Thrissur Pooram, Kerala’s most extravagant temple festival will begin on May 13 (Monday) and will be concluded on May 14 (Tuesday). It is an annual festival in Kerala dedicated to goddesses Durga or Kali in temples near in Valluvanadu area with Thrissur Pooram being the most significant one. The colourful festival is commemorated at the iconic Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur dedicated to Lora Shiva. From spectacular night long firework, extravagant elephant procession, colourful ‘Kudamattom’ (exchange of different types of parasols) to the famous ‘Elanjithara Melam’, everything will reflect the rich history and significance of this joyous Kerala festival.
Thrissur Pooram festival started in the 18th century by Raja Rama Varma, the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin. He was also known as the Sakthan Thampuran, who played a vital role in shaping the Thrissur city and making it Kerala’s cultural capital. During this festival, one can see an excellent collection of elephants decorated with various golden ornaments. The name Thrissur is derived from “Thiru-Shiva-Perur”, which literally translates to “The city of the Sacred Siva”.
Thrissur Pooram is a magnificent festival which takes place in Kerala and attracts millions of tourists around the world during this festival. This festival is celebrated annually and was initiated by Shakthan Thampuran who was the ruler of Kochi. He organised the festival with the participation of ten temples including Paramekkavu, Thiruvambadi Kanimangalam, Karamucku, Laloor, Choorakottukara, Panamukkampally, Ayyanthole, Chembukkavu and Neythilakavu. In this festival, thirty elephants are decked up in what is known as the kudamattom ceremony. Ilanjithara melam, a live performance with traditional instruments, sets the festive mood during this annual event. Around 250 artists participate in this orchestra which is led by the chenda artistes.
During this festival, best elephants from the temples in Kerala are sent to Trichur as they participate in the grand eight days of the Pooram Festival. The festival celebration starts early morning, and a procession of the in the Kanimangalam Shasta is carried along with the deity of the goddess.
The festival is started with a special flag hoisting ceremony which is known as the Kodiyettam, and it is conducted by three modalities Padahadi, Anguradi and Dhwajadi.
On the last day of the Pooram festival, devotees carry out the procession of thirty decorated elephants who are divided into two groups. The first group, which consist of fifteen elephants are marching from Thiruvambadi temple till Vadukunnathan temple. The elephants carry the idol of Lord Krishna, and the other group of fifteen elephants will process from Paramekavu Bhagavathy temple. The main leader of the group carries the idol of the goddess and reaches Tekkinkadu maidan. The huge procession organised at the temple premisesis accompanied by music and live celebrations are truly once in a lifetime experience.