Kerala remains an exciting destination among tourists for many reasons. The most festive among them being the Thrissur Pooram, a treat of sights and sounds from the heart of Thrissur. Held on the Moolam Asterism in the Malayalam month of Medam (April- May) on the premises of the Vadakkumnathan Temple on the Thekkinkadu maidanam, it is a festival that attracts thousands of people every year to experience this one-of-a-kind emotion.
First introduced by Shakthan Thampuran, the maharaja of Kochi, more than 200 years ago, it is now a mammoth event, conducted with the participation of 10 temples (Choorakkattukara, Panamukkampally, Ayyanthole, Paramekkavu, Thiruvambadi Kanimangalam, Karamukku, Laloor, Chembukkavu and Neythilakavu). When rains delayed the arrival of temple groups from Thrissur to participate in the Arattupuzha Pooram, which was till then the state’s largest temple festival, the former was denied entry to the procession.
Shakthan Thampuran resolved their disappointment by inviting temples surrounding the Vadakkumnathan temple to pay their respects to Lord Siva, the presiding deity and organising the Thrissur Pooram, a mass, inclusive festival. He divided the procession into two main groups, the Paramekkavu side and the Thiruvambady side. Preparations start a week early with the flag hoisting and a sample vedikkettu or fireworks presented four days after that.
The final day of the pooram is when the Ilanjithara Melam, the orchestral performance of around 250 artistes takes centrestage with traditional instruments like chenda, kurumkuzhal, kombu and elathalam with caparisoned elephants forming the backdrop for the kudamattam, or exchange of colourful parasols.