Thrissur Pooram, one of the world's biggest yearly temple festivals of the Hindus, is held in the Vadakkunnatha Temple in Kerala, in the Southern India.
'Pooram' means festival in the local language(Malayalam). The Thrissur Pooram is sometimes called the 'festival of all festivals' and the 'Mother of all festivals'.
Pooram comprises of procession of elephants and enthralling percussion performances. These performances last for a non-stop 36 hours during the days of the Thrissur Pooram.
Thrissur Pooram was started by the king Rama Varma (1751-1805), popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran.
Before the origin of the Thrissur Pooram, the biggest temple festival of Kerala was the Pooram of Aranattukara, which is located near Thrissur. The history behind the origin of the Thrissur Pooram is that the people of Thrissur were once denied entry to the Pooram of Aranattukara, because of some regional fights. The Sakthan Thampuran felt pity for the wounded feelings of the people of Thrissur and started himself a new festival in the Vadakkunnatha Temple, which happened to be as splendid as nobody could imagine before.
Thrissur Pooram is beleieved to be an occassion when the deities from the nearby temples meet with each other. It's believed that the gods of the neighboring temples appear for the Thrissur Pooram to pay their obeiance to Lord Sri Vakunnathan, the deity of the Vadakunnatha temple. Historically, It's Sakthan Thampuran who started the tradition by ordering all the rulers in the erstwhile Cochin state (which was under his reign) i to bring their deities to Thrissur during the Pooram. The processions from all the temples reach the Vadakkunnatha temple during the Pooram ground where
the combined celebrations occur.
Thrissur Pooram is held in the Medam month of the Malayalam Calendar (which falls in April or May). Devotees and spectators from all parts of the state and even outside, throng the 'Pooram'.
The two major temples (which geographically represent two regions of Thrissur) which participate in the Pooram are Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi.
Both teams field face to face arrays of richly caparisoned elephants to compete each other and this traditional rivalry adds a special beauty to the Thrissur Pooram.