Thrissur Pooram: Kudamattam celebrates the festival with vibrant parasols

The Thrissur Pooram festivities will reach a crescendo with fireworks scheduled for 3 am on April 20. Photo: Manorama/Russel Shahul

After the percussion symphony ilanjitharamelam, which drowned the cultural capital in its electrifying beats, Thrissur Pooram fans are celebrating the most colourful event of the festival - Kudamattam. The ritual, which has two rows of 15 elephants standing face to face displaying innovatively designed parasols one after the other, symbolises the friendly rivalry and camaraderie between the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Temples. It began around 5 pm and concluded by 7.40 pm. 

Every year, both sides display meticulously crafted, unique umbrellas and this year too, pooram lovers are embracing their vibrant hues. Last year, Thiruvambady side won applause for a parasol showcasing Argentine footballer Lionel Messi holding the World Cup. The elephants that shoulder the 'thidambu' aka deity for the ritual are Guruvayoor Nandan for Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady Chandrasekharan for Thiruvambady.

Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady temples impressed the viewers with their special parasols like 'Kathakali', 'baby krishna on banyan leaf' etc. LED parasols featuring Lord Ram and Chandrayaan were the major attractions of this year's Kudamattam. Both teams had a tight battle by displaying over 1500 parasols. 

Festivities at night
The panchavadyam percussion display of Paramekkavu will begin at 10.30 pm, led by Chottanikkara Nandappan Marar. Thiruvambady will repeat its Madhathil Varavu panchavadyam during this hour. The festivities will reach a crescendo by 3 am with fireworks. The 'upachaaram cholli piriyal' ceremony, which concludes this year's pooram, will be held at noon, during which the date for next year's Thrissur Pooram will also be announced. 

Elephants at Thrissur Pooram
Thrissur Pooram is also a time when elephant lovers get a chance to see some of the most famous and regal elephants in Kerala. The elephants that accompanied Thiruvambadi were:
Thiruvambadi Chandrasekharan, Thiruvambadi Kannan, Thiruvambadi Arjun, Kuttankulangara Arjunan, Kuttankulangara Sreenivasan, Shankaramkulangara Udayan, Guruvayur Sidharthan, Guruvayur Junior Vishnu, Guruvayur Krishna, Nayrayanan, Puthupally Sadhu, Pambadi Sundaran, Nandilathu Gopalakrishnan, Ookkan’s Kunju, Parannur Nandan, Kurupathu Sivasankaran, Pakkathu Sreekuttan, Cherpulassery Manikandan, Karuvanthala Ganapathy, Machadu Gopalan, Machadu Dharman, Vembanad Arjunan, Thadathavila Rajasekharan, Vattamankavu Manikandan, Peroor Sivan, Nandilathu Govind Kannan, Valiapurakkal Sooryan, Valiapurakkal Aryanandan, Vylur Parameswaran, Venad Neelakandan, Trinity Parthan.

The elephants on the Paramekkavu side:
Paramekkavu Kasinathan, Guruvayur Dewaswom Nandan, Ernakulam Sivakumar, Guruvayur Rajasekharan, Pallatu Brahmadathan, Thechikottukavu Devidasan, Machadu Jayaram, Bastain Vinayasundar, Thottekattu Vinayakan, Arunima Parthasarathy, Mullathu Ganapathy, Mouttathu Rajendran, Unnimanagadu Ganapathy, Chethallur Devidasan, Puthupally Arjunan, Vadakurumba Durgadasan, Kalakuthan Kannan, Kolakkadan Ganapathy, Ezhuthachan, Shankaranarayanan, Kootanad Vishnu, Manissery Rajendran, Ambadi Madhavankutty, Brahmini Govindankutty, Chamapuzha Unnikrishnan, Vadakkunathan Ganapathy, Pazhvady Kasinathan, Maruthurkulangara Mahadevan, Ollookara Jayaram, Manuswamymadam Vinayakan, Manuswamumadam Manunarayanan.

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