Showing posts with label Festivals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Festivals. Show all posts

May 10, 2014

Thrissur Pooram Festival 2014

Last year, I was thinking about attending the Thrissur Pooram Festival. However, my South Korea business trip didn't allow me. 

This year, my guru TBR Uncle and I planned well in advance to attend this festival [9 May 2014] and we went. I started from Pondicherry in Mangalore Mail while uncle started from Chennai in Allepey Express. We met at Thrissur railway station at 7:30am while it was raining. After stepping out of railway station, we both had a tea. Uncle had a Pazham puri (snack made by frying maidha topped Nendram Pazham (a banana variety) too. We looked out for an accommodation. Even a below average room costed Rs.1500. We weren't' satisfied. We hunted for few more rooms. All of them costed exorbitantly. We stopped searching.

We headed towards the Vadakumnaathan temple for (one of) the main attraction of the festival  Koda Maatram (கோடை மாற்றம் /Change of Umbrella). In front of the temple, an array of elephants adorned in gold plated ornaments were lined up. In front of the elephants, an array of musicians - playing native trumpet like instruments and Chenda melam. The sound and the beat was amazing. Many were waving their hands excitedly for the beat. We were standing there for 15-20 minutes.  I must say, I was charged up. We can't get this experience while watching it in television. The people watching this performance were highly charged up and waving their hand in beat.

(Umbrella Changing Ceremony begins)

Later, I and Uncle went to Guruvayor and Tripayar. We came back to Thrissur at 2:00pm and went to Vadakumnaathan Temple. Unseasonal cloudy overcast poured down as expected. Around 4:00pm, people started gather at the south of the temple. At 4:30pm, as the people cheered up, the elephant bearing the main deity of Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple headed out of the temple followed by another 14 elephants. Finally 15 elephants lined up facing the crowd. Few highly decorated umbrellas were changed. Later, all these elephants headed towards the the road end of the ground and faced the temple. 

Now, another 15 elephants headed by the main deity of Thiruvembadi Sri Krishna Temple came out of the Vadakumnaathan temple and faced the elephants of the Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple. By now, it was 5:30pm. People cheered up and were waving the hands in sync with the beat. People roared when the persons standing on the head of the elephant (of the Thiruvembadi Sree Krishna Temple) started changing the umbrella. People once again roared when the persons standing on the head of the elephant (of the Paramekkaavu Bhagavathy Temple) started changing the umbrella. It was awesome watch different colors of umbrella at one sight. Watching them in front of eyes in real is an unparalleled experience. 

A gentleman standing next to me explained certain facts about this festival
1. Vadakamunathan Temple only hosts the show. Only Paramekkavu Bhagavathy Temple and Thiruvembadi Sree Krishna Temple participates in this show.
2. It is show of strength by both the temples. Not a competition but they participate in a competitive spirit.
3. It is the not the number of elephants that count as the display of strength.
4. It is the (Design / Color / Quality of) umbrella's that is changed every two minutes is actually the display of strength.
5. These umbrella's are rich in color, high in aesthetics, high in design, finer in details which make them look fabulous when they are put on the 15 elephants.
6. Each side has around 40-50 sets of umbrella to change every two minutes. 
7. Each umbrella is made out of pure silk, gold and silver decorations giving them a rich look. The gentleman said it would cost about Rs.1 Lakh (I though it would be some Rs.3000 only). 
8. Many NRI's pour money to make these umbrellas and crores and crores of money is poured to organize this festival.

Overall, it is definitely a wonderful experience to witness in person.