Location : Thekkinkadu Maidanam, Thrissur district. Kerala
The world-renowned Thrissur Pooram, arguably the most famous festival of Kerala, is a heady mixture of pomp and pageantry. Thousands of people from all walks of life gather at the Thekkinkadu Maidanam at Thrissur to celebrate the pooram or festival. The festival is held in the premises of the Vadakkumnatha temple, a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture. The festival highlights include, among other things, a spectacular pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants and Kudamattom, a competition in the swift rhythmic changing of brightly colored and sequined parasols. Chendamelam and Panchavadyam performances by magicians of music provide a supremely apt accompaniment to the visual treats. Dazzling fireworks light up the sky to provide a grand finale to two days of classic entertainment.
A resplendent festival celebrated with a grand display of caparisoned elephants, dazzling parasols, and percussion music, the Thrissur Pooram is a magnificent spectacle merging the spiritual and cultural essence of Kerala. Celebrated in the Malayalam month of medam (April-May), the Pooram is held at the Thekkinkadu Maidanam in Thrissur.
Considered to be the mother of all poorams, this yearly temple festival was the brain child of Shakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of Kochi, who organized the festival with the participation of 10 temples Paramekkavu, Thiruvambadi Kanimangalam, Karamucku, Laloor, Choorakottukara, Panamukkampally, Ayyanthole, Chembukkavu, and Neythilakavu.
The festival sports an enthralling line-up of vibrantly decked up elephants and is marked by the kudamattom ceremony. Involving swift and rhythmic changing of brightly colored and sequined parasols, the kudamattom ceremony is one among the highlights and is a keenly watched event.
Another high point is the ilanjithara melam, a highly bewitching performance of traditional instruments which lifts the thousands gathered to a state of euphoria and bliss. Around 250 odd artistes participate in this traditional orchestra led by chenda artistes and the spirit is mirrored by the thousands of spectators who wave their hands in accordance to the rhythm generated by the chenda, kurumkuzhal, Kombu and elathalam (traditional instruments of Kerala). The finale is marked by a grand fireworks show.
Nearest railway station: Thrissur, about a km away.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 58 km from Thrissur