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Thrissur Pooram is the largest, grandest and most popular of all the ‘Poorams’ held on different dates throughout the year in Kerala. This annual temple fest is held at Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur/ Thrissivaperoor, Kerela. It is worth mentioning that ‘Pooram’ means annual temple festivals held at various temples mostly in north-central Kerala. These are a type of grand carnival with Gods and Goddesses seen atop caparisoned elephants, or decorated mannequins of horses taken on a procession to the rhythm of drums and other traditional musical instruments. The streets are filled to brim with tourists and locals alike. Some other well-known Poorams are Chinnakathoor Pooram, Arattupuzha Pooram etc.

Most vibrant and colourful of Poorams, Thrissur Pooram is observed when the moon arises with Pooram star as per Malayalam calendar month.

The famous 65 acres once dense forest, Thekkinkadu Maidanam is an open ground hillock in the centre of Thrissur and has the Vadakkumnathan Temple at the middle. This ground is host to the temple fest reverberates for unbroken 36 hours with fireworks, processions, decked up elephants, tourist and locals.

Going deep into the historical origin of this grand Pooram it is learnt that the event is the initiative of Raja Rama Verma, Maharajah of Cochin in 1798. The festival started when temples in and around Thrissur failed to attend once famous Arattupuzha Pooram held at Aarattupuzha due to incessant rain. Feeling embarrassed, they thought of starting their own Pooram and with the Maharajah at the helm of affairs, around 10 temples in the region came together to start this now ‘Pooram of all Poorams’

The presiding deity of Vadakkumnathan Temple is Lord Shiva and the temple is known for its classic architectural style of Kerala, murals, towers.

Gods and Goddess atop elephants with splendid handcrafted umbrellas perch on them gather on the Maiden.

Flag hoisting, display of fireworks(Sample Vedikettu), participation and display of decked up caparisoned elephants( around 50). The main festival sees "Madathil varavu", a panchavadhyam melam. Melam means a classical music ensemble of all kinds of Keralite musical instruments ( percussion and wind instruments) played inside/ outside the main temples. In Thrissur Pooram around 200 artists take part.

Considered as one of the greatest gatherings of Asia, people from distant countries gather in the third largest city of Kerala, i.e Thrissur to witness Keralite tradition and culture at its best.


Date: 13th May 2019

Place: Thrissur, Kerala