Caparisoned elephants, drummers captivate at Pooram festival

via published on April 28, 2007

THRISSUR:Brightly caparisoned elephants marched to the accompaniment of drums and pipes at the famed Thrissur Pooram festival Friday captivating the thousands who had gathered to watch the spectacle even as two frisky elephants gave the crowd some tense moments.

The breathtaking sight of around 30 decorated elephants marching to the accompaniment of drums, pipe and cymbals had the crowd in raptures.

However, at around 4 p.m. two elephants started to misbehave and created a scare when they refused to listen to their mahout.

The crowd was on tenterhooks seeing the two elephants. Matters were brought under control after almost an hour with the elephants chained.

Two temples – Thiruvampadi and Paramekkavu – lead the festival. A breathtaking event is the Panchavadyam in which about 200 musicians play instruments like drums, trumpet and cymbals. The Pandemelam has another 200 artistes playing similar instruments.

The grand finale of this festival of colour, music and fire works is a function bidding farewell to the deities of the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples in front of the Western Gate of the Vadakkunnathan Temple.

The caparisoned elephants present the most visually rich sight, especially the spectacular show of ‘Kudamattom’ in which parasols of myriad numbers, designs and colours are exchanged by the people atop the elephants.

The festival concludes with a spectacular fireworks display, which will be held early Saturday.

Muslim and Christian communities actively take part in the festival and play a prominent role in holding it.

Most of the marquees are crafted by experts from the Muslim community. The CMS High School, owned by the North Kerala Diocese of CSI Church, becomes the venue of the display of the elephants.

Like every year, this year too a large number of foreign tourists arrived to witness the festival.

The Pooram festival has its genesis two centuries ago when Sakthan Thampuran (1751-1805), the very architect of Thrissur, became ruler of the erstwhile state of Kochi. He made the sprawling Thekkinkadu Maidan, the major venue of Thrissur Pooram. He also entrusted the responsibility of holding the festival to the two temples – Thiruvampadi and Paramekkavu.

He himself is said to have drawn up the 36-hour hectic schedule of the Pooram, which is even now being followed.

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