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Thrissur Pooram - The Royal Celebration Of Shiva | त्रिस्सूर पूरम - भगवान शिव का शाही उत्सव

Thrissur Pooram – The Royal Celebration Of Shiva

Thrissur Pooram is one of the most spectacular festivals in the state of Kerala. It is a Hindu temple festival held at the Vadakkunathan (Shiva) temple in Thrissur. It is celebrated with exceptional enthusiasm, zest, and devotion. Thrissur is a city in the state of Kerala that is situated in the center of Kerala. The city is known as the cultural capital of the state.

Thrissur Pooram is also known as the festival of all festivals and Thrissur is the land of festivals. The name Thrissur is derived from Thiru-Shiva-perur which literally means the city of Sacred Shiva. Despite being a Hindu festival, it is attended by all sections and religions of society. It is considered to be one of the greatest gatherings in Asia.

The Origin Of Thrissur Pooram

The festival Thrissur Pooram has an interesting beginning as the Maharaja of Cochin started it to compete against a similar festival. Before Thrissur Pooram, there was a single temple festival held for just one day called Aarattupuzha Pooram. All the temples used to go there and compete. Temples of Thrissur were regular participants. As per the legends, in the year 1798 because of heavy rain, the temples from Thrissur were late to reach the Aarattupuzha Pooram. They were denied entry to the Pooram procession and the temple premises. Tye embarrassed temple officials of Thrissur informed this incident to Raja Rama Varma also known as Sakthan thampuran.

This made him decide to unify the temples situated near Vadakkunathan temple and immediately organize a similar temple festival which is more extravagant and more rewarding than the first to make up for the eviction. This marks the beginning of the Thrissur Pooram festival. It started when the temples of Thrissur were not allowed to participate in the temple festival of Aarattupuzha Pooram.

The Celebration

It is believed that the gods and goddesses meet each other annually on this occasion. The sounds, sights, and fragrances are just overwhelming. Everything is on a grand scale. The firecrackers, the special delicacies, the decoration, the processions, and most importantly the majestic elephants come in unison to give you an experience for a lifetime.

It is a seven-day long celebration starting with the Kodiyettam or flag hoisting ceremony. The festival kicks off with the procession of Kanimangalam  Shasta in the morning. It signifies the visit of Devi from the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples. Apart from the two major temples, eight other minor temples also participate in the Pooram. The highlight is the spellbinding pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants brought from various temples of Kerala. The elephants take part in the Poora Vilambharam, where they push open the south entrance of the Vadakkunathan temple.

On the fourth day, Vedikettu; the firecrackers ceremony takes place. Many colorful displays of firecrackers are the norm. The sixth day or the main Pooram takes place at the time of Kanimangalam Sasthavu ezhunnellippu in the early morning. The two temples, Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna and Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple compete with each other in an attempt to outwit the opposition’s procession.

The main fireworks are renowned for their spectacular display of colorful lights that cover up the sky and sounds that overwhelm you. The last day of the festival is known as Pakal Pooram. The farewell ceremony is held at the Swaraj round. Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple and Paramekkavu Bagavathi temple idols are taken from the Swaraj Round to their respective temples to mark the end of the Pooram celebration.

For Thrissur, it is not just a festival but a time for hospitality. All the details for the festival were planned by the Raja himself to give the common man a vision of life.  It is a spectacle rooted deeply in religion, faith, and unity to bring the society for a common celebration.

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