Festival Time: 17th to 20th January
Duration: Four Days
Great Elephant March
The month of January is time for the one of the biggest festival in Kerala — The Great Elephant March of India. This festival takes place in some of Kerala’s major towns like Trichur, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram. The Great Elephant March is the greatest achievement- a big time gathering of Indian tuskers set about a trip around Kerala- all ornamented and ready to be worshipped and pampered by devotees and onlookers who choose to keep the elephants satisfied since that according to their popular belief, keeps the Lord of wealth and wish fulfilment- Lord Ganesha satisfied. Incidentally, the Lord Ganesha has the head of an elephant. However, the Great Elephant March has little or no religious significance behind it. It is by and large an attempt to boost tourism and to attract foreign tourists who have quite a fad for Indian festivals and rituals.
Time of Great Elephant March
The Great Elephant March takes place every year from 17th to 20th January.
All About Great Elephant March
The march begins in Trichur Thekkinkadu grounds and ends in Thiruvananthapuram. The march begins with a brilliant display of elegantly caparisoned Tuskers standing tall with their mahouts. You can feed the elephants while the traditional ‘Melam’ (Kerala orchestra) plays on traditional pieces. After the ritual feeding and folk dance performance, it is time for you to enjoy a lavish traditional Keralian lunch. After lunch you can enjoy an exciting ride atop the elephants at the Thekkinkadu grounds. The inaugural day usually comes to end with splendid safaris.
On the second day of the march the procession reachesCochin. Visit the old city or take a cruise on the emerald backwaters. Or take a walk down theCochin Marine Drive.
The next stop on the great march is Alleppey a major backwater destination in Kerala. Take a trip down the narrow manmade canals on local country boats or rice boats. Visit the coir industry and see how rope is churned out. You can also purchase show pieces made of coir for home.
On finale day of the march is to be at Thiruvananthapuram orTrivandrum, the state capital. In the evening experience the Great Elephant Show arranged in a typical rural ambience. The show recreates the mythological Thrissur Pooram festival, which celebrates the friendly rivalry between two temple factions. A cultural program follows featuring martial arts, dances with the mesmerising crescendo of Panchavadyam. It is atTrivandrumthat your elephant pals bid you farewell with a salute leaving you to indulge in a seaside barbecue and fireworks display.
How to Reach?
The international airport that lies nearest to Trichur is situated at Cochin, approximately 55 kilometers away. The next nearest airport is at Kozhikode, around 80 kilometers from Trichur.
Trichur station forms an important rail link in Kerala. It lies on the main railway line that connects the state with the rest of India. Many trains ply at this station, linking it with the key cities of the country.
Trichur is easily accessible by roads, as the place is well connected to all major cities as well as villages by a wide network of roads. Along with that, many highways also pass through this place. To reach Trichur from Thiruvananthapuram (289 km), you will have to take NH47, via Kollam, Alappuzha, Shertallai, Arur, Ernakulam, Aluva and Chalakudi. KSRTC also runs buses to Thrissur from Thiruvananthapuram, every 15 mins.
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