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Thrissur is best known for its mammoth Pooram Festival, which is the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. Thrissur Pooram, attracts large masses of devotees and spectators form all parts of the State and even outside.The legends and myths behind each festival of Kerala are many, varied and equally interesting. Since the word pooram literally means a group or a meeting, it was believed that every year the dynastic gods and goddesses of neighbouring province met together for a day of celebration. This usually happened on the pooram asterism of one of the spring months.


The gods and their entourage arrived for the meeting on colourfully decorated tuskers. Even today, the converging of these divine processions at the festival venue is an awe inspiring sight. The pooram draws to a close with mind-blowing fireworks displays in the evening and in the wee hours of the next morning.


Celebrated Malayalam month of Medom (April-May) in every year.it consists of processions of richly caparisoned elephants from various neigbouring temples to the Vadakunnatha temple, Thrissur. The most impressions are those from the Krishna temple at Thiruvambadi and the Devi temple at Paramekkavu. Pooram is an assemblage of suburban deities before the presiding deity at the Siva temple in down town Thrissur. The Pooram celebration is held at the Thekkinkadu grounds.


Thrissurpooram was introduced by Sakthan Thampuran (1775- 1790), , the Maharaja of erstwhile Kochi state. The Pooram festival is also well-known for the magnificent display of fireworks. It 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 grander and more colourful. Each group is allowed to display a maximum of fifteen elephants and all efforts are made by each party to secure the best elephants in South India and the most artistic parasols, several kind which are raised on the elephants during the display. The commissioning of elephants and parasols is done in the utmost secrecy by each party to excel the other. Commencing in the early hours of the morning, the celebrations last till the break of dawn, the next day.

Of the rival groups participating in the Pooram, the most important ones are those from Pramekkavu and Thiruvambadi. At the close of the Pooram both these groups enter the temple through the western gate and come out through the southern gate to array themselves, face to face, one from the round and other form the Municipal Office road. This spectacle is highly enchanting. Although this grand festival is known as Thrissur Pooram, it is in fact the conclusion of the eight -day Utsavam of nine temples.The procession of the Thiruvambadi Pooram to the grounds of Vadakkunnatha Temple and back is not only important, but also quite enlivening. The marvelous as well as magical effect of the Panchavadyam, a combination of five percussion and wind instruments, is to be felt and enjoyed.

Thousands of people from all walks of life gather at the Thekinkadu maidanam at Thrissur to celebrate the pooram or festival. The festival highlights include among other things a spectacular pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants and Kudamattom, a competition in the swift rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequined parasols. Dazzling fireworks, and a variety of musical performances including the Chendamelam and the indispensable Panchavadyam are also conducted. The Thrissur pooram, arguably the most famous festival of Kerala, is a heady mixture of pomp and pageantry. 2011 Pooram is scheduled for May 12.

Kerala Tourism sweeps PATA Awards 2011

Kerala Tourism sweeps PATA Awards 2011

:Kerala Tourism walked away with four of the top honours at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Awards 2011 for outstanding achievement in tourism announced in Bangkok recently. Kerala Tourism’s new global campaign film ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ bagged an unprecedented three PATA Gold Awards.

Kerala, which is the only Indian state to figure in the PATA awards list this year, also picked up one of the four PATA Grand Awards in the environment category for its ‘Responsible Tourism’ efforts in Kumarakom. PATA has announced four Grand and 22 Gold Awards this time and Kerala is the only winner from India among the four prestigious PATA Grand Awards. Kerala Tourism won three Gold Awards making it the largest haul ever by a state government in the history of PATA Awards. Prominent Kerala resort chain CGH Earth won the PATA Gold Award in the Corporate Environmental Programme category for best eco-friendly practices, taking the awards tally for Kerala to five.
Expressing satisfaction, Kerala Tourism Minister Sri. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan remarked, “The Grand Award puts an even greater responsibility on us to ensure that the achievements of Responsible Tourism in Kumarakom are sustained and taken to the next level to create a replicable model in tourism practices. The three awards for ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ signify the creative edge, which our marketing campaigns have been acclaimed for. But this is the first time that Kerala has won four international awards of significance. We are very proud of it.”
Kerala Tourism’s film ‘Your Moment is Waiting’ won three PATA Gold awards in Marketing: Secondary Government Destination, Marketing: Media-Travel Advertisement Broadcast Media and Marketing: Media-Public Relations.
Kerala Tourism Secretary Dr. Venu V. said, “This is an unprecedented honour. It is a recognition of the hard work put in by Kerala Tourism, its department, its associates and its agencies in managing the Kerala brand and devising an innovative marketing strategy.”
Kerala Tourism Director Mr. M. Sivasankar said, “It is a remarkable achievement for Kerala and its tourism industry. Kerala Tourism has won several awards in the past, but it is the first time the department has swept the awards at an international level.”
Launched in September 2008, the ‘Responsible Tourism’ programme of Kerala was the first such initiative by a tourism board in the country. Under the project, ordinary people of Kumarakom worked with industry representatives like hotels and resorts, tour operators, travel agents, home-stay operators and souvenir shop owners, NGOs and government agencies to protect the environment in this high-profile destination. Some of the steps taken under the initiative were declaring Kumarakom a ‘plastic-free zone’, organic farming, promotion of cycling as a means of transport, efforts to transform Kumarakom into a ‘waste-free area’ and green practices in hotels and resorts.
Last week, Kerala had won the ‘Favourite Indian State’ award at the Outlook Traveller tourism awards 2010 besides the CNBC Awaaz Awards for the ‘Most Preferred Destination’ and ‘Best Tourism Board’ in September last year.
There were 223 entries from 102 organizations and individuals from the Asia Pacific region this year for the PATA awards. Kerala Tourism’s four awards are the maximum that any entity has got from 26 awards at stake.
Sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), the awards will be presented in Beijing on April 11 to coincide with PATA’s 60th anniversary celebrations. More than 500 travel industry executives from across the world are expected to attend the awards ceremony.
“Our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners on receiving the Grand and Gold Awards. The winning entries this year have established another benchmark of excellence, innovation and advancement in the responsible development of travel and tourism.” Said Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, Director, MGTO.

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