Thrissur Pooram, often called the mother of all festivals in Kerala, is basically all about a healthy competition between 2 temples – Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple and Paramekkavu Bhagavathi Temple (who represent two sides of Thrissur city). The two temples along with 8 other small temples in the vicinity assemble at the iconic Vadakkunnathan Temple for the festivities.
Thrissur Pooram is renowned across the world for its grand ensemble of caparisoned elephants and spectacular fireworks. Kudamattam or exchange of decorated umbrellas, done by experienced men standing atop the elephants, is one of the iconic events during the Pooram. These umbrellas represent divine halo and each elephant that is part of the Pooram ensemble is decorated not only with the Nettipattam (Elephant Caparison) but also with the Aalavattam (circular shield fan decorated with peacock feathers), the Venchamaram (Royal tuft fans) and the Muttukuda (Decorated Umbrellas). In its original format, temple officials used to carry these umbrellas on elephant top and simply raise it up and down in accordance with the rhythms played by Melam players (traditional ensemble orchestration).
Thrissur Pooram was designed by Kochi King Sakthan Thampuran as one of the iconic cultural events for his new capital city – Thrissur in 1789. Every single event for this 36-hour spectacular show was carefully designed by the King with the intention of keeping the public attention riveted.
BIKANER CAMEL FESTIVAL
The Bikaner Camel Festival is conducted annually in the month of January with great enthusiasm. The festival is very important to the populace of Rajasthan as the camel used to be an essential means of transport as well as livelihood to the people of the region, in former times.
The festival starts with the parading of beautifully decorated camels, giving a colourful spectacle against the Junagarh. Some of the celebrations include camel milking, camel races, fur cutting design, camel acrobatics, the best breed competition and camel beauty pageants. Traders and craftsmen come from all over India to celebrate the festival. Apart from the above mentioned celebrations, there are also other festivities including fire dancing, skirt swirling dancing and fireworks that illuminate the fortified desert city.