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Thrissur Pooram is the most strikingly colourful and popular festival of Kerala. It is a cultural highlight par excellence celebrated in Thrissur at Vadakkumnathan temple in the month of Medam (April).

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Processions of richly caparisioned elephants accompanied by percussion ensembles from various neighbouring temples culminate at the Vadakkumnathan temple.
The most impressive processions are those from the Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna temple and Bhagavathi temple at Paramekkavu.
The celebrations which last over 36 hours include parasol displays and firework shows.
The festival was introduced by Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of the erstwhile Cochin State in the late eighteenth century.

Raja Rama Varma also known as Sakthan Thampuran, invited all the temples to bring their deities to Thrissur where they could pay obeince to Lord Vadakkumnatha, the deity of Vadakkumnathan temple.
Further he directed the main temples of Thrissur, Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu to extend all help and support to these temples.
It is this historical background that determines the course of the pooram program and it is specifically the ruler's antipathy to the Brahmin aristocracy to open Thrissur pooram for the common man.
The Pooram festival is celebrated by two rival groups representing the two divisions of Thrissur Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi vying with each other in making the display of fireworks grand and more colourful.
Each group is allowed to display a maximum of 15 elephants and all efforts are made by each party to secure the best elephants in south India and the most artistic parasols, several kinds of which are raised on the elephants during display. Commencing in the early hours of the morning, the celebration lasts till the break of dawn, the next day. The marvellous as well as magical effect of the Panchavadyam, a combination of five percussion and wind instruments is to be felt and enjoyed. Among the varities of festivals celebrated in Kerala, the Thrissur pooram is the most thunderous, spectacular and dazzling.

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