The Umbrellas of Trichur
One of the major attractions of Trichur Pooram is ‘Kudamattam’ (change of umbrellas). This takes place in the afternoon when the elephants of Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu face each other in an open ground in front of the famous Vadakkumnathan temple. Here, to the vibrating rhythm of melam, both groups display their umbrellas one after the other. Both groups take pride in display of umbrellas and keep the umbrella designs a secret, to be revealed only at the time of kudamattam. If you remember one of those typical pooram pictures with two rows of elephants facing each other with an ocean of people in between, that is the kudamattam event. In case hot sun and charged crowds do not excite you, kudamattam of a smaller scale can be witnessed at noon in front of Paramekkavu temple. When the Devi (Godess ) exits Paramekkavu to proceed to the main temple, there is a fairly long event which includes kudamattam as well. This is called “purappadu” (start the journey). Kudamattam is accompanied by ‘Chempada’ (type of music).
The photos above are of the umbrellas which was on display on 21st April,2013 as a part of the ‘purppadu’ in front of Paramekkavu temple. These are foldable umbrellas with a long central rod. During a particular phase of music the umbrellas will be changed in a jiffy. The umberella on top of the elephant in the middle will always be different, but matching with the others on either side.