The Thrissur Pooram is considered to be the Mother of all Poorams, a culture highlight that towers above all other festivals .Thrissur pooram is a festival unique in its pageantry, magnitude and participation. It is not a mere temple festival in its strict sense but at the same time it is the festival of festivals of Kerala.
The Thrissur Pooram, celebrated in the Malayalam month Of Medom (April-May) is a grand assembly of Gods and Goddesses in and around Thrissur. These Gods and Goddesses make their visit to the Vadakumnathan Temple premises on caparisoned elephants accompanied by grand ensembles of Chenda melam and pancha vadyam.
The Ten participants of the Pooram are the Thiruvambady Bhagavathi and Paramekkavu Bhagavathi, Nethilakkavu Bhagavathi, Karamukku Bhagavathi, Ayyanthole Bhagavathi, Laloor Bhagavathi, Choorakkattukavu Bhagavathi, Chembukkavu Bhagavathi, Panamukkumpally Sastha, Kanimangalam Sastha. The processions and rituals of each of these deities follow a very strict itinerary, scheduled in such a way that the tempo of the Pooram celebrations – 36 hrs non-stop- is maintained without any loss of energy
The participant poorams are divided into two parts namely “Paramekkavu side” and “Thiruvambady side”. The Paramekkavu side consists of besides “Paramekkavu Bagavathy 1) Pookattikkara-Karamukku Baghavathy 2) Choorakattukara Baghavathy 3)Chempukkavu Baghavathy 4) Panemukkumpilly Sastha. Besides Thiruvambady Baghavathy, the Thiruvambady side is having 1) Ayyanthole Baghavathy 2) Nethilakkavu Baghavathy 3) Laoor bagavathy 4) Kanimangalam Sastha.
The 36 hour long pooram follow strict time schedule and prescribed route to pay obeisance to Lord Vadakumnathan. The day starts with “Kanimangalam sastha” entering to vadakumnathan through southern gopuram and exits through western goupuram While chembookavu baghavathy, panemukkumpilly sastha and Paramekkavu bagavathy enters through eastern goupuram and leaves through southern goupuram.The poorams of Laloor, Ayyanthole, Neithalkavu, Choorakottukavu, moves to thekkinkadu maidan from Naduvilal(west) and enter vadakumnathan through western goupuram leaves through southern goupuram. Karamukku bagavathy moves through manikandall(south) and enters through western goupuram and leaves through southern goupuram. Thiruvambady moves to maiden through Naikanal(North) and enters to Vadakumnathan through western gopuram and leaves through southern gopuram.
The night route is different since except panemukkumpilly no participant pooram enters to Vadakumnathan. Paramekkavu, karamukku, kanimangalam enters through “Manikandanal. Ayyanthole, laloor, neithalkavu, chhorakottukavu enters through Naduvilal while Thiruvambady and Chembookavu through naickanal But all poorams conclude at “Nilapaduthara” near western goupuram.