All set for Kerala’s iconic Thrissur Pooram

Thrissur, May 10: Described as the ‘cultural capital’ of Kerala, Thrissur is all set to host Thursday the annual ‘Thrissur Pooram’ – the state’s temple festival that attracts tens of thousands of people.

The parade of caparisoned elephants accompanied by captivating percussion support – the ‘melam’ – by teams of top professional artists will culminate Thursday evening with the famous ‘kudamaattam’ – the display of colourful umbrellas moved in rapid succession across the top of the lined-up elephants.

The festival will conclude in the wee hours of Friday with a magnificent display of fireworks that lasts for over an hour.

According to the festival authorities, everything is in place for the ‘big day’.

With small Poorams from neighbouring temples in Thrissur joining the ceremonies from early morning, the festival is a day-long affair that leads to the fireworks late night.

The Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples are the major partners in the Pooram festival. The temple management boards come up with several innovative patterns and varieties of fireworks every year.

The festival has over the years become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kerala that attracts hundreds of tourists from abroad.

‘I was here with my wife six years back and we are back,’ British couple John Teddy and his wife told IANS.

‘We planned our holidays so as not to miss the Pooram. It was an unforgettable experience first time and we have high expectations,’ Teddy said.

The history of this festival dates back to the late 18th century. It was started by Sakthan Thampuran, the then maharaja of erstwhile Kochi state.

A major feature of the Thrissur Pooram is its secular nature, with the active participation of the Muslim and Christian communities.

With the results of the Kerala assembly elections to be announced Friday, the Pooram this year will also be a day of suspenseful celebration for candidates of major political parties and their supporters in the district.