Thrissur Pooram is the perhaps the most famous festival in Kerala. It was started in 1798 by Sakthan Thampuran (Rama Varma Kunhjipilla Thampuran) when temples in Thrissur was denied entry to Arattupuzha Pooram because they were late due to rain. Thrissur Pooram is a 36 hour long festival which attracts visitors from around the globe. There are mainly two groups – Thiruvambady (Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, Kanimangalam Sastha Temple, Laloor Bhagavathy Temple, Ayyanthole Sree Karthyayani Temple, Nethilakkavu Baghavathy Temple) and Paramekkavu (Paramekkavu Bhagavathi Temple, Chembukkavu Bhagavathy Temple, Panamukkumpally Sastha Temple, Choorakkottukavu Bhagavathy Temple, Pookattikkara – Karamukku Baghavathy Temple) participating in the pooram. The photos below were shot on 17th April 2016.
According to guruvayurdevaswom.nic.in, the Utsavam lasts for ten days. Beginning on the day of Pushya (the 8th asterism) in the month of Kumbham ( February-March), it ends after the Aarattu on the 10th day. Religiously, it is the restoration of divine Chaithanya. Brahmakalasam is preceded by the Utsavam. It is aimed at the purification and energisation of the powers of the deity. It is the last of the long series of rituals of kalasam and at the end, the flag will be hoisted heralding the Utsavam. Culturally, it consists of various processions, illumination and modest fire-works (this is a specialty of Guruvayur Utsavam that no explosives are used, unlike most of the other Kerala temples). All ten days, the place wears a festive look, streets dressed up with arches, festoons etc., houses freshly thatched and painted. Every shrine and building is tastefully decorated with lights, plantain trunks, bunches of coconut and arecanuts. Two Gopurams and the bahyankana (outer-courtyard) are elaborately decorated with illuminations and eye-catching electric displays. The lamps, deepasthambams and vilakku are all lightened. These pictures were taken on 21st Feb 2016.