Kerala’s iconic Thrissur Pooram was held in full grandeur at the famed Vadakkunnathan Temple here on Sunday with a parade of ornately caparisoned elephants and high-octane traditional percussion performance which enthralled a sea of people.
The famed pooram, at the sprawling Thekkinkadu Maidan, was witnessed by thousands of people cutting across religion and age barriers who gathered to catch a glimpse of the annual spectacle, which is generally billed as the mother of all temple festivals in the southern state.
Thirty caparisoned elephants–15 each from the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady temples–stood face-to-face adhering to the centuries-old customs and traditions.
During the famed ‘Kudamattam’, which began shortly after six in the evening, the Thiruvambady side stole the show with a display of an impressive illuminated cutout of Argentina football legend Lionel Messi holding the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Kudamattam is a change of colourful ornamental silk parasols in quick succession by people mounted atop the elephants.
Besides the different colours, patterns and layers on the umbrellas, there were illuminated cutouts of various deities including Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathy, Lord Krishna among others.
The display of ‘nettipattams’ (the golden caparisons) ‘venchamaram’ (ornamental fan made of peacock feathers) and ‘muthukkuda’ (decorative umbrellas) atop the jumbos were a feast to the crowd which was enthralled by the traditional music ensembles, ‘panchavadyam and pandimelam’, by an array of percussionists.
The two-centuries-old Thrissur Pooram had its origin in 1798, through a royal edict of the then Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Shakthan Thampuran, a powerful ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Cochin.
The edict entrusted two local temples — Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady — as the main sponsors of the festivities to be conducted in a competitive spirit.
Besides the main poorams by the two Devaswoms, small poorams from nearby temples also participated in the festivities, which will end late Sunday night with a massive fireworks display.
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