THRISSUR: In the wake of reports that flashing of laser beams is the reason for elephants running amok during temple festivals, District Collector A Kausikan has banned the use of laser pointers during Thrissur Pooram.
The elephant owners' association and a section of elephant lovers had alleged some miscreants flash laser beams at elephants during temple festivals to tease them. The collector also banned the use of helicams and sale of toy whistles making shrill noise and big balloons during the festival. The sale of liquor will be banned between April 24 and April 26 within the city limits.
Festival flags hoisted
The city plunged into the festival spirit on Thursday as the ceremonial flag was hoisted in all the 10 participating temples, including the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu, heralding the beginning of the pooram festival. The festivities and rituals at Thiruvambadi started with the devotees hoisting the flag at 11.30 am on Thursday. After the flag hoisting ceremony, the festival deity was taken to Naduvil Madom in a procession. At 3 pm, the festival flag was hoisted at Naduvilal and the deity was taken to the temple after performing 'arattu' in Padinjare Chira.
The festival flag was hoisted at Paramekkavu temple at 12.15 pm after which the festival idol was taken to the Vadakkunnathan temple as a procession after performing 'arattu' at the Vadakkunnathan temple pond. Small fireworks marked the occasion at Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu temples.
The festival flag was hoisted at the eight associate temples also marking the beginning of the festivities. The festival flag was hoisted at Laloor Karthyayani temple at 8 am and Ayyanthol Karthyayani temple at 11 am. The flag hoisting ceremony started at Kanimangalam Sastha temple and Chembukavu Sastha temple at 6 pm. At Paramukkumpalli Sastha temple and Karamukku Bhagavathy temple, the ceremony was held at 6.15 pm. The flag was hoisted at Choorakkottukavu Durga temple at 6.45 pm and at Kuttur Neythalakkavu temple at 8 pm on Thursday.
Sample fireworks on Monday
The sample fireworks, a prelude to the pooram fireworks will be held on Monday. The poora chamayam exhibition, showcasing the elephant accoutrements used for the festival will be held on Tuesday. The pooram festivities will begin with the procession carrying the festival idol of Kanimangalam Sastha at 7 am on Wednesday. The ilanjithara melam, a feast for percussion lovers will start at 2 pm. Thekke gopuram will be opened marking the beginning of the Thrissur Pooram at 5 pm.
The Kudamattom that creates a mood of excitement and frenzy among the pooram lovers will continue till 7 pm. As many as 65 sets of decorative umbrellas will be used for Kudamattom this year.
Both Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswoms will parade 15 elephants each in the pooram. Following the death of Thiruvambadi Sivasundar, the majestic elephant who carried the deity for 15 years, the Devaswom authorities have selected Thiruvambadi Cheriya Chandrasekharan to carry the idol of Thiruvambadi Bhagavathy this year. Paramekkavu Padmanabhan will carry the idol of Paramekkavu Bhagavathy. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is expected to visit Thrissur on April 25 to witness the pooram festivities.