Many hearts were broken when the legendary Thrissur pooram was conducted just for the sake of rituals, without the public participation and festivities, during the pandemic times. The next year too the iconic temple festival didn’t have its quintessential spirit as the threat of Covid-19 was still looming. Here is a photo journey through pooram in the last five years.
This year, Thrissur pooram returned with all its might and glory with Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi vying to grab the upper hand in vadyamelam or the percussion orchestra. Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, the elderly percussion artist, who has led the Ilanjithara melam for the last twenty four years would be absent this year.
Meanwhile, the Ilanjithara melam would be led by veteran artist Kizhakoottu Aniyan Marar who is one of the senior most melam artists in Kerala.
The lovers of Pooram would miss seven elephants that were part of the festivities in the previous years. It was in July last year that Paramekkavu Padmanabhan, the iconic jumbo that had carried the idol of Paramekkavu for the last two decades, had died. Elephant lovers would cheer with pride and exhilaration when Padmanabhan majestically entered the festivities with the idol on his back.
Paramekkavu Devidasan, the elephant that had been part of the Thekkottirakam ritual for the last twenty one years too had died recently. The jumbo once got the chance to carry the idol for the night pooram. Meanwhile, Machadu Karnan too was a regular at Pooram. Cherpulassery Ayyapan, the elephant known for its majestic looks too is no more.
Nadakkal Unnikrishnan and Guruvayoor Dewaswom Junior Madhavankutty, the elephants that represented Pramekkavu and Kunnamkulam Ganesan, a regular in the Thiruvambadi side for the scintillating elephant pageant would be missed.
Pooram @ 2022
After celebrating a lackluster Pooram for two years, the legendary temple festivities were celebrated with all its glory in 2022. The crowds returned to be part of the spectacular festivities.
The pooram was restricted to just the temple rituals with meagre public participation. The sample firework display and the exhibition of the fineries were avoided. Entry was banned in the Swaraj Round. Meanwhile, entry to the temple premises where the pooram was held was restricted through passes.
It was for first time in half a century that pooram was conducted with no more than five people in attendance. The pandemic had marred the glory of the iconic festival which ended with just the temple rituals. Incidentally, Thrissur was one of the districts that reported the highest number of Covid 19 cases then.
Both Paramekkavu and Thiruvanabadi raised parasols, during the kudamattam (exchange of parasols), paying homage to the soldiers who had lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack.
There were confusions regarding the approval for conducting the fireworks display which is the main event of the festivities. After much disputes and discussion, the revenue and the explosive authorities gave the green flag.
The Madathilvaram orchestra was led by veteran percussion artist Kongadu Madhu. Meanwhile, the idol of Lord Krishna was carried by majestic jumbo Thiruvambadi Shivasundar, for the Thiruvambadi side. Master percussion artist Peruvanam Kuttan Marar led the orchestra when Paramekkavu Padmanabhan entered, carrying the golden idol of the Paramekkavu Goddess.
Meanwhile, the crowds forgot themselves in the thrilling beats of the pandimelam led by Kizhakoottu Aniyan Marar and the panchavadyam orchestra led by Parakkadu Thankappa Marar.