The organization of an annual Pooram in Tiruvalla to celebrate the Onam Festival was instigated in 1998 by Rev. Dr. Mulamoottil on his return to India having completed his studies in Europe.
He was Chairman of the organizing committee for the first Pooram which was a combined initiative between Tiruvalla Municipality and the newly formed Central Travancore Development Society (CTDS) of which he was a founding member and the President. The CTDS involves people from all walks of life to promote the social and cultural growth of the region and bring it to national and international attention.
The objective of organizing an annual Pooram on a grand scale was to evoke a sense of unity among the people. The Muslim, Hindu and Christian communities actively take part in it and they play a very prominent role in the very conduct of the festival. From the organizing committee to participants, people from all walks of life are involved.
The Malayalam word pooram literally means festival. It was believed that every year the dynastic Gods and Goddesses of neighboring provinces met together for a day of celebrations, in which richly decorated elephants are an important feature.
The funds for the Pooram are collected from the public; it attracts a huge following of people from nearby districts as it is the only Pooram in Central Travancore.
The main features of the Tiruvalla Pooram are as follows:
- The two days of festivities begin with a Poorachamayam, an exhibition of various Pooram artefacts held at the YMCA hall in the town
- 1,001 oil lamps are lit at the SC Seminary Junction in the evening
- A mass feast is also held as part of the annual festival
- A cultural procession is held from Tiruvalla junction to the stadium where the Poooram is declared open.
Colour and gaiety mark the Pooram festival. The elephants are decorated with Nettippattom, Aalavattom, Venchamarom ornaments. Each elephant bears an umbrella holder, a peacock-fan carrier and a yak-tail flywhisk wielder. A major event of the Pooram festival is the Panchavadyam in which about 200 artistes from the disciplines of Thimila, Maddalam, Trumpet, Cymbal and Edakka participate. Another major event of the Pooram begins with the setting off of the ‘Pandemelam’ at noon in which about 200 artistes in the disciplines of drum, trumpets, pipe and cymbal participate. Percussion and wind orchestras stand in between the lines of elephants. With an increase in the volume of each orchestra, a new display of ceremonial umbrellas blossom over the elephants and continues till sunset. The Pooram concludes with brilliant display of fireworks.
Testimonial from Salim (President of Merchants Association Thiruvalla)
Father Abraham Mulamoottil, the hard working and dedicated man who has given his entire life for the upliftment of the society. His vision and foresight about the world is something that we should study from him. He has played an important role in the making of Tiruvalla.
Salim Contact No. 09447033133
Photographs taken in the early years of the Pooram Festival
some of which include Rev. Dr. Mulamoottil