There’s only one word for the Trissur Pooram which starts today. Spectacle! And spectacle at its best. For devout Hindus it is one of the most significant religious festivals in Kerala. For tourists it is a sight never to be forgotten. And for those of us who are terrified of big crowds…well, watch it on TV.
The Trissur Pooram lasts for seven days. Indians don’t do anything by half. I particularly like the mesmerising drummers, naked to the waist and wearing the traditional dhoti. It’s called panchavadyam.
There will be lots of fireworks which bizarrely start at three in the morning and rattle on for three hours (Don’t pick a hotel nearby).
But the real stars of the show are the elephants – decorated with peacock feathers, bells and ornaments, palm leaves,paintings. Expect 30-50 of them, each with its own mahout (rider) carrying flashy temple parasols.
And now for a real gem – unlike other Indian festivals this pooram involves all religious communities. The Muslims create many of the paintings. The Christian churches contribute some of the material for the parasols.
A wonderful display of community harmony at a time when the world badly needs it.