It was a feast of colours when flowers, fragrance and festivity blended to give shape to bewildering floral patterns at the third edition of The Hindu Metroplus Pookkalam contest held here on Saturday.

As many as 52 teams consisting of five members each participated in the competition which once again set new standards for creativity and craftsmanship in arranging pookkalam-s. With their delicate artistic touch, the contestants turned carefully pinched flowers and exotic hues to vibrant pookkalam-s.

Corporate houses including companies from Technopark, educational institutions, residents’ associations and voluntary organisations were among the teams that participated in the pookkalam contest which was inaugurated by the Regional Head and DGM of the Union Bank of India, Thiruvananthapuram Mr. K.M. Purushottaman.

Despite the tough competition the spirit of cooperation and harmony was very much palpable as participants worked together in teams blending petals with petals and shades within shades. First-time visitors to the event Marie-Therese Schins and Diane Lang from Germany also did not miss the spirit of harmony among the participants of the contest.

“I have been to Kerala during Onam for four years now but this is the first time I am seeing anything like this. To me, the atmosphere here is really harmonious and spiritual. To see all these people getting so much involved in such a beautiful creative activity is really impressive,” said Ms. Schins who is a writer and activist.

A two-member jury of the Fine Arts College principal Mr. Ajayakumar and well-known art director Mr. S. Rajendran adjudged the winners at the contest. The judges, who confessed that the task at hand was extremely tough, took considerable time to select the winners among the rich display of pookkalam-s.

Kairali Kala Samskarika Vedi, a team from Vizhinjam, bagged the first prize for their pookkalam composed mainly by traditional flowers like thumba, thetti and manja kodi. The second prize was won by the Light and Shade team from Kollam district while the third prize was bagged by the Icons team. Award winning film actor Priyanaka Nair gave away the prizes to the winners.