For elephant lovers, Thissur Pooram is the ultimate treat. Ninety-six elephants, that too the most-sought-after-ones in the State, will be featured for various ceremonies in the 30-hour event, making it the most magnificent elephant festival in the State.
The highlight of the festival, however, will be the ‘Kudamattom' ceremony in which 30 elephants (15 each for Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi Devaswoms), all adorned with gold-plated ornaments, will be lined up.
Colourful parasols, alavattoms and venchamarams will create a vibrant backdrop to their mighty presence.
Over the years, elephants have become inextricably linked to the culture of Kerala. Thrissur Pooram is probably one of the major temple festivals in the State that celebrate the magnificence of the elephant.
“There is nothing like an elephant to add splendour to a festival. Though they play no role in rituals, they have been used by man to create a visual extravaganza at festivals,” says Malayalam writer Madambu Kunjukuttan.
With Tantric rituals alone, the Pooram would not attract public attention. The festival also needs to be appealing to the senses. So, our ancestors would have introduced these mighty creatures to add value to the Pooram, he adds.
Elephant owners consider it a great honour to parade their elephants in the Thrissur Pooram. With their grace and beauty, the gentle beasts overwhelm the sea of humanity that throngs Thrissur Pooram. A great deal of planning goes into selecting the elephants for the pooram. Only those elephants that are healthy and not in musth are chosen.
The tallest of the lot will hold the ‘thidambu.' The others will be lined up according to their height in order to ensure a proportionate display.
This year, the elephant, Kuttankulangara Arjunan, is expected to bear the ‘thidambu' for the Paramekkavu Devaswom at the main events.
Thiruvambadi Sivasundar will hold the ‘thidambu' for the Thiruvambadi Devaswom.