ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Thrissur Pooram-The Most Spectacular Temple Festival of Kerala

Updated on July 3, 2021
sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

A travel enthusiast, Sunil Kunnoth finds pleasure in making trips to historic places and share his experience with the readers.

'Pooram' is a Malayalam word denoting the meaning grand festival. 'Thrissur Pooram' in Kerala is one of the most spectacular and popular temple festivals of this land. As its popularity and features are so stunning and vibrant, it can even be termed as 'The Pooram of all Poorams'.

This festival is celebrated every year in the Malayalam month of Medam. This may appear either in April or May. The permanent festival venue is at Vadakkumnathan Temple in the center of Thrissur city. Thrissur is the 'Cultural Capital' of Kerala. This is one of the 14 districts of Kerala and geographically situates almost the middle of the state. Ernakulam, Malappuram and Palakkad are the neighboring districts.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The elephant assembly  (Ezhunnallippu)Decorative Umbrellas (for elephants) used for 'Kudamattom'The crowd assembled to watch the Pooram festWhat a splendid view of the temple, where Pooram heldThese are people gathered to watch this fantastic fest.  How can we count them?
The elephant assembly  (Ezhunnallippu)
The elephant assembly (Ezhunnallippu) | Source
Decorative Umbrellas (for elephants) used for 'Kudamattom'
Decorative Umbrellas (for elephants) used for 'Kudamattom'
The crowd assembled to watch the Pooram fest
The crowd assembled to watch the Pooram fest
What a splendid view of the temple, where Pooram held
What a splendid view of the temple, where Pooram held
These are people gathered to watch this fantastic fest.  How can we count them?
These are people gathered to watch this fantastic fest. How can we count them?

Eight temples (apart from the major ones- Paramekkavu andThiruvambadi) in and around Thrissur town take part in the festival. The performance of the celebrated percussionists in the state is one of the most sought after events of this festival. The grand show of the percussionists is a wonderful display of sound and rhythm. They are teamed up in two fractions- Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi. The people of Thrissur forget everything once the 'melam' begins. They sing and dance with the incredible symphony being orchestrated by the highly professional percussionists.

The Myth and History

It is believed that the dynastic god and goddesses of neighboring temples meet together, every year for a day of celebration. The Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswoms are the major temple authorities to make the festival and celebrations the most remarkable one.

To talk on history about the Pooram, Thrissur Pooram started about two hundred years ago. It was on the special interest and guidance of the then ruler of Kochi, Sakthan Thampuran or Raja Rama Varma in the year 1798. He was a king known for his good administration. He decided to break tradition and started to celebrate the pooram festival inviting the temples belonging to his region. Till then there were some problems brewing between various groups running the nearby temples. Sakthan Thampuran united some ten temples situated around Vadakkumnathan temple and organized a mass festival which came be known as Thrissur Pooram.

The temples were grouped into two- The Western and the Eastern. The Western group as 'Thiruvambady' consisting of Kannimangalam, Laloor, Ayyanthole, Nethilakkavu and the Thiruvambadi temple as the main one. The other group known as Eastern group was termed 'Paramekkavu' consisting of Karamukku, Chembukavu, Choorakotukavu and Panamamakkampilly and the Paramekkavu temple as the head.

The venue was fixed at the center around the Vadakkumnathan temple (exactly at Thekkinkkadu Maidan or ground). All the above temples would send their pooram (the complete procession) to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity. The full credit for chalking our the programs and the connected events of the Thrissur Pooram festival thus go to Shakthan Thampuran.

Fabulous Features of the Festival

This being the 'pooram of poorams', justifiably attracts a large crowd. The Pooram starts with the Kannimangalam Sasthavu Ezhunnallippu (procession) in the early morning, followed by Ezhunnallippu of other six temples. People from across the state come all the way to Thrissur to witness this mammoth festival. Both domestic and international tourists make it sure not to miss the event if they are in Kerala during the festival season (April/May). In fact no one, especially the one who has witnessed the festival at least once, wishes to skip this most magnificent cultural extravaganza of Kerala.

The festival lasts for 36 hours offering a wide variety of visual treats to the visitors. I brief here some of the most notable features as given below:

  • Madathil Varavu

'Madathil varavu' is one of the major attractive events of the festival. It is a 'panchavadya melam' participating more than 20 artists. The 'melam' or orchestra is performed using 'Thimila', 'Madhalam', Trumpet, Cymbal and 'Edakka'. (These are different types of instruments and their Malayalam names).

  • Ilanhithara (Elanjithara) Melam

The famous 'Ilanhithara melam' starts at 2 0' clock inside the Vadakkumnathan temple. If you love 'melam', please do come here. The fest gives you a golden chance to enjoy the thrilling performance of the 'melam' maestros.

  • Exhibition (Anachamya Pradharshanam)

There is a grand exhibition known as 'Ana Chamaya Pradharshanam' to exhibit the colourful and glittering elephant decorations. Don't miss it as it showcases such a wonderful craftsmanship of seasoned artists.

  • Kudamattom

This is a rare kind of display and the major attraction of the Pooram. Here, at the end of Pooram, both Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi groups enter the temple through the western gate and come out through the southern gate. They array themselves, face to face at distant places. Then the two groups exchange colorful and crafted umbrellas with a competitive mind at the top of the elephants. The 'melam' will be at its full swing during the process. Besides 'melam' you can enjoy the beauty of the elephants paraded wearing colorful ornaments and decorations like 'Alavattom', 'Venchamaram', decorative bells and 'Muthukkuda' (decorated umbrellas). 'Kudamattom' is a fantastic experience. You are totally engrossed and forget time while watching. Please observe the video of 'Kudamattom' I appended on the right side of this text.

Video of Thrissur Pooram Fireworks (Vedikkettu)

  • Fireworks

During the festival night all roads lead to Thrissur Thekkinkadu maidan. All are in a hurry mission not to to miss the most spectacular and colorful fireworks. It is a display of sound and light produced by a superb array of crackers and sparklers. The charming fireworks will last for hours offering the spectators an unforgettable experience. It has to be enjoyed. It has to be experienced. You can skip any events related to the Pooram but not the fireworks. It is great, no, the greatest Pooram experience.

The cultural fest called 'Thrissur Pooram' is a wonderful display of sound, light, elephants and a never ending passion of festivity. Missing the fest means you lose a grand exhibition Kerala offers to the world. If still doubtful, listen what UNESCO has certified the Pooram: Thrissur Pooram is the most spectacular festival event on the planet.

Wherever you are on the planet please go for the show at least once in your lifetime. The only advice I wish to give you is do not forget to carry your camera and a tiny scribbling pad when you start. This will surely help to capture some amazing snaps and record the fascinating festival features on the spot.

Have you ever witnessed the famous Thrissur Pooram?

See results

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2013 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)