Thrissur Pooram, the proud festival of Kerala is all set to start tomorrow at the land of poorams-Thrissur. People across the nation, including many tourists, are in the journey towards Thrissur to witness one of the greatest festivals that takes place in the god’s own country. The festival will be held at the Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur in the presence of millions of people. The pooram kick starts tomorrow early morning with the ezhunnellippu of Kanimangalam Sasthav (idol) and it is followed by the ezhunnellippu of other six temples.
The History Of Pooram
The history of pooram goes back to the time of Sakhtan Thamburan (Maharaja of Cochin-1790-1805) where he unified 10 temples to call for the greatest temple festival. Earlier the biggest pooram in Kerala was the Arattupuzha Pooram. Once due to heavy rains, many devotees in Thrissur failed to reach for the Arattupuzha procession in time and were denied permission citing the same. The devotees then reached out to their king Sakthan and narrated their story of being denied to be a part of the procession.
Considering the concern of devotees as his own, in 1798 he grouped the 10 temples situated around Vadakkunnathan Temple into two groups namely “Thiruvambady side and Paramekavu side” and organized the festival which was later called “Thrissur Pooram”. The 10 temples with their deities should pay obeisance to Lord Vadakkunnathan (Lord Siva), the presiding deity of the Vadakkunnathan Temple and the entire festival is centered on the Vadakkunnathan temple.
Meet the two groups
The western side is collectively called us Thiruvambady side. The temples that make up the Thiruvambady side are Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, Kanimangalam Sastha Temple, Laloor Bhagavathy Temple, Sree Karthyayani Temple at Ayyanthole, Nethilakkavu Baghavathy Temple.
The eastern side is collectively called us Paramekkavu side. The temples that make up the Paramekkavu side are Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple, Chembukkavu Bhagavathy Temple, Panamukkumpally Sastha Temple, Choorakkottukavu Bhagavathy Temple, Pookattikkara – Karamukku Baghavathy Temple.
Procedures of Pooram
Flag hosting aka Kodiyettam denotes the start of pooram. It is followed by many religious procedures. On the fourth day of the pooram, we have the sample vedikett (display of fireworks). Fireworks are one of the main parts of the pooram, where both groups show each other what they have back in their side. Both the groups prepares the accoutrements (chamayam) , caparison, sacred bells, umbrellas, royal fan(venchamaram) for the pooram and each group puts them up for exhibition before the start of the pooram.
Once the pooram starts with the ezhunnellippu of kanimangalam sasthav followed by the ezhunnellippu of six other temples, the next main event is the Madathil Varavu. It is actually the Panchavadhyam Melam, where more than 200 artists with traditional instruments like Edakka, Trumpet etc pays homage to the lord. Meanwhile, at 2’ O clock, the famous ilanjithara melam starts inside the vadakkumnathan temple.
The pooram has more than 50 elephants fully decorated with golden ornaments, royal fan, decorative bells, alavattam, umbrellas etc. These ornaments and traditional items add beauty to the pooram and are in turn one main attraction of the festival. After the ilanjithara melam, both groups enters vadakkunnathan temple through the west gate and comes out through the southern gate. Both the groups then place themselves face to face with quite a distance apart.
In the background of melam played by the artists, both groups get into a friendly competition called Kuda Mattom. Both the groups displays colorful umbrellas at each other and the crowd belonging to the respective side takes the spirit into the heart. Every time a side raises a new umbrella, people standing next to that particular side comes up with the loudest cheer to offer support.
The poorams conclude at Nilapaduthara near western gopuram of Vadakkunnathan Temple.
Fireworks in Thrissur pooram unlike other temple festivals are very much unique. The fireworks begin at 3 am and last for one hour. During the fireworks, once can witness both the groups coming up with the most innovative and unexpected fireworks to amuse each other. It is one of the main attraction for the crowd as different kinds of fireworks which includes the latest ones are used. Thrissur pooram has four major firework display. They are the sample fireworks before the day of pooram,on the evening of pooram after the southward descent, the major part in the early morning hours and the last one is in the noon time after the deities bit farewell to each other.
Pooram ends on the 7th day where both the groups does the Upacharam Cholli Piriyal at the Swaraj round. The Thiruvambadi Sree Krishna temple idol and the Paramekkavu Bhagavathi temple idols are then taken to their respective temples.
The fact you must know
“Thrissur Pooram is one of those festivals that is secular in its every procedure. It is not confined to Hindus and has people from every religious group playing a significant role. Major pandal works related to pooram are done by the Muslim community while the materials for the Kudamattom are offered by the Christian community. Pooram upholds the unity among different religious groups and places themselves as the role model to the society.