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 Elephants in Festivals

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Samrov54
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PostSubject: Elephants in Festivals   Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:52 pm

Thrissur Round is the local name for circular road in the center of the city of Thrissur, of Kerala, south India, surrounding the small hill on which the Vadakkunnathan Temple to Shiva is built. This temple dominates the local landscape.

It encircles the Thekkinkadu maidanam (translation: "Teak-Forest Fields") and is also known as Swaraj Round.

The Swaraj Round is the largest circular road around a ground in India . Seventeen roads are joining to the Round and these roads form another junctions. So Thrissur City spreads in a circular shape. Till a decade ago, the developments in Thrissur were enclosed in Swaraj Round only. But now, city has developed to suburbs.

The city of Thrissur is actually built around the Thekkinkadu maidanam, which is the main venue of the Thrissur Pooram festival. The Thekkinkadu maidanam houses the Vadakkunnathan Temple, the Water Authority and the children's park. Construction of no other permanent structure is permitted, although temperory structures for political or religious purposes can be constructed. These have to be removed once the purpose is served.

The origin of the term Thekkinkadu maidanam is shrouded in mystery. According to local legends, the entire area around the Vadakkunnathan Temple was covered with lush forests, with Teak being the dominant species. As such the area was infested with thieves and thugs. In order to rid the city of this menace, Shaktan Thampuran ordered the forest to be destroyed. All opposition to this Thrissur location was mercilessly put down. Legends also talk about the beheading of the Vellichapadu or Komaram (Oracle) of the Parmekkavu temple, because he tried to rouse resentment among the populace to the destruction of the forest, by stating that the deity at Parmekkavu desired that the forests not be cut. It has been said that the few teak trees which remain at the Thekkinkadu maidan are the remanents of the teak forests of the past. Localy, all distances and directions are calculated taking the round as reference point.
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