Thrissur Pooram known as the Pooram of all Poorams or Mother of all Poorams, is a world famous temple festival of Kerala. The 7 day festival is held at the Thekkinkadu ground in front of the famous Vadakunathan Temple of Thrissur on the Pooram day of Malayalam calendar month of Madam (April-May). UNESCO adjudged Thrissur Pooram as “the most spectacular festival event on the planet.
A notable feature of the pooram is its secular nature. All other communities actively participate and make their prominent role in each and every part of the festival. Most of the pandal works are crafted by Muslim community. The materials for the umbrellas for ‘Kudamattom’ are offered by the churches and their members. It is a good sign of secularism which is disintegrating nowadays.
Venue: Thekkinkadu (literally, Teak forest) ground (In front of Vadakunathan Temple), in the heart of Thrissur town, north Kerala.
The largest temple festival before Thrissur pooram was the Arattupuzha pooram, a one day festival held at Arattupuzha. Temples in and around the city of Thrissur were the regular participants of the Aratttupuzha pooram. But one day because of heavy rain, they arrived late and were denied access to the pooram procession. Felt embarrassed they went to Sakthan Thampuran (Raja Rama Varma), Maharaja of Cochin (1790–1805) and complained about it.
So in 1798 he unified 10 temples situated around Vadakunathan temple of Thrissur and organized the celebration of Thrissur Pooram as a mass festival. He grouped the temples into two groups as western groups and eastern groups and he invited the temples with their deities pay obeisance to Lord Vadakunnathan, the presiding deity of the Vadakunathan Temple.
Principle participants are Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple and Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple.
- Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple
- Kanimangalam Sastha Temple
- Laloor Bhagavathy Temple
- Sree Karthyayani Temple at Ayyanthole
- Neithilakkavu Bhagavathy Temple
- Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple
- Chembukkavu Bhagavathy Temple
- Panamukkumpally Sastha Temple
- Choorakkottukavu Bhagavathy Temple
- Pookkattikkara – Karamukku Baghavathy Temple
Day 1: Flag Hoisting (Kodiyettam)
The Pooram celebrations begins with ‘Kodiyettam’ (ceremonial flag hoisting) by various participating temples seven days before the main Pooram. Also there will be a flag hosting at Naduvilal and Naikkanal in Thrissur City.
Day 4: Sample Fireworks
During the evening of fourth day is the first round of pyrotechnics, known as Sample fireworks. Presented by Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devawsoms at the Thekkinkadu ground starting at 7:15 pm and lasts more than an hour, the fireworks include display of innovative patterns and varieties of fireworks.
Day 4 and 5: Exhibition of elephant decorations
Just two days before pooram, there is a huge exhibition – Ana chamaya pradharshanam (exhibition of elephant decorations), by both Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devawsoms separately at Agrasala and Church Mission Society High School in Thrissur City respectively. The display includes ‘Nettipattam’ (the golden elephant caparison), ‘Chamayam’ (elephant accoutrements), ‘Aalavattom’ (ornamental fan made of peacock feathers), ‘Venchamarom’ (royal fan) and sacred bells and decorative umbrellas.
Day 6: Main Pooram (On the Pooram Day)
On the sixth day the of flag hosting the main pooram starts when the Kanimangalam Sastha enters the Vadakunnathan Temple (Kanimangalam sasthavu ezhunnellippu) in the early morning through the southern gate and exits through western gate. This is followed by the other temples. Chembukkavu Bhagavathy Temple, Panamukkumpally Sastha Temple and Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple enters through eastern gate and leaves through southern gate. Laloor Bhagavathy Temple, Neithilakkavu Bhagavathy Temple, Choorakkottukavu Bagavathy Temple enter through western gate leaves through southern gate. Pookkattikkara – Karamukku Baghavathy Temple enters through western gate and leaves through southern gate. The Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple enters through western gate and leaves through southern gopuram. After that all Poorams conclude at Nilapaduthara near western goupuram of Vadakkunnathan Temple.
The famous ilanjithara melem in traditionally performed in the shades of the ilanji tree inside the Vadakunathan temple starts at 2’O clock. The Melam is a musical performance by a group of experienced musicians and it is performed using drums, trumpets, pipe and cymbal. The performance is divided into 3 kalams, based on the speed and the third is the fastest and most explosive in nature.
Another major event in the Thrissur pooram is the “Madathil varavu”. It is another type of panchaadhyam melam, performed by more than 200 musicians using different type of instruments like Thimila, Madhalam, Trumpet, Cymbal and Edakka.
Kudamattam is one of the most memorable and exciting moments of pooram. Kudamattam is a friendly match between the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi group, by exchanging beautiful and colourful umbressla, atop of elephants.
After the Ilanjithara melam, both Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi group, enter the temple through western gate and come out through the southern gate (‘Thekkottirakkam’) and array themselves face to face at a distance from each other for Kudamattam.
Each group consisting of 15 elephants each decorated with elephant caparison, elephant accoutrements and other decorations () and three people atop of each elephant, exchange colorful and crafted umbrellas competitively at the top of the elephants along with alavattam (peacock-feather fan), venchamaram (white gazelle-hair fan) and kuda (silver-sequinned parasols in all imaginable hues), in the presence of melam. The Kudamattam id definitely and eye catching experience.
There will be a huge croud to watch the Kudamattam, probably biggest gathering of Kerala. The Kudamattam signalled the conclusion of ‘Pakal Pooram’ or daytime festival.
Day 7: Main Fireworks
The main fireworks happens on the seventh day after the flag hoisting. It takes place at 3 AM in the morning at Thekkinkadu ground, and will continue till 6 AM in the morning. The fireworks is also a friendly match between the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi group. The two temples competitively crack many innovative and charming fireworks, which make spectators going into ruptures.
Day 7: Farewell Ceremony (Upacharam Cholli Piriyal)
Upacharam Cholli Piriyal (Farewell Ceremony) is last event held at Thekkinkadu ground. Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple and Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple idols were taken from the Thekkinkadu ground to their respective temples and this mark the end of the Pooram celebrations.
Day 7: Daytime Fireworks
Thrissur Town(Thekkinkadu ground)
How to Reach
By Air : Nearest airport is Kochi Internationsl Airport (COK) : 56 Km
Calicut International Airport (CCJ): 95 Km
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Thrissur (TCR) railway station. 2 Km
Thrissur Punkunnam (PNQ), Divine Nagar (DINR)
By Road: Lot of buses are available to Thrissur, at all time.
NB: Due to huge crowd there will be a lot of traffic restrictions during the time of Pooram.
Kochi to Thrissur 83 km
Coimbatore to Thrissur 114 km
Trivandrum to Thrissur 282 km
Mangalore to Thrissur 340 km
Bangalore to Thrissur 470 km