Thrissur Pooram today; all arrangements complete

via Pioneer News Service | Thrissur published on April 15, 2008

Caparisoned elephants, colourful displays of parasols and elephant-decorations, enchanting percussions and ear-shattering and spell-binding pyrotechnic shows will form part of the Thrissur Pooram, hailed as the greatest annual temple festival of the State at the Thekkinkadu Grounds on Wednesday. The Pooram rites will start with the Madathil Varavu of the Thiruvambady side and the Ezhunnallippu of the Paramekkavu team at noon.

Pooram committee office-bearers, Thrissur Police, Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devaswom Board officials and the district administration informed that all arrangements had been completed for the conduct of the Pooram in the most colourful but secure manner. Pooram will conclude at Thursday noon with the participating deities, goddesses of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples, bidding good bye at the Upacahram Chollippiriyal, utterance of the formal departure.

The southern tower (Thekke Nada) of the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple was opened on Tuesday heralding the start of arrival of Thrissur Pooram, often described as the Pooram of Poorams. Hundreds of percussion artists will perform under the two participating teams to enchant the spectators who would gather here on Wednesday in their lakhs. Kodiyettu, the flag-hoisting ceremony, marking the start of Pooram events was held on April 10 in both temples.

Tens of thousands of people had directly witnessed the Sample Vedikkettu, the fireworks being held as a prelude to the actual event on Wednesday, on Monday, the Vishu day. Spectators said judging from the sample, the actual event would be a treat of unprecedented levels.

In the run-up to the Pooram, the Paramekkavu side started its exhibition of the ornaments for their 15 elephants, including caparisons Alavattoms, Venchamarams and the parasols for the ultimate event of the Pooram, the Kudamattom, on Monday. The exhibition of the elephant ornaments by the Thiruvambadi side was held on Tuesday. Both sides displayed most of their parasols to be brought up at the Kuda Mattom even, but they kept some parasols away from public sight as a secret which would be divulged only on the spot. Pooram committees said the parasols for this Pooram would be more beautiful than those of the past years as their men had made special visits to Bangalore and Chennai in search of the right and most beautiful parasol material.

On the Paramekkavu side, Peruvanam Kuttan Marar in ‘Pramanam’ (captaincy) will lead the scores of percussion artists at the famous Elanjithara Melam in the afternoon. This will be tenth successive time he will be standing Pramanam for the event. Accompaniment to Kuttan Marar will be given at the Melam on Chenda by Kelath Aravindakashan, Peruvanam Satheesan, Priyarath Narayanan and others. Machattu Ramakrishnan and Machattu Ramachandran will be there with the Kombu team.

On the Thiruvambady side, Panchavadyam will be led by Annamanada Parameshwara Marar with Kunisseri Aniyan, Karuvannur Narayanan Namboothiri, Pallavur Sreedharan and others accompanying him on Thimila in a team of over 20 artists. Kalleekkulangara Krishna Warrier and Nelluvay Sasi will lead a team of over a dozen percussion artists on Maddalam.

On the Thiruvambadi’s Melam side are leaders of Chenda, Mattannur Sankarankutty, Panamnna Sasi, Mattannur Sreekanth, Mattannur Sreeraj, Kakkanad Krishnan Nair, Alukkal Achuthana and others.

The Paramekkavu’s Panchavadyam will be led by Chottanikkara Vijayan, Pallassana Murali, Vaikom Chandran and others on Thimila and Cherpulassery Sivan, Guruvayur Harinarayanan and others on Maddalam. Altogether more than 300 artists will create a world of spell-binding percussion on Wednesday and Thursday.

Officials from the Explosives Department have completed their inspections and necessary licences have already been given to the two teams for conducting the fireworks displays, one of the main aspects of the Pooram that attracts maximum spectators. Special arrangements for security have been made in the context of the tragic fireworks accident at the Mradu temple in Kochi last year and the tragedy that occurred at Thrissur itself in 2006. Officials said all steps had been taken to meet any emergency.

Preparations for keeping the 30 participating elephants cool through the day of blazing summer sun by arranging jute sacks to be spread watered on the ground where the pachyderms would stand for Ezhunnellippu from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm as the laws forbade keeping elephants in the sun for long hours. Arrangements have also been made for spraying water on the pachyderms frequently to keep them cool.

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