Pooram showers colours, joy on Thrissur

published on May 3, 2009

PNS | Thrissur

Lakhs of festival-buffs braved the burning sun at Thrissur city on Sunday to witness the annual Thrissur Pooram festival at the Thekkinkadu grounds and in the temple of Sree Vadakkunnathan. As usual, the Melam percussions of the two teams participating in the festival and the Kudamattom, the play of ornamental parasols remained the highlights of the festival, which was held under tight security arrangements.

This year’s Pooram festival, which started early Sunday morning with the arrival of the small Pooram (Cherupooram) of the Sastha of Kanimangalam, the deity of a nearby temple, would come to a close at noon Monday, with the main elephants of the two teams representing the goddesses of Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples, bid farewell to each other symbolically with the ritual called Upacharam Cholli Piriyal. In all, eight small Poorams participated in the festival.

Close to 600 percussionists took part in the Melam ensembles of the two teams, which was the most attractive aspect of the festival on the day. For the Melam of the Thiruvambady team, noted traditional drummer Mattannur Sankarankutty held the Pramanam, the task of being the performing conductor while Pramanam for the famous Elanjithara Melam of the Pramekkavu team was held by renowned Melam maestro Peruvanam Kuttan Marar.

Tens of thousands of Pooram-buffs cheered the enchanting Melam that started in Pathi Thalam, transforming into Chembada and culminating through the Drutha Kaalam of Pandy. At the same time, master of Chenda, Mattannur Sankarankutty, led the hundreds of percussionists at the Aalthara Melam for the Thiruvambady team in the evening.

The southern side of the grounds, the southern arc of the Swaraj Round that encircled the grounds, the Municipal Office Road and the balconies and roofs of all the surrounding buildings were packed with people as the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu teams displayed hundreds of parasols of stunning colours and designs at the Kudamattom.

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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