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Thrissur Pooram a void without the pomp and glamour
With their hearts in Thekkinkadu Maidan, pooram lovers on Friday sat at home glued to television screens.
There were all the usual rituals and events, caparisoned elephants, though in limited numbers, sought-after maestros led the percussion ensembles too. But without the hysteric crowd, revelry, and street vendors, Thrissur Pooram missed its carnival mood.
With their hearts in Thekkinkadu Maidan, pooram lovers on Friday sat at home glued to television screens. This year’s pooram created history by conducting the celebrations without people. COVID-19 spoiled the pooram last year too; there were no festivities or events then.
The city looked deserted. Traffic on Swaraj Round and adjacent roads had been banned for two days. The police erected barricades on roads leading to Swaraj Round. The personnel almost outnumbered people at events, including Madathil Varavu, Ilanjithara Melam, and Kudamattam.
While 50 persons each from the 10 participating temples were allowed at the venues, including percussion artists, more than 2,000 police personnel were deployed in the city.
Meanwhile, two persons were killed and 25 others sustained injuries as the branch of a huge banyan tree fell over the devotees and percussion artists during the Madathil Varavu procession held as part of Thrissur Pooram at around midnight on Friday.
Thiruvambadi Devaswom Pooram organising committee member Ramesh and Paniyath Radhakrishnan of Poonkunnam met with tragic end as the branch fell on their head while the percussion performance led by Kongadu Madhu was in progress. Around 7 people who sustained serious injuries were shifted to Thrissur Medical College Hospital, 28 others were admitted to district hospital.
The Thekkinkadu Maidan witnessed an impoverished crowd, mostly consisting of the police, for the Kudamattom ceremony.
The Thiruvambadi Devaswom did not participate in the event. Paramekkavu displayed its set of umbrellas atop the caparisonsed elephants, while Thiruvambadi paraded only one elephant.