Thrissur: Kerala's popular temple festival Thrissur Pooram was held in Thrissur on Sunday. Thousands of people, including foreign tourists, participated in the ceremony which included a parade of 30 richly caparisoned pachyderms and also a performance by over 500 top-ranked percussionists.
The spectacle of face-to-face meeting of the 30 elephants - 15 each from the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady temples - and 'Kudamattam' (change of ornamental silk parasols by the people mounted on their top in quick succession) at the sprawling Thekkinkadu maidan provided a visual treat to the people who thronged the venue braving sweltering heat.
The festival, in its 215th edition, also gave an insight into the best of temple art and culture in 'God's Own Country' with the music ensembles of 'Panchavadyam' and 'Pandimelam' in front of the elephants by the percussionists.
According to history, the Thrissur Pooram had its origin in 1798 through a royal edict of the then Raja Rama Varma who was popularly known as Shakthan Thampuran, a powerful ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Cochin.
The edict entrusted two local temples - Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady - as the main sponsors of the festivities to be conducted in a competitive spirit.
Besides the main poorams of the two temples, eight small poorams from nearby temples converged at the sanctum sanctorum of pooram famous Vadakkunnathan temple.
Several foreign nationals witnessed this year's pooram festival which would come to an end on Monday with a four-hour long display of fireworks, marking the grand finale.