The annual temple festival of Thrissur Pooram is celebrated every year on the day when the moon rises with the Pooram star in Medam, the first month in the Malayalam astronomical calendar. The proceedings of the annual festival are carried out majestically at the Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur and is said to be one of the most famous among all the Poorams. The annual Pooram festival will fall on the 23rd of April, 2021.
Earlier before the start of the Thrissur Pooram, the temples in and around Thrissur used to participate at the Arattupuzha Pooram annually. However, in 1798 due to heavy downpour, the participating temples from Thrissur could not reach on time for the festival. Thus, they were not allowed to be a part of the festival procession.
The Temple Authorities brought up the matter in front of the then Maharaja of Cochin, Sakthan Thampuran. To help, the Maharaja brought together 10 of the temples around the Vadakkunnathan Temple and started the annual temple festival of Thrissur Pooram.
Highlights of the Festival
Touted as one of the best and the biggest temple festivals, Thrissur Pooram is celebrated in a series of rituals.
Hoisting of the Flag
A week before the starting of the festival, the main temples of Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple and the Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple summon the start of the festival by hoisting flags at the respective temple premises.
The ensemble of the Finest Percussions
At the Pooram Festival, some of the traditional panchavadyam plays are the chenda, thimila, kombu. Madalam and edakka. Over 200 known percussionists with years of experience take part in the musical rituals of the festival.
The ritual where the percussionists meet from two o’clock in the afternoon under an elaichi tree and play for the next three hours is known as Elanchithara Melam.
After evening sets in, people carrying colorful umbrellas and peacock fans known as Venchamaramas climb on the elephants’ backs kick-starting the competitive ritual of kudamattom. During the ritual, the people carrying the fans and umbrellas seated on elephant back, rhythmically inter-change the fans and umbrellas with one another according to the musical beats.
The elephants also carry a replica of the gods and goddesses of the participating temples on their backs and march in a procession towards the Vadakkumnathan Temple.
Display of Fireworks
After the deities are returned to the respective temples, the next morning from three o’clock, a fantastic display of firecrackers and fireworks are displayed by the two groups of the festival – Paramekkavu and Tiruvuvampadi. By afternoon, the festival comes to an end.
Places of Tourist Interest in Thrissur
After being a part of the festive revelry of the Thrissur Pooram, visit some of these beautiful places in Thrissur.
Shakthan Thampuran Palace
It is the beautiful palace of the erstwhile Maharaja of Cochin, the person to have started the Thrissur Pooram. Raja Rama Varma built the palace in 1791. Influenced by the Dutch style of architecture, the palace houses a small museum.
Timings: 9:30-16:30 (Tuesday-Sunday)
Entry Fee: Rs. 10 (Adults) Rs. 5 (Child) Rs. 30 (Camera)
Location: Chembukav, Stadium Road, Thrissur (Kerala)
Situated about 60 kilometers from Thrissur and known as the Niagara Falls of India, Atthirapally Waterfalls is one of the most beautiful and scenic places around the city. With a height of 80 feet and a width of 330 feet, the water comes from the Anamudi Mountains.
Timings: 8:00-18:00 (All days of the week)
Entry Fee: Rs. 15/person
Location: Athirappilly, Chalakudy Taluk, Thrissur (Kerala)
Located at a distance of just 3 kilometers away from the Guruvayoor Temple, the Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary is a must-visit place. Watching elephants bathing, doing chores, and getting trained are few of the things that will keep you enthralled.
Timings: 9:00-17:00 (All days of the week)
Entry Fee: Rs. 10/person Rs. 25 (Camera)
Location: Kottapadi Road, Trishul, Iringaprom (Kerala)
Declared as a heritage site, the scenic beauty of the Chettuva Backwater and its surrounding landscapes looks picturesque and is a sight to behold. The place is also famous for its mangroves and the migratory birds that fly in during the season. Like most of the backwaters in Kerala, it also has many small islands and a Fort.
Timings: 6:00-16:00 (for backwater boat cruise)
Cruise Fee: Rs. 6000 (for 3.5 hours of boat cruise)
Location: 30 kilometers away from the city center
Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple
One of the most revered places of worship and an important place of pilgrimage, the Guruvayur Temple, is also known for its majestic architecture and the minute details of craftsmanship. The temple looks all the more impressive after dusk when it is lit up.
Timings: 3:00-13:30 and 16:30-21:15 (All days of the week)
Entry Fee: Free entry
Location: Guruvayur Devaswom, East Nada, Guruvayur (Kerala)
Thrissur has many more interesting places to go to than just the myriads of temples. Visit Thrissur to experience the festivities during the Thrissur Pooram and make time to go to all the nearby places around the city to make your trip a memorable one. Buy discounted online bus tickets to travel to Thrissur from any part of Kerala or the nearby states from the redBus website or app and save big.
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