Thrissur Pooram 2017: History, Timings, Schedules and Festivities

The name Thrissur which has originated from “Thiru-Shiva-Perur” means “The city of the Sacred Siva” was started in the 18th century by Raja Rama Varma, the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin.

Thrissur Pooram
Thrissur PooramWikimedia Commons

Thrissur Pooram, the annual Hindu temple festival and also one of the most prominent festivals in Kerala will be celebrated on Friday, May 5, 2017 in accordance with the Malayalam calendar month of the Medam. According to the Malayalam calendar, the Pooram stars (part of the Leo constellation) rises with the moon on May 5 and the ancient temples of Kerala celebrates this day grandly.

The name Thrissur which has originated from “Thiru-Shiva-Perur” means “The city of the Sacred Siva” was started in the 18th century by Raja Rama Varma, the ruler of the Kingdom of Cochin.

How did Thrissur Pooram start?

According to the Thrissur Pooram website, Thrissur pooram is a 200-year-old festival. Before that the “Arattupuzha pooram” used to be conducted at Arattupuzha, which is 16 km away from Vadakumnathan and was the biggest temple festival of Kerala. All the temples participating Thrissur pooram and Kuttanellore pooram was the regular participants of “Arattupuzha pooram” .

Once these temples were delayed to attend the festival due to heavy rain and the chief of Peruvanam Gramam  was 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 at this juncture the former ruler of Cochin 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.

Thrissur Pooram
Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, leader of ‘Chenda’ group of Paramekkavu templeWikimedia Commons

With millions of tourists thronging the temples, Kerala comes alive to the tune of music, drums and an array of brilliantly decorated elephants that are sent to Thrissur from all across Kerala.

The Pooram Nakshathram began at 05:02 in the morning on Friday and will end at 06:09 am on May 6. The temples from the Paramekkavu side (Eastern Group) and Thiruvambady side (Western Group) take part in this festival. The two groups of temples are just 500 metres apart from each other

Here are the temples from each of the groups:

Western Group – Thiruvambady side

Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple

Kanimangalam Sastha Temple

Laloor Bhagavathy Temple

Sree Karthyayani Temple at Ayyanthole

Nethilakkavu Baghavathy Temple

Kanimangalam Valiyalukkal Bhagavathi Temple
Kanimangalam Valiyalukkal Bhagavathi Temple of the Western group of templesWikimedia Commons

Eastern Group – Paramekkavu side

Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple

Chembukkavu Bhagavathy Temple

Panamukkumpally Sastha Temple

Choorakkottukavu Bhagavathy Temple

Pookattikkara – Karamukku Baghavathy Temple

The festival begins with the hoisting of a special flag which is known as Kodiyettam. Though most of the temples have permanent flag posts the Pooram flag will be hosted in a makeshift post made out of fresh Areca nut tree. Here’s the list of timings when the Kodiyettam will be taking place in each of the temples.

Kodiyettam Timings

Laloor: 8.00 to 8.15 am

Ayyanthole: 11.00 to 11.15 am

Thiruvambadi: 11.30 to 11.45 am

Paramekkavu: 12.00 to 12.15 pm

Chembhookavu: 6.00 to 6.15 pm.

Panekkumppilly: 6.15 to 6.30 p.m

Pookattikkara – karamukku: 6.15 to 6.30 pm

Kanimangalam: 6.00 to 6.15 pm

Choorakottukavu: 6.45 to 7.00pm

Neithalkavu: 8.00 to 8.15pm

Firework competition

Fireworks at the Thrissur Pooram festival
Fireworks at the Thrissur Pooram festivalTwitter/ Srisri Ravi Shankar

Though fireworks are an essential part of celebrations on Kerala, the Thrissur Pooram fireworks are the most spectacular in view and nature. With both the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu temples competing with each other and tourists and devotees thronging the temples, the Pooram festival becomes a spectacular show of light and colours as well.

Elephants at the Thrissur Pooram festival
Elephants at the Thrissur Pooram festivalTwitter/ Sanju Sadanand

On the last day, devotees carry out a procession of thirty decorated elephants that are divided into two groups. While the first group, which consist of fifteen elephants, carries the idol of Lord Krishna and marches from Thiruvambadi temple till Vadukunnathan temple, the other group of fifteen elephants will proceeds from Paramekavu Bhagavathy temple. The main leader of the group carries the idol of the goddess and reaches Tekkinkadu maidan.

Indeed! The Thrissur Pooram festival is a lifetime experience.

Source: IB Times