Thrissur (Kerala), April 24 (ANI): Hundreds of thousands of devotees and tourists participated in the colourful temple festival, 'Thrissur Pooram' which commenced here on Saturday.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, 'Thrissur Pooram' the biggest festival of Kerala. It is said that King Sakthan, who ruled Cochin in the late 18th century, started the festival.
The word 'Pooram' literally means a group or a meeting. It is believed that the Gods and Goddesses meet for a day of celebration, which falls in the month of April-May every year.
The festival commences with the arrival of small rival elephant processions, which carry their respective deities from various temples in different villages across Thrissur, and culminates at the grounds of Vadakkunnathan Temple.
The main temples Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi hoisted their flags to announce the beginning of the weeklong celebrations to be held in connection with the festival.
The procession from Thiruvambadi began at around 8 a.m. from the temple premises in a formation of three caparisoned tuskers offering an enchanting sight at the wee hours.
Also present on this occasion were a large number of foreign tourists. They enjoyed the festivity and were thrilled to see so many decorated elephants at one place.
"I came here especially for this festival because I heard all about it in newspapers. The decorations on the elephants are amazing. The music is very good as well. It's really loud...So many people also...It's really exciting," said John, a U.K. tourist.
Thrissur Pooram is called 'the pooram of all poorams'. It the biggest or the best of all poorams. The Thrissur pooram, is celebrated every year, on the Pooram day, in the month of Medam (mid-April to mid-may) month as per the Malayalam calendar.
While all poorams have a huge influence on surrounding neighborhoods and towns, few other festivals require their active involvement. Thrissur town plays host, for 36 hours from the wee hours of the pooram day, to one of the most largest collection of people and elephants.
The richly decorated elephant, as seen during the Thrissur pooram, is now globally recognized, and its association with Kerala. On the pooram day, fifty (50) or more elephants pass through the very center of Thrissur town, the Vadakkunnathan temple.
The main features of the pooram festival are these decorated elephants with their nettipattam (decorative headdress), beautiful craftedthe kolam, decorative bells and ornaments etc. By Juhan Samuel (ANI)