Thrissur Pooram

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Thrissur Pooram
Kudamatom at thrissur pooram 2013 7618.JPG
Thrissur Pooram celebrations
Official nameThrissur Pooram
Observed by Malayalees
Type Hindu temple festival/public holidays in the city of Thrissur
SignificanceLargest pooram in Kerala
  • Vilambaram
  • Kudamatam (കുടമാറ്റം)
  • Ilanjithara Melam (ഇലഞ്ഞിത്തറമേളം)
  • Madathil Varavu (മഠത്തില്‍ വരവ്)
  • fireworks (വെടിക്കെട്ട്)
  • Ezhunilappu
Date Pooram Nakshatra in the Malayalam Calendar month of Medam

The ThrissurPooram (Malayalam: തൃശ്ശൂര്‍ പൂരം) is an annual Hindu temple festival held in Thrissur, Kerala, India. It is held at the Vadakkunnathan (Shiva) Temple in Thrissur every year on the Pooram (pronounced [puːɾam] ) day—the day when the moon rises with the Pooram star in the Malayalam Calendar month of Medam. It is the largest and most famous of all poorams in India. [1] Thrissur pooram is also one of the largest festivals in Asia with more than 1 million visitors. [2]



Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, leader of 'Chenda' group of Paramekkavu temple Peruvanam KuttanMarar.JPG
Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, leader of 'Chenda' group of Paramekkavu temple
Kizhakkoottu Aniyan Marar, leader of 'Chenda' group of Thiruvambady temple Kizhakkoottu Aniyan Marar.JPG
Kizhakkoottu Aniyan Marar, leader of 'Chenda' group of Thiruvambady temple
Kanimangalam Valiyalukkal Bhagavathi Temple Kanimangalam Valiyalukkal Bhagavathi Temple.jpg
Kanimangalam Valiyalukkal Bhagavathi Temple
Illumination of Poora Pandal Pooram Pandal.jpg
Illumination of Poora Pandal

Thrissur Pooram (തൃശ്ശൂര്‍ പൂരം) was the brainchild of Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of Cochin (1790–1805).[ citation needed ] Before the start of Thrissur Pooram, the largest temple festival in Kerala was the one-day festival held at Aarattupuzha known as Arattupuzha Pooram. Temples in and around the city of Thrissur were regular participants. In the year 1798 because of incessant rains, the temples from Thrissur were late for the Arattupuzha Pooram and were denied access to the Pooram procession. Feeling embarrassed and angered by the denial, the temple[ clarification needed ] authorities raised the issue with Sakthan Thampuran. [3]

This made him take the decision to unify the 10 temples situated around Vadakkunnathan Temple and organized the celebration of Thrissur Pooram as a mass festival. He invited temples with their deities to the city of Thrissur to pay obeisance to Vadakkunnathan (Shiva), the presiding deity of the Vadakkunnathan Temple. Something unique about this festival is that everything used in the festival is made fresh every year from scratch. There are people who are given the duty to craft the umbrellas and the nettipattam. [4]


Sakthan Thampuran ordained the temples into two groups, namely "Paramekkavu side" and "Thiruvambady side". These are headed by the principal participants, Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple at Thrissur Swaraj Round and Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple at Shoranur road.

Western Group (Thiruvambady side)

Eastern Group (Paramekkavu side)

The Pooram is centered on the Vadakkunnathan Temple, with all these temples sending their processions to pay obeisance to the Shiva, the presiding deity. The Thampuran is believed to have chalked out the program and the main events of the Thrissur Pooram festival. [5] [6] [7] [8]

Flag Hoisting

The pooram officially begins from the event of flag hoisting (കൊടിയേറ്റം). [9]

The flag hosting ceremony (Kodiyettam) begins seven days before Thrissur Pooram. All the participating temples of Thrissur Pooram are present for the ceremony, and there is a light fireworks to announce the commencement of the festival.

Poora Vilambharam

Poora Vilambaram is a custom where the elephant pushes open the south entrance gate of the Vadakkunnathan Temple, which hosts the Thrissur Pooram, with the idol of 'Neithilakkavilamma' atop it. [10]

Display of fireworks (first round)

The first round of pyrotechnics, known as Sample Vedikettu, happens on the fourth day after the flag hoisting of the Pooram. It is a one-hour show presented by Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devaswoms. Swaraj Round is venue for this fireworks and starts at 7:15 pm. The display usually has innovative patterns and varieties of fireworks. [11] Even though there were several controversies, permission was granted to conduct Thrissur Pooram in 2017 [12]

Display of caparisons

The golden elephant caparison (Nettipattam), elephant accoutrements (Chamayam), ornamental fan made of peacock feathers (Aalavattom), royal fan (Venchamarom), sacred bells and decorative umbrellas are prepared new by Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devawsoms separately. Paramekkavu Devaswom exhibits this at the Agrasala in Thrissur City, and the Thiruvambady Devaswom displays the caparisons at the Church Mission Society High School in Thrissur City on the fourth and fifth day before the Pooram. In 2014 and 2015, it was displayed in Kousthubham Hall at Shornur Road [13]

Main pooram

The pooram starts at the time of Kanimangalam sasthavu ezhunnellippu in the early morning and is followed by the ezhunnellippu of other six temples. One of the major events in Thrissur Pooram is "Madathil varavu", a panchavadhyam melam, participating more than 200 artists, with instruments such as thimila, madhalam, trumpet, cymbal and edakka. At 2:00, inside the vadakkumnathan temple starts the Ilanjithara melam is one of the central attractions of the pooram, consisting of drum, trumpets, pipe and cymbal.

The pooram has a good collection of elephants (more than 50) decorated with nettipattam (decorative golden headdress), strikingly crafted Kolam, decorative bells, and ornaments.

At the end of the pooram, after the Ilanjithara melam, both Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi groups enter the temple through the western gate, come out through the southern gate and array themselves face to face in distant places. The two groups in the presence of melam exchange colourful and crafted umbrellas competitively at the top of the elephants, called Kudamattom, which is the eye-catching attraction of the pooram.

Later all poorams conclude at Nilapaduthara near western gopuram of Vadakkunnathan Temple. 2024 pooram is on April 19th. Another notable feature of the pooram is its secular nature. All religious communities actively participate and play prominent roles in the festival. While most of the pandal works are crafted by the Muslim community, materials for the umbrellas for Kudamattom are offered by the churches and their members. This harmonious relationship amongst various religious groups that has been prevalent historically in the region is something Keralites are extremely proud of. [14]

Display of fireworks (main round)

Thrissur pooram main fireworks (vedikettu / വെടിക്കെട്ട് ) are well renowned all over the country. This amazing display of fireworks is held in the heart of Thrissur city, in Thekkinkadu Maidan.

Thiruvambadi and Parmekavu are the main participants in this event. The main fireworks begin in the early morning of the seventh day. Most pooram enthusiasts stay up all night to get a better view of the fireworks. People come from faraway places to watch this amazing display of pyrotechnics. There are four major firework displays in Thrissur Pooram: the 'sample fireworks' on the day before the Pooram, the colorful sparklers that light up the sky (amittu) by both sides on the Pooram evening after the Southward Descent, the most impressive event that mark the peak of Pooram celebrations in the early morning hours, and the final fireworks the following noon after the goddesses bid farewell to each other that mark the end of the pooram.

Farewell ceremony

The seventh day of the pooram is the last day. It is also known as "Pakal Pooram" (പകല് പൂരം). For the people of Thrissur, the pooram is not only a festival but also a time for hospitality. Upacharam Cholli Piriyal (ഉപചാരം ചൊല്ലി പിരിയല്‍) (farewell ceremony) is the last event held at Swaraj Round. Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple and Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple idols were taken from the Swaraj Round to their respective temples to mark the end of the Pooram celebrations. The festival ends with display of fireworks known as Pakal Vedikkettu. [15] [16]

Cultural influences

Kudamatom at Thrissur Pooram 2013 Kudamatom at thrissur pooram 2013 7618.JPG
Kudamatom at Thrissur Pooram 2013

Despite being a Hindu festival, the Thrissur Pooram is attended by different sections of Kerala society. [17] Several replicas of the festival are held in places in Kerala [18] as well as outside the state. [19] [20] [21]

Thrissur Pooram is considered one of the greatest gatherings in Asia. It has an important place in the tourism map of India, as tourists enjoy the beauty and traditions of this pooram. Rail and bus connectivity is excellent in Thrissur, which attracts many foreign tourists to the gala. It is considered as meeting of Devas (ദേവ സംഗമം).

The Oscar-winning sound editor Resul Pookutty and his team recorded the sounds of the 36-hour festivities and made a movie The Sound Story . [22]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thrissur</span> City in Kerala, India

Thrissur, formerly Trichur, also known by its historical name Thrissivaperur, is a city and the headquarters of the Thrissur district in Kerala, India. It is the third largest urban agglomeration in Kerala after Kochi and Kozhikode, and the 21st largest in India. The city is built around a 65-acre (26 ha) hillock called the Thekkinkaadu Maidaanam which seats a large Hindu Shiva Temple. It is located 304 kilometres (189 mi) north-west of the state's capital city, Thiruvananthapuram. Thrissur was once the capital of the Kingdom of Cochin, and was a point of contact for the Assyrians, Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Romans, Portuguese, Dutch and English.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pooram</span> Annual Hindu festival in Kerala, India

Pooram pronounced is an annual festival, which is celebrated in temples dedicated to goddesses Durga or Kali, held especially in the old Valluvanad area, and to a lesser extent in other places, covering Kerala State's present-day Palakkad, Thrissur and Malappuram districts) as also Kollam district, after the summer harvest. Harimattom pooram is one of the famous pooram in Ernakulam. An example of a famous pooram is Thirumandhamkunnu Pooram which has an active participation of 11 Lakh people across the country. 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 well known poorams, such as Anthimahakalankavu Vela, Chelakkara, Aryankavu Pooram at shoranur Palakkad and Machad mamangam near Wadakkanchery that do not use the caparisoned elephant, instead go for stilted mannequins of horses or bullocks. Vela is also a festival like pooram. Thrissur Pooram is the most famous of all poorams, known for fire works. The second-best-known Pooram in Kerala is Kollam Pooram. Kavassery pooram is well known for fireworks during afternoon. Some other well-known pooram festivals are Arattupuzha-Peruvanam Pooram, Chalissery Pooram, Anthimahakalankavu Vela, Nenmara Vallangi Vela, Chinakathoor pooram, Mannarkkad Pooram, Kavassery Pooram, Pariyanampatta Pooram, Harimattom Pooram and Thirumandhamkunnu Pooram. Peruvanam-Arattupuza pooram is celebrating its 1436th year in 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vadakkunnathan Temple</span> Ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva

The Vadakkumnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva in Thrissur, in the Thrissur district of Kerala, India. The temple is a classical example of the architectural style of Kerala and has one monumental tower on each of the four sides in addition to a koothambalam. Mural paintings depicting various scenes from the Mahabharata can be seen inside the temple. The shrines and the Kuttambalam display vignettes carved in wood. The temple, along with the mural paintings, has been declared as a National Monument by India under the AMASR Act. According to popular local lore, this is the first temple built by Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu. Thekkinkadu Maidan, encircling the Vadakkumnathan Temple, is the main venue of the renowned Thrissur Pooram festival.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elephants in Kerala culture</span> Overview of role of the elephants in culture of Kerala

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sakthan Thampuran</span> King of Cochin

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cherpu</span> Town in Kerala, India

Cherpu is a suburb of Thrissur city in the Kerala State of South India. It is 12 kilometres south of Thrissur town and is on the Thriprayar road. It is dotted by a number of temples and has quite a few rivers flowing by its vicinity.

Uthramvilakku is a temple festival celebrated at Edakkunni in Ollur, south of Thrissur in central Kerala, south India. The highlight of the event is an over four-hour Panchari melam in the temple compound past midnight on the uthram day, with each of the five caparisoned elephants on the occasion carrying a deity each from as many temples.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shakthan Thampuran Palace</span> Building in City of Thrissur, India

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple</span> Hindu temple in Kerala, India

Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple is one of the largest Bagavathi temples in Kerala located in Thrissur City. Sakthan Thampuran ordained the temples into two groups, namely "Paramekkavu side" and "Thiruvambady side" for Thrissur Pooram which is the biggest festival in South India and Kerala. These two groups are headed by the principal participants, Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple at Thrissur Swaraj Round and Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple at Shoranur road. The two temples are hardly 500 metres apart. Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple is one of the two groups participating in Thrissur Pooram. The Paramekkavu temple devaswom have a school known as Paramekkavu Vidya Mandir at MLA road near Kutoor and one KG section near to the temple itself.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arattupuzha Pooram</span>

Arattupuzha Pooram is an Indian temple festival held at the Arattupuzha Temple in Arattupuzha, Thrissur district of Kerala. Visitors from nearby and far off places reach the village of Arattupuzha during the festival days. The pinnacle of the seven-day festival is the last two days. The evening prior to the last day of the festival would have an assembly of caparisoned elephants and staging of percussion ensembles as part of the ceremony called Sasthavinte Melam. The pancharimelam of Aarttupuzha Sasthavu is the largest assembly of percussion artists in any other night Poorams. More than 200 artists perform in sasthavinte melam. This can only be seen at Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, Tripunithura other than in Arattupuzha Pooram

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peruvanam Pooram</span> Hindu temple festival in Kerala, India

Peruvanam Pooram is one of the most popular temple festivals of the South Indian state of Kerala. It is held at Peruvanam Temple in Cherpu, Thrissur District. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vadakkechira</span> Pond in Thrissur, India

Vadakkechira is one of the four oldest ponds in Thrissur city of Kerala in India. It was built by Shakthan Thampuran (1751-1805) and is one of Thrissur's famous landmarks. It is owned by Cochin Devaswom Board.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thekkinkadu Maidan</span>

Thekkinkadu Maidanam is situated in the middle of Thrissur city of Kerala state in India. This hillock which seats the Vadakkumnathan Temple, is an open ground in the centre of the Thrissur city which is under the custody of the Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB). It hosts the spectacular cultural festival Thrissur Pooram, which is considered the Mother of all Poorams in Kerala.

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Uthralikkavu Pooram (ഉത്രാളിക്കാവ്) is a festival held at Shri Rudhiramahakalikav temple situated at Wadakkanchery in Thalappilly taluk of Thrissur district in Kerala, South India. The temple is famed for its Pooram festival held during February / March every year. It is considered as the second highest crowded pooram after Thrissur Pooram

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thrissur Pooram Exhibition</span>

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Chembukkavu Bhagavathy Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Chembukkavu, Thrissur city of Kerala, India. Cochin Devaswom Board controls the temple. It is one of the 108 Durga temples in Kerala. The temple is a participant in the Thrissur Pooram every year. The Bhagavathy at the Ayyanthole temple is considered to be the elder sister of the Chembukkavu Bhagavathy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ilanjithara Melam</span>

Ilanjithara Melam is an assembly of percussion performance artists held at Ilanji tree at the courtyard of the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur city during the Thrissur Pooram. It is considered one of the best platforms for traditional Kerala music and the largest assembly of percussion artistes in any other Poorams. The Melam in technical exactness and instrumental discipline are the best example of Pandi Melam.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nenmara Vallanghy Vela</span> Festival in Kerala, India

The Nenmara Vallanghy Vela or Nenmara Vela is one of the most popular annual festival of Kerala celebrated at Nellikulangara Bhagavathy temple in Nenmara, Palakkad district.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kizhakkoottu Aniyan Marar</span> Indian percussionist

Kizhakkoottu Aniyan Marar is an Indian chenda artist from Kerala. He leads several popular traditional orchestra performances in Kerala, most notably the Thrissur Pooram. He is a recipient of several awards including the Kerala Government's highest musical award, Pallavoor Puraskaram.


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