THRISSUR: Showcasing the culture, tradition and ritualistic diversities of the Thrissur Pooram, the cultural extravaganza of Thrissur, billed as the ‘mother of all poorams’ in the state began in the city on Monday with deities of participating temples arriving in front of Lord Vadakkunathan temple for the annual ritual amid tight security and restrictions.
Thousands, including foreign tourists, have assembled at the cultural capital to immerse in the colour and chaos of the 36-hour-long colourful Pooram, which will culminate with a massive display of fireworks on Tuesday early morning and the farewell bidding ceremony (Upacharam Chollal) of two major deities of participating temples in the Pooram.
The festivities begin in the morning with the ceremonial entrance of “Kanimangalam Sastha” pooram through the southern goupuram at 7.30 am. This is followed by the arrival of other cherupoorams of Karamukku Bhagavathy, Neithakkaavu Bhagavathy, Lalur Bhagavathy, Panamukkampalli Sastha, Choorakkottukavu Durga, Ayyanthole Karthyayani and Chembukkavu Karthyayani temples.
Madathil Varavu, one among the most important events of the Thrissur Pooram, began by 11.30 and it will be followed by the famous Ilanjitthara melam by 2 pm under the tree of Ilanji at the temple which would see the participation of around 300 artists and percussion buffs swaying to the tunes of traditional percussion orchestra. The most colourful event Kudamattom, in which the people mounted on around 30 elephants will exchange the parasols of each elephant in a competitive spirit, will take place by 5.30 pm.
Meanwhile, braving the scorching sun, thousands of Pooram revelers are flocking to the city to witness the rituals of the Pooram and the mighty jumbos. Since the festival was dragged into a controversy in connection with the parade of Theichikottukavu Ramachandran, the tallest elephant in the state, the participation in the Pooram is beyond expectations. In the wake of the terror strike in Sri Lanka and subsequent security alerts in Kerala, tight security is in place for this year's festival. Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi are the two major Devaswoms that conduct the festival on the grounds of the Vadakkunnathan Temple in the heart of Thrissur.