Saturday, August 15, 2009


Thought of writing few words about the cultural excellence of Kerala, or rather India...

Really a special day for people all over the world, irrespective of religion, caste or creed! A worldly celebration, a cultural highlight, a healthy competition, a spectacular event, a colorful memory, a legendary festival, a refreshing season, an enthused arena, a feeling of unity, a summer-time fun, a spellbound sight, the biggest wonder, and what not!

Pooram is an annual festival held in central Kerala, particularly, Thrissur, parts of Palakkad and Malappuram. Most Pooram festivals have at least one ornately decorated elephant being paraded in the procession taken out of the temple precincts. However, there are some, such as Aryankavu Pooram near Shoranur and Machattu Thiruvanikavu Vela near Wadakkanchery that do not use the caparisoned elephant, instead go for stilted mannequins of horses or bullocks. Many such festivals exist like Arattupuzha-Peruvanam Pooram, Nenmara Vallangi Vela, Uthralikkavu Pooram and Chinakkathoor Pooram, but Thrissur Pooram tops the list as an undefeatable contender.

Thrissur Pooram – the most sought after Pooram of all Poorams today, is celebrated annually during the Malayalam calendar month of Medam (mid-April to mid-May in the English calendar) in Thrissur, the cultural capital of the state of Kerala in India. Its unique style attracts large masses of devotees and spectators from all over the world. The nakshtram Pooram marks the day of the festival symbolizing end of a happy harvest season resulting in the largest gathering of mankind. The festival is rich and enjoyable starting with the Kodiyettam in the respective temples, through all the walks till the scintillating mammoth fireworks. The playground of the competition Thekkinkadu Maidanam, the tough rivals Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi, the three picturesque and charming tall Panthals, the magnificent gold caparisoned elephants’ Ezhunallippu, the mighty musical extravaganza of Panchavadyam (an orchestra of five instruments - Timila, Idakka, Maddalam, Ilathalam, and Kombu accompanied by Shangu), the exchange of the ever-artistic parasols Kudamattom, and the silent witness Vadukunnathan temple, each serves as a non-detachable entity of this festive occasion and adds to its grandeur. A noteworthy feature of the pooram festival is the participation of large numbers of people and elephants. The pachyderms emerge out in all their regalia with newly fabricated caparisons. They make their way through the milling crowds drawn from all religions, castes and creed to the accompaniment of ecstatic percussion ensembles. Thrissur town plays host, for 36 hours from the wee hours of the pooram day, to one of the largest collection of people and elephants. The richly decorated elephant, as seen during the Thrissur pooram, is now globally recognized, and its association with Kerala. On the pooram day, fifty or more elephants will pass through the very center of Thrissur town. It is an assemblage of suburban deities before the presiding deity at the Siva temple in down town Thrissur.

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