Ensemble casts a magical spell on lakhs on Thrissur Pooram grounds

Changes at the helm add novelty to Ilanjithara Melam. Percussion maestro Kizhakkoott Aniyan Marar replaces legendary Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, who led the melam for 24 years; Madathil Varavu Melam drums up excitement 

April 30, 2023 11:46 pm | Updated 11:46 pm IST - Thrissur

The Ilanjithara Melam, the great symphony, at the Thrissur Pooram.

The Ilanjithara Melam, the great symphony, at the Thrissur Pooram. | Photo Credit: K.K. NAJEEB

Lakhs of people at Thrissur Pooram were spellbound by the magic of pulsating rhythms of ensembles.

Madathil Varavu Panchavadyam led by Kongad Madhu of Thiruvambadi and Ilanjithara Melam by Kizhakkoott Aniyan Marar of Paramekkavu are the most sought after ensembles for the Thrissur Pooram.

Hundreds of drummers and pipers were part of each team. Surrounded by lakhs of people, the instrumentalists never went out of rhythm. Percussionists take great pride in creating the magic of music ensembles in Thrissur Pooram.

Percussion lovers were eagerly waiting for this years Ilanjithara Melam as there was change at the helm after 24 years. Percussion maestro Padma awardee Peruvanam Kuttan Marar was replaced by another veteran percussion maestro Kizhakkoott Aniyan Mar.

The change at the helm only added novelty to the Ilanjithara Melam, which is known as the great symphony of the world. Aniyan Marar is no novice to Ilanjithara Melam. It is more like a homecoming for him. He was part of Ilanjithara Melam for 35 years before becoming melam lead of Thiruvambadi Devaswom for the last 12 years.

Ilanjithara Melam draws its name from the Ilanji tree on the Vadakkunnathan temple campus under which the melam is performed. The Vadakkunnathan campus was packed on Sunday even before the melam was to begin. Those who could not enter the campus stayed tuned to the music from outside.

Panchavadyam led by Kongad Madhu was like a sumptuous feast. A record number of percussion lovers witnessed the ensemble. Waving their hands, hundreds of percussion lovers encouraged the drummers. Hordes of people, from lay listeners to connoisseurs, relished the treat as instrumentalists performed.

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