Mumbai Pooram hopes to recreate Kerala temple fest

Kerala's famous Thrissur Pooram festival will be replicated in the city from November 11 to 13 at the KDMC stadium in Dombivili. Complete with gold caparisoned elephants, colour, dance and fireworks, the festival will aim to increase cultural exchange between the two states.

The event, called 'Mumbai Pooram' and organised by the Mumbai Pooram Foundation, will showcase 35 traditional art forms of Kerala performed by professional artistes from the state and an elephant procession of five pachyderms adorned in gold. The festival traditionally features about 30 elephants, but the organisers could bring in only five from Kerala due to security reasons and expenses. Requisite permissions have been obtained from the forest departments concerned.

The highlight of the event will be the kudamattam, which is the brisk changing of colourful umbrellas atop elephants. Other popular items will be kaikottikali, a symmetric group dance which will be performed by over 1,000 women brought in from Kerala, theyyam, a ritual dance from northern Kerala, and the rhythmic beating of drums called thayambaka. A food festival of the delicacies from the state will also be held. The event will culminate with fireworks and pyrotechnics.

Cultural arts from Maharashtra such as lavani, tamasha and koli dance will also be showcased. "This event aims to create awareness about the culture of Kerala and to bring about its assimilation with the culture of Maharashtra, promoting unity among the people of both states," said Bhupesh Babu, event chairman. A major portion of the profits will be used for social service, he added.

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