Amongst India’s numerous vibrant festivals, one of the most spectacular is Kerala’s annual Thrissur Pooram festival. A photographer’s dream, the festival takes place on the Pooram day of the Malayalam month of Medom (this usually falls between April and May).
The main attraction of the festival is the colorfully costumed elephants parading through town on their way to the Vadakkunnathan temple.
The elephants are all beautifully decorated with golden headdresses, decorative bells and ornaments, palm leaves and peacock feathers. Each elephant is guided by his rider (mahout), whose costume is equally colorful.
The mahout of each elephant carries an ornate parasol during their parade through town. When the elephants and their riders reach the temple, the mahouts pass their parasols amongst themselves, some while standing on their elephant’s back.
The festival’s activities are rounded off with folk dancing, drumming, and a spectacularly huge fireworks display that begins at 3 o’clock in the morning.
Any photographer visiting India during Thrissur Pooram should definitely include Thrissur in their itinerary. While the crowds are huge and boisterous, you should be able to get some very memorable photos of the incredible elephants.