It’s not easy. You have to wade through the plethora of bodies swinging to the drum beats and evade all the stray elbows that might come your way. There is the local crowd and the travelling folk, and there’s also the photographers that throng the Thrissur Pooram festival in Kerala. But for all the cuts and bruises and blows you might take, the spectacle that awaits you is absolutely worth it!
With elephants aplenty, fireworks every second andchenda melam(drum beats) that will boom in your ears, Thrissur Pooram is a festival that you shouldn’t miss out on.
The 36-hour non-stop Thrissur Pooram is a post-harvest festival celebrated during the month of Medom (April). The festival is the congregation of all gods and goddesses in and around Thrissur. There are 10 deities who make their grand appearances during the festival to the tunes of Chenda Melam.
The largest temple festival in Kerala, the pooram of all poorams, has quite a back story which makes it all the more interesting.
Rewind to two centuries ago when Raja Rama Varma was ruling and was fondly called Shakthan Thampuran. The Arratupuzha Festival, a one-day event was underway 10 kilometres south of Thrissur. Unfortunately, it happened to rain on this particular day and the temples participating from the area of Vadakumnathan in Thrissur reached late for the festival and weren’t allowed inside the temple premises.
Complaints were made by the temple officials of the Vadakumnathan which comprised of 10 temples then. Raja Rama Varma quickly took charge and put together a festival bigger, better and grander than the Arratupuzha Festival. And from then on, the Thrissur Pooram became the biggest temple festival in the state.
Now if the story doesn’t interest you much, here’s why you should not miss this festival:
For the glorious display ofAna Chamaya Pradharshanam
The elephant procession which is one of the signatures of Thrissur Pooram. The elephants are decked with Nettipattam ( Caparisons-traditional headgear).
The sight is one to behold with elephants marching in unison, with mahouts in position, holding bright, big umbrellas called muttukuda, all made up to welcome the gods and goddesses.
More than 50 elephants take part in this procession, but only the biggest ones are chosen for this particular ritual.
To listen to the feet tapping rhythm ofChenda melam
Chenda is the traditional percussion instrument played on temple festivals. The Kombu Pattu, a horn-like instrument, is another traditional instrument which accompanies the Chenda during most festivals in Kerala. And when these two combine, the music produced will have everyone in festive mode.
Check out this video ofChenda melam in symphony withKombu pattu. This should definitely tempt you to make the trip:
For the fireworks that brighten up the Thrissur sky
With locally-made bombs, the sound of which will make your ears reverberate, the Sample Vedikettu or the sample fireworks are the greatest work of pyrotechnics in the state.
The spectacle that lights up the sky will have you gasp in amazement
For the spectacular lighting on colossal temples
All the temples taking part in this grand festival are dressed with beautiful lights to celebrate the pooram. One look at these beauties and you’ll be floored. This particular attraction will make you want to attend the Thrissur Pooram again.