In the past week, Thrissur gave a break to the post-election controversies and focussed her energies solely on her annual extravaganza. The effort showed in the splendour with which Thrissur Pooram unfurled on Monday.
Lakhs of people made a beeline to the Thekkinkadu Maidan and Swaraj Round to witness the festivities. The sounds of trumpets and trolling bells were everywhere.
Processions, elephants, percussion ensembles, and fireworks — there was something for everyone. The balmy weather, sweat, and dust did nothing to dampen the spirit of pooram fans.
The pooram signifies the meeting of deities of 10 temples in the region. The 36-hour-long festivities began with the arrival of Kanimangalam Sastha by 7.30 a.m. It was followed by processions from Panamukkumpally Sastha, Karamukku Bhagavathy, Lalur Bhagavathy, Naithalakkavu Bhagavathy, Choorakkattukavu Bhagavathy, Ayyanthole Karthyayani and Chembukkavu Karthyayani temples.
Accompanied by percussion ensembles, these deities were brought on caparisoned elephants to the Sree Vadakkunnathan temple.
The festival is synonymous with elephants and the ban on popular tusker Thechikkottukavu Ramachandran had created such a furore that the Collector had to give permission to parade the animal for an hour. Around 90 elephants participated in various functions of pooram. One could find elephants on every street. The entire city smelt of jumbos.
The Thekke Gopura Nada was teeming with people for Kudamattom, a parade of richly caparisoned elephants with ornamental umbrellas. People hooted and waved as umpteen parasols were changed in a friendly competition between Devaswoms.
Pyrotechnic wizards will leave a riot of colour on the sky on Tuesday morning. Pakal pooram, called Thattakathe Pooram, will be celebrated on Tuesday.