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Kerala celebrates Thrissur Pooram

     Thrissur: Hundreds of thousands of devotees gathered at Thrissur town in Kerala for Thrissur Pooram, one of the most colourful and grandest temple festivals. The festival witnesses 30 richly caparisoned elephants divided into two rival groups facing each other in the temple premises amidst drum beats and frenzied shouting of devotees. As part of the 'Pooram', elephants carry the idols of different temple deities in a procession which culminate at the ancient Vadakkumnathan temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Tourists from abroad flocked in large numbers to witness the festival. "Very nice here on Pooram because you see all the elephants, and the culture," said Francises, a tourist from Germany. The foreign tourists enjoyed the festivity. "We are so impressed by the participation of all the Indian community. For us, it is a first time, we are coming here," said Alexander, a tourist from England. This festival is one of the biggest festivals in Kerala as no other festival draws such an unbelievable number of people to a single event. It is believed that King Sakthan, who ruled Cochin in the late 18th century, started the festival. The word "Pooram" literally means a group or a meeting. It is believed that the gods and goddesses meet on the day of celebration, which falls in the month of April-May every year.
-May 4, 2009

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