The festival of festivals
What comes to your mind first? Fireworks,
exuberant elephant processions, mind blowing instrumental
yes it's a combination of all these. Pooram
- the spectacular temple festival falls in the Malayalam month
of Medam (April or May).
Pooram is centered on 'Vadakkumnatha Kshetra', the
temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The festival is held
in the heart of the city known as Thekkinkad Maidan (Formerly
a teak wood forest), a circular mound which has an area of
60 acres. The name 'Thrissur' itself is derived from the ancient
name of the town 'Thiru siva perur', which means 'The
land of Lord Shiva.'
main participants of this festival are Paramekkavu temple
and Thiruvambadi temple more than the Vadakkumnatha
temple. Apart from these, the other temples participating
are Kanimangalam, Karamuck, Chembukkavu, Choorakkot, Laloor,
Ayyanthole and Neythilakkavu. Formerly Pooram was conducted
in a place called Arattupuzha, which is believed to
be the meeting place of all gods. Once Thrissur deities couldn't
participate due to heavy rains and floods, so the then King
of Thrissur, Sakthan Thampuran, decided to celebrate
Pooram in Thrissur itself without any disturbance. Though
there is no written evidence about the beginning of Pooram,
it is believed to have begun in the 18th century.
festival begins with the flag hoisting ceremony called 'Kodiyettam',
15 days before the actual Pooram day. On the eve of Pooram,
both the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples display the
jewellery to be worn by the elephants.
The rituals of Pooram starts with the arrival of Thiruvambadi
group called 'Madathil Varavu'. On this day elephants
are decorated with Nettipattam (a fine piece of cloth
fringed with gold plates). Three Namboothiri Brahmins will
be seated on each of the elephants, one holding a long stemmed
umberella, magnificently decorated with silk and satin and
the other two hold Vencahamaram (Yak fur fan) and Alavattom
(Circular peacock feather fan). After placing the two
main idols on the back of the two huge elephants, the procession
starts. During the procession, the Thiruvambadi music party
plays the Panchavadya (Five instruments) and the Paramekkavu
music party plays Pandimelam (drum music).
that, the elephants from both parties face each other in an
array, and the world famous Kudamattom starts (display
of magnificent embroidered umberellas in a multitude of designs).
As music reaches the peak, the display becomes faster. By
evening both the parties disperse. Then finally at 2.30 am
is the much-awaited dazzling event, which lights up the sky,
called Vedikkettu (Firework display).
slowly the crowd disappears
And now, it's the time to say adieu to the grand festival
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