Thrissur Pooram

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Thrissur Pooram
Kudamatom at thrissur pooram 2013 7618.JPG
Thrissur Pooram
Official nameThrissur Pooram
Observed by Malayalees, Hindu Keralites
Type Hindu temple festival/public holidays in the city of Thrissur
Ilanjithara Melam
Madathil Varavu (മഠത്തില്‍ വരവ്)
(വെടിക്കെട്ട്), Ezhunilappu
Date Pooram Nakshatra in the Malayalam Calendar month of Medam
2021 date23 April

Thrissur Pooram (Thrissur Puram) is an annual Hindu religion festival held in Kerala, India. It is held at the Vadakkunnathan 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. [1]



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 Raja Ravi Varma, famously known as 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 with 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. [2]

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 Lord Vadakkunnathan (Lord Siva), 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. [3]


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. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Flag Hoisting

The pooram officially begins from the event of flag hoisting (കൊടിയേറ്റം). [8]

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.

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. [9] Even though there were several controversies, permission was granted to conduct Thrissur Pooram in 2017 [10]

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 [11]

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, 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.

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. [12]

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. [13] [14]

Cultural influences

Despite being a Hindu festival, the Thrissur Pooram is attended by different sections of Kerala society. [15] Several replicas of the festival are held in places in Kerala [16] as well as outside the state. [17] [18] [19]

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 Oru Kadhai Sollatuma (The sound story) [20] [ circular reference ]

Related Research Articles

Pooram Annual Hindu festival in Kerala, India

Pooram pronounced [puːɾam] is an annual festival, which is celebrated in temples dedicated to goddesses Durga or Kali held especially in Valluvanadu area and other adjoining parts of north-central Kerala after the summer harvest. Harimattom pooram is the 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 Uthralikavu 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.

Vadakkunnathan Temple

Vadakkumnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva at city of Thrissur, of Kerala state in India. This 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 kuttambalam. 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 Parasurama, the sixth avatara of Vishnu. Thekkinkadu Maidan, encircling the Vadakkunnathan Temple, is the main venue of the renowned Thrissur Pooram festival.

Elephants in Kerala culture Role of elephants in the culture of Kerala state

This article covers the role of elephants in the culture of Kerala state, southern India.

Sakthan Thampuran Maharaja

Rama Varma Kunhjippilla Thampuran (1751–1805), or Rama Varma IX, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin. He was the King of the present-day southern Indian city of Kochi and his palace was in Thrissur, which was a part of the Kingdom of Cochin. The city of Thrissur is referred to as the Cultural Capital of Kerala owing to its many traditional festivals and historic temples. Sakthan Thampuran is considered the architect of the city of Thrissur. The festival Thrissur Pooram is considered to have been first started by him.

Cherpu town in Kerala, India

Cherpu is a big village in Thrissur district of Kerala state in 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.

Shakthan Thampuran Palace

Shakthan Thampuran Palace is situated in City of Thrissur in Kerala state, India. It is named as Vadakkekara Palace, was reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin, well as Sakthan Thampuran is preserved by Archaeological Department. The palace was converted into a museum in 2005 by State.

Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple

Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple in the city of Thrissur in Kerala, India. The main deities of this temple are Lord Krishna in the form of a child, and Goddess Bhadrakali, both having equal importance. There are sub-shrines for Lord Ganesha, Lord Sastha and Brahmarakshas, and there is a sub-temple for Lord Ganesha behind the temple. The temple is one of the two rival groups participating in the Thrissur Pooram, which is the biggest local festival in Kerala. Bhagavad Gita chanting makes the temple alive. Every day the Devaswom gives free lunch to people.

Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple

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.

Arattupuzha Pooram

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

Peruvanam Pooram Place 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.

Thekkinkadu Maidan

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.

Culture of Thrissur

Thrissurpronunciation  formerly known as Trichur, is a city in the Kerala state of India. It is the headquarters of the Thrissur District. It is known as the 'Cultural Capital of Kerala'. The culture of the city can be termed as predominantly South Indian. Residents of Thrissur are known as Thrissukkar; they are an important part of the South Indian weltanschauung. Thrissur, the cradle of culture of Kerala is decorated with Vadakkunnathan Temple, from where the name derived. The old name was 'Thrishivaperur' derived from "Thiru Shiva Perur" or "Land of Lord Shiva". The Thrissur Pooram, celebrated during April–May is top on the list of cultural attraction of South India.

Uthralikavu Pooram

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

Peruvanam Kuttan Marar

Peruvanam Kuttan Marar is a chenda artist. He leads several popular traditional orchestra performances in Kerala. He is a recipient of Padma Shri award in the year 2011 for his contributions in the field of art.

Thrissur Pooram Exhibition

Thrissur Pooram Exhibition or commonly known as the All India Agricultural, Industrial, Educational and Cultural Exhibition is an exhibition organised jointly by Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple Devaswom and Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple Devaswom, ahead of Thrissur Pooram in Thekkinkadu Maidan in Thrissur city. It is usually conducted over a period of 40 to 50 days during the Thrissur Pooram.The exhibition is the largest in Kerala in terms of attendance and floor space.

Kanimangalam Sastha Temple is Hindu temple situated in Kanimangalam, Thrissur City of Kerala. Lord Ayyappan is the main deity of the temple. Kanimangalam Sastha is the main participant of the famous Thrissur Pooram. Kanimangalam Sastha is the first Pooram entering the Vadakkunnathan Temple. Kanimangalam Sastha is the protector of all goddesses who take part in Thrissur Pooram.

Ilanjithara Melam

Ilanjithara Melam is an assembly of percussion performance artist held at Ilanji tree at the courtyard of the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur city during the Thrissur Pooram. It is considered as 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.

Nenmara Vallanghy Vela

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.


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