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Ilanjithara Melam – Thrissur Pooram

A picture of Vadakkunnathan temple during Thrissur Pooram festival.

Ilanjithara Melam

The Thrissur Pooram is one of the extravagant festivals of Kerala State. The Ilanjithara Melam is the main percussion band to perform on this nine-day festival yearly accruing at Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur District, Kerala State, India. This festival is of international tourist importance as it pulls foreign tourist to witness its colorful fireworks and to listen the amazing Ilanjithara Melam performance at Thekkinkadu Maidan on the temple side. The best time to see Ilanjithara Melam in extravaganza is in the Thrissur Pooram festival days, which occurs annually in between April and May.

Vadakkunnathan Temple

The Vadakkunnathan Temple is the ancient temple of Kerala state. This temple hosts the nine-day temple festival as Thrissur Pooram. The Ilanjithara Melam is the percussion band, which is performed at the temple ground is a significant event to witness in the world. This performance is performed by 250 instrumentalists who are headed by a master. The specialty of this musical performance is that the rhythm section doesn’t go wrong. The instrumentalists perform with dedication and commitment as a team.

In the native Malayalam language, Ilanjithara Melam is popular known as Chenda Melam. This consists of percussion and wind instruments which is a part of Kerala’s tradition and culture. The Ilanjithara Melam is a made from Mimusops Elengi (Bullet Wood or Spanish Cherry Tree). This tree is locally tamed and the percussion sound differs largely from any other musical instrument of this kind. This festive occasion draws lakhs of devotees including the Chenda Melam fans to listen this extravagant performance of expert instrumentalists in Ilanjithara Melam. They perform here after vigorous training in their native temple ground in the early morning hours. You can also witness that even the temple elephants standing calm listening to the Ilanjithara Melam.

Significance of Ilanjithara Melam

  • The opening and closing of temple for devotees and pilgrims begins with Ilanjithara Melam.
  • The temple idol procession is accompanied by Ilanjithara Melam
  • Various Ilanjithara Melam group performs at the Thrissur Pooram festival from the opening day to the closing day the Ilanjithara Melam.
  • All the Ilanjithara Melam instruments are handmade by native musical instrument makers in Kerala.
  • The Thrissur Pooram is the only place to listen to Ilanjithara Melam in the fullest form by 250 instrumentalists on a large ground.
  • This musical instrumental performance is a unique art with its own styles and rhythm.
  • The musical instrumentalists hard work with dedication and commitment is reflected when they perform in public in a successful manner and receives wholehearted appreciation and applauds from them.

How to Reach Vadakkunnathan Temple

By Air

The Cochin international airport is just 50 Km away from Thrissur Pooram site.

By Train

The Thrissur junction is the major railway station to alight for Thrissur Pooram. It is 2km distance and hardly takes 20 minutes to reach here.

By Road

The Thrissur Pooram site has  good connectivity roads from Thrissur town. You can reach from the heart of the town through Government bus, private bus, taxis and cars to visit Thrissur Pooram.

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