Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thrissur Pooram

One of Kerala's biggest festivals is the 'elephant festival' at Thrissur. The festivities, dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, last for over 36 hours. They start when small elephant processions carry deities from various villages across Thrissur and culminate at the grounds of the Vadukunathan Temple.

The festival is marked by fireworks, and a display of umbrellas, as well as caparisons that adorn the elephants. Typically, the festival takes place during April-May.
See the crowds!
Mahouts have trained themselves to stand atop the elephants.
It's amazing how these elephants remain calm even when faced with hordes of people. 

There is increasing awareness in Kerala these days regarding the need for better treatment of elephants. A movement against the training and use of elephants is slowly taking shape. However, elephants have been an integral part of Kerala culture for hundreds of years and in fact, many of the majestic elephants have fan clubs of their own. You can find these fan clubs on facebook these days. Fans eagerly await the festivals and the processions.

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