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iXiGOers Apr 10 2013

What can you tell me about the festival of Thrissur Pooram in Kerala?

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Step into the dazzling world of fireworks, festivities and striking pageants at one of Kerala’s most important temple festivals, the Thrissur Pooram. Renowned as the “pooram of all poorams”, this is usually a 36-hour festival celebrated in medham month of the Malayalam calendar in Thrissur. The date for the main day of the Pooram this year has been declared as 21st April, 2013.



The brainchild of Raja Rama Varma (who was popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran), the Maharaja of Cochin, this festival began in the 18th century in a bid to bring the different temples of Thrissur together for a grand celebration every year. The Vadakkumnatha Temple here is the epicentre of these celebrations, which in itself is a fine example of Kerala style of architecture. Thousands of devotees gather Thekkinkadu Maidanam at Thrissur to participate in the various rituals and events held here.

Thrissur Pooram begins with an elaborate flag hoisting ceremony, Kodiyettam, in which all temples participate. The most important event here is the pageant of caparisoned elephants, held on the 4th and 5th day before the main pooram, which is followed by a spectacular show of fireworks in the evening. These two days also see a competition of Kudamattom, a unique and striking display which is made by swiftly and rhythmically swaying colourful, sequinned parasols.



The 6th day from the flag hoisting ceremony, 21st April this year, is when the main Pooram takes place. Different deities from different temples enter the Vadakkumnatha Temple from its various gates. There is a strict order which these temples follow and each of them has a dedicated entry and exit door (or gopuram). This is followed by a final show of fireworks, a much grander version that the first or “sample” one, which marks the culmination of these temples visiting Thrissur.



The final and the 7th day is when Thrissur bids farewell to these temples and their deities, where they leave to reside back in their respective shrines. This too is marked by a final show of fireworks.

A great deal of preparation goes into the festival of Thrissur Pooram, where local craftsmen and artisans create unique and magnificent caparisons and decorations, including gilded peacock fans and colourful umbrellas to be displayed at the main festival.

With a world of colour, fireworks and community spirit coming together, visit Thrissur this April to immerse yourself in a truly local flavour while the aura of spirituality takes you over.


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