Thrissur Pooram, held in the Malayalam month of Medam (April/May) is the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. It consists of a procession of richly adorned elephants from neighbouring temples to the Vadakumnathan temple.
The Thrissur Pooram is basically a competition between two rival groups representing two divisions of Thrissur Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi to out-do each other’s display of elephants with the most artistic parasols and grand fireworks. Each group is allowed to display a maximum of 15 elephants and the finest elephants in South India are secured for this purpose.
There is no other festival in Kerala that draws such large volumes of devotees and spectators.
The climax of the festival is the exhibition of 30 majestically caparisoned elephants and the dazzling display of fireworks that last for about four hours.
The nearest airport is Kochi, about 45 kms away.
The Nenmara Vallangi Vela, a temple festival held in Pallakad district, is the second grandest one after the Thrissur Pooram. This is also a kind of competition between two villages Nenmara and Vallangi. After a traditional flag hoisting, various art forms are staged. On the penultimate day, the twentieth day, processions of caparisoned elephants are taken out from the two villages to the Nellikulangara temple. Watching these exquisitely decorated elephants in all their finery take part in this festival is indeed an exhilarating experience. After a few rituals, the processions head back to their respective villages. The festival concludes on the twenty-first day with the lowering of the flags.
Nearest airport is Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), about 55 kms.