The Thrissur Pooram, Kerala's popular temple festival in its 215 edition was held on Sunday with thousands of people, including foreign tourists, witnessing the parade of 30 richly caparisoned pachyderms and performance by over 500 great percussionists.
It was a visual treat to the people who thronged the venue braving sweltering heat 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.
It was a treat to watch 'Panchavadyam' and 'Pandimelam' performed in front of the elephants by the percussionists.
According to history, the Thrissur Pooram was started by Shakthan Thampuran, a powerful ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Cochin through a royal proclamation in 1798. 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.
This year's pooram festival which would come to an end in the wee hours of tomorrow with a four-hour long display of fireworks, marking the grand finale which will be witnessed by many people including several foreign nationals.