The City Thrissur
Thrissur is a city situated in the centre of Kerala state, India with a population of around 5.2 lakhs. The city is home to a large number of ancient temples and the mother of many art forms hence the rightly gained name as the “cultural capital” of Kerala. The name Thrissur is derived from “Thiru-Shiva-Perur”, which literally translates to “The city of the Sacred Siva” .
Temple festivals in Kerala are a part and parcel of people’s lives and occur at regular intervals in multiple temples varying in time according to the deities and Kerala calendar. The size and importance of these festivals vary from a small gathering to mega spectacles like the Thrissur pooram.
The Thrissur Pooram is considered to be the Mother of all Poorams, a culture highlight that towers above all other festivals .Thrissur pooram is a festival unique in its pageantry, magnitude and participation. It is not a mere temple festival in its strict sense but at the same time it is the festival of festivals of Kerala.
The Thrissur Pooram, celebrated in the Malayalam month Of Medom (April-May) is a grand assembly of Gods and Goddesses in and around Thrissur. These Gods and Goddesses make their visit to the Vadakumnathan Temple premises on caparisoned elephants accompanied by grand ensembles of Chenda melam and pancha vadyam.
The Ten participants of the Pooram are the Thiruvambady Bhagavathi and Paramekkavu Bhagavathi, Nethilakkavu Bhagavathi, Karamukku Bhagavathi, Ayyanthole Bhagavathi, Laloor Bhagavathi, Choorakkattukavu Bhagavathi, Chembukkavu Bhagavathi, Panamukkumpally Sastha, Kanimangalam Sastha. The processions and rituals of each of these deities follow a very strict itinerary, scheduled in such a way that the tempo of the Pooram celebrations – 36 hrs non-stop – is maintained without any loss of energy.
Thrissur pooram is 200 plus years old prior to which the “Arattupuzha pooram” had been conducted at Arattupuzha, some 16 km away from Vadakumnathan, which was known as the biggest temple festival of Kerala. All the temples participating Thrissur pooram and Kuttanellore pooram was the regular participant of “Arattupuzha pooram” .
Once these temples were delayed to attend the festival due to heavy rain or so and then chief of Peruvanam Gramam denied the entry. As an act of reprisal Thrissur Naduvazhi the chief of Vadakunnathan, known as Yogadiripad and Kuttanellur Naduvazhi started the pooram in Thrissur.
Later due to some reasons the Kuttanellur Naduvazhi disassociated the celebration at Thrissur. Since the withdrawal of Kuttanellur Naduvazhi the glamour of the pooram was lost and the two ‘Naduvazhies’ began to treat each other as enemies.
It was in this juncture the former ruler of Cochin, His Highness Ramavarma Raja, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran (1751-1805 AD) became the Maharaja of Kochi. Sakthan Thampuran unified the 10 temples situated around Vadakumnathan temple and took steps to celebrate Thrissur Pooram as a mass festival.
Sakthan Thampuran classified the participants in to two groups the western and the Eastern The western group consist of Thiruvambady, Kanimangalam, Laloor, Ayyanthole, and Nethilakkavu temples. Paramekkavu, Karamukku, Chembukavu. Choorakottukavu and Panamukkamppilly comes under eastern group. The Maharaja re – organized the annual festival in its present form in front of Vadakumnathan. Sakthan Thampuran also directed the main temples at Thrissur, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady to extent all support and help to other poorams which are coming from 2 to 10 KM. away from Vadakumnathan temple. Recently the Kanimangalam changed to eastern side. The event management of the whole pooram was chalked out by His Highness Sakthan Thamburan and followed iota till now.
Thrissur Pooram – The Format
The participant poorams are divided into two parts namely “Paramekkavu side” and “Thiruvambady side”. The Paramekkavu side consists of besides “Paramekkavu Bagavathy”.
1) Pookattikkara-Karamukku Baghavathy, 2) Choorakattukara Baghavathy, 3)Chempukkavu Baghavathy, 4) Panemukkumpilly Sastha. Besides Thiruvambady Baghavathy, the Thiruvambady side is having 1) Ayyanthole Baghavathy 2) Nethilakkavu Baghavathy 3) Laoor bagavathy 4) Kanimangalam Sastha.
Thrissur does not have an airport. Nearest airport is Kochi Airport. i.e. 56 km away
Calicut International Airport (CCJ), Kozhikode, Kerala i.e. 95 km away
You can easily get regular trains to Thrissur from other major cities of the country.
Railway Station(s): Thrissur (TCR), Divine Nagar (DINR), Thrissur Punkunnam (PNQ)
There are regular buses from other major cities of the country to Thrissur.
Bus Station(s): Thrissur
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