be conducted in a competitive spirit.

Besides the main poorams by the two devaswoms (temple management bodies), small poorams from nearby temples were also a part of the festivities, which will end on Saturday with a massive fireworks display.

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