A week after temple festivities in Kollam turned tragic, with explosions sparked by fireworks leaving over 100 dead, the majestic Thrissur Pooram was celebrated with its annual flourish.
Amid tight security and watchful eyes of extra-cautious temple boards, thousands thronged to the southern side of Sree Vadakkumnathan temple to witness the divine durbar, in which richly-caparisoned elephants from Paramekkavu and Thiruvambady temples stood face-to-face. An enthralled audience watched as the spectacle of Kudamattam — the change of colourful silk parasols adorning the elephants — played out. Both temples vied with each other in unfurling new parasol designs during the event.
Pooran fans also stood through Panchavadyam, an orchestra of five instruments, despite the summer heat. Earlier, the festival began with the state’s most famous tusker, Thechikottukavu Ramachandran, opening the door of the southern gopuram of the Vadakkumnathan temple.
The fireworks display at the festival was scheduled to be held in the early hours Monday.
According to the High Court order, both the temples organising the event have been allowed to use 4,000 kg of explosives under the watchful eyes of the state police.
In the wake of the Kollam tragedy, teams of the National Disaster Relief Force and the BSF have also been deployed in the city.
After animal lovers alleged torture of elephants in the name of the parade, volunteers of the elephant squad stepped in to ensure special care for the animals.