Goddesses depart; Pooram comes to an end in Thrissur

published on May 4, 2009

Curtains came down on this year’s Thrissur Pooram festival with the deities of Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples biding farewell to each other (Upacharam Chollippiriyal) with the promise to meet again for next year’s festival at the western threshold of the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple in the cultural capital of the State.

The elephants carrying the Swarna Kolams (golden shields) symbolising the goddesses from the two temples stood face to face at Sree Moola Sthanam, the threshold of the temple, and folded their trunks to salute each other while tens of thousands of Pooram buffs and devotees cheered the sight. With this, the 30-hour Pooram festival that started early Sunday morning came to an end.

The shield of the Thiruvambady goddess was carried by tusker Thiruvambady Sivasundar while Kuttankulangara Arjunan carried the shield of the deity of the Paramekkavu temple. Prior to facing each other, the deities paid homage to Sree Vadakunnathan. According to belief Pooram is the occasion when the two goddesses enter the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple to pay respects to Lord Shiva, the deity of the temple.

The Ezhunnallippu of both the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu teams prior to the departure of the deities saw hundreds of percussion artists performing Melam, with Peruvanam Kuttan Marar and Mattannur Sankarankutty, the two greatest names in percussion, holding Pramanam respectively for Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady teams.

The Pakal Pooram (daytime festival) on Monday was the ‘locals’ Pooram’ as only the residents from in and around Thrissur normally participated in it after all the guests from distant places left the Thekkinkadu Grounds, the venue of the Pooram with the conclusion of the Vedikkettu (fireworks display), which was held from 3.00 am on Monday.

The Vedikkettu, the aesthetical show of awesome sound and fascinating colours made out of the most hazardous materials on earth, the explosives, was the biggest item for competition after Kudamattom between the two participating teams.

The Pooram festival programmes had started early in the morning on Sunday with the Kanimangalam Pooram reaching the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple as the first of the eight Cherupoorams (small Poorams). The Ezhunnallippu started with the Thirvuambady team brining its procession, Madathil Varavu, from Thekke Madam on the southern side of the city. Annamanada Parameswara Marar led the percussionists in Panchavadyam that accompanied Madathil Varavu.

The Pramekkavu team began its Ezhunnallippu from the temple with Melam, which started in Pani that later transformed into Chembada and Pandi at the famed Elanjithara Melam, with Peruvanam Kuttan Marar holding Pramanam.

The main Pooram by the two main participants, Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu, started at around 11.30 am with their respective Ezhunnellipus. After the Elanjithara Melam was over, the 15 elephants came out into the Thekkinkadu Grounds through the southern tower of the Vadakkunnathan temple to face the tower from the edge of the circular ground. After that the 15 elephants of the Thiruvambady team lined up facing the Paramekkavu team and then it was time for the ultimate event of the day, the Kudamattom.

The pooram events had started on April 27 with the festival flags being hoisted at the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples. Tens of thousands of people had gathered around the Theekkinkadu grounds to behold the Sample Vedikkettu (fireworks) on Friday, a miniature form of the big pyrotechnic show in the wee hours of Monday. The symbolic start of the festival was on Saturday with the opening of the southern tower (Thekke Nada) of the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple. The tower would close on Monday and would open again only on the Shivarathri day.

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