A riot of colour and fireworks at the Thrissur Pooram

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Braving sweltering heat, thousands of people, including foreign tourists, turn up to see the spectacle of 30 colourfully caparisoned tuskers lined up in a row

jumbo showCaparisoned elephants lined up for
jumbo showCaparisoned elephants lined up for "Pakalpooram" part in Thrissur Pooram festival on Tuesday.— Photo: K.K. Najeeb

Kerala's most spectacular elephant and fireworks festival, Thrissur Pooram, on Tuesday enthralled thousands of tourists who experienced the best of temple art and culture including colourful pageants and ensemble of percussion drums, pipes and cymbals.

The city overflowed with thousands of Pooram fans, as processions began from different directions led by caparisoned elephants.

The processions later converged at the sprawling Thekkinkadu maidan where the famous ‘elanjithara melam' was performed in which scores of artists playing drums, pipes and cymbals lined up to play for hours on end.

Fireworks display

The pooram will culminate with its most spectacular show — the fireworks display — in the wee hours on Wednesday.

Braving sweltering heat, thousands, including foreign tourists, thronged the pooram grounds to witness the spectacle of 30 colourfully caparisoned tuskers lined up face-to-face.

The ‘kudamattam', a rare performance of display of ornamental parasols by people mounted on the elephants in quick succession, was the most colourful show of the festival.

According to history, the Thrissur Pooram had its origin in 1798 through a royal edict of the then Raja Rama Varma who was 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.

Keen on conducting the festival in a grand manner, the ruler ordered vast tracts of teakwood jungle around the Vadakkunnathan temple cleared to enable the public to gather in large numbers to witness the spectacle.

Leading ‘Pancavadyam' and ‘Pandimelam' artistes performed the melam (ensemble of percussion instruments).

8 smaller poorams

Apart from the main poorams of the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambdy Devaswsoms, eight smaller poorams from nearby temples arrived at the Sannidhanam of the Pooram famous Vadakkunnathan temple, popularly known as the Southern Benares. —



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