THRISSUR: The exhilarating colours of ornamental umbrellas, the intoxicating rhythm of ‘thayambaka’ and the grandeur of the caparisoned elephants all combined to give a perfect crescendo to the week-long Pooram festivities in Thrissur on Monday.
The fireworks enlivened the skies with a splendour of colours as people from across the world thronged the state’s cultural capital to witness the mother of all poorams. A potpourri of culture, various rituals, local beliefs and the best of the artistic excellence, Thrissur Pooram offered a roller coster of emotions to the Pooram revellers.
Lakhs thronged the lanes and bylanes of the city right from morning to get a better glimpse of the visual treats of Pooram.
The increased participation of the people despite the sweltering heat has once again proved the magnificence and brilliance of Pooram and its execution.
Around 90 majestic jumbos adorned with rich paraphernalia; the ensemble of close to 1,000 percussion artists; 1,500 extravagantly decorated parasols; magnificent and well-orchestrated fireworks using over 6,000 kg of gunpowder displayed the rich cultural contents of Thrissur.
For the lovers of percussion ensemble, Pooram offered a lot to choose from _ panchavadyam, pandimelam and panchari melam-where maestros drummed up the excitement during the ilanjithara melam, madathil varavu, pooram nirakkal and kudamattom. Though Peruvanam Kuttan Marar had to abstain from the orchestra for a while due to ill health, he came to back to lead the ilanjithara melam at 2 pm.
The Pooram officially began in the morning with participating temples taking out their ritualistic processions to the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple. First in the line was Kanimangalam Sastha, followed by other smaller poorams.
The magical effect of the panchavadyam, a combination of five percussion instruments, during the madathil varavu ceremony, led by Kongadu Madhu, kept percussion lovers enthralled for its sheer brilliance and coordination. Later, the ilanjithara melam, one of the best examples of pandimelam, sent audience into dizzy raptures.
The fervour of the festival peaked with the kudamattom ceremony in the evening. Hundreds of parasols were exchanged competitively by the people mounted on around 30 elephants of Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi Devaswoms in a charged atmosphere which brought the curtain down on the pakal pooram. This was followed by night pooram and a grand fireworks display.
Maestro sends crowd into raptures at ilanjithara
Despite the health blues, Peruvanam Kuttan Marar sent the crowd, which thronged the ilanjithara for the famed Ilanjithara Melam, into raptures. The melam staged at the ilanjithara is known for its strict adherence to percussion rules like the mathematical progression of beats in different kalams (tempos). The percussion artists did not disappoint the massive crowd by keeping up the legacy of the pandi melam by producing a heady symphony of chenda, ilathalam (cymbals), kuzhal and kombu for around two-and-a-half hours.
It was a unique experience for them as the harmony of rhythm created an electric ensemble at the ilanjithra in front of Vadakkumthan temple.
The sea of humanity which thronged the venue acknowledged the brillance of the melam by waving their hands in tune with the rhythm of drums and cymbals. The police had a tough time reining them in.