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Bastian Vinaya Sankar
Wooden elephant
Coordinates: 10°25′53″N 76°11′56″E / 10.431290°N 76.199020°E / 10.431290; 76.199020Coordinates: 10°25′53″N 76°11′56″E / 10.431290°N 76.199020°E / 10.431290; 76.199020
Country India
 • OfficialMalayalam
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Temperature Range: 22.5°C -35 °C

Cherpu is a small village in Thrissur district of Kerala state in south India. It is 12 kilometres south of Thrissur town and is on the Thriprayar road. It is dotted by a number of temples and has quite a few rivers flowing by its vicinity.

The village occupies a prominent place in the Kerala's cultural map as Cherpu is one of the main venues of the state's classical percussion ensembles like chenda melam and panchavadyam, staged as they are during temple festivals called pooram. Naturally, Cherpu is the birthplace of many leading (as well as lesser known) practitioners of ethnic Kerala instruments like chenda, ilathalam, kombu, kuzhal, timila, maddalam and edakka.

Cherpu has two major poorams—Peruvanam Pooram and Arattupuzha Pooram. Peruvanam, otherwise traditionally known as one of the leading Namboodiri villages of Kerala, has today many of its people employed in the manufacture of furniture and gold ornaments. Legend has it that Peruvanam village was one of the settlements created by sage Parashuram, the mythical creator of Kerala.

The name Cherpu means cherunnidam (joining place) in Malayalam. Cherpu was a central place for Mahatma Gandhi's village renaissance. It was known as "Vardha" at the time of the Kochi kingdom.

As for its temples, Cherpu has the grand-structured Peruvanam temple besides the ones called Arattupuzha, Urakam and Thiruvullakkavu. Thiruvullakkavu temple is famous for initiating children to the world of letters on Vidyarambham, an auspicious day in Hindu tradition.

For long, Cherpu had paddy fields that spread as far as Triprayar. The west and east sides of Cherpu were marked by rocks. Cherpu is located in between this rock- and water-covered area. Hence the name Cherpu or cherunnidam (joining place).


Cherpu assembly constituency is part of Trichur (Lok Sabha constituency).[1]

Religious Centres[edit]

Educational organizations[edit]

  • Gurukulam public school, Venginnissery
  • St. Thomas H.S, Vallachira
  • Govt vocational higher secondary school
  • CNN Boys higher secondary school
  • CNN Girls higher secondary school
  • Lourde matha english medium higher secondary school
  • Santa Maria Academy
  • St. Xaviers H.S, Chevvor
  • Junior Basic School (J B School), Cherpu West
  • St. Rock's LP School, Pootharakal

Elephants in Cherpu[edit]

Thrissur is known as the district for Poorams. Most of the people who live in Thrissur are fond of elephants.[citation needed] Cherpu can also offer a set of elephants. People in Kerala name the elephants and they use them for festivals.

Bastian Vinaya Chandran[edit]

This elephant is 9 feet 5 inches high. Its agreeable behaviour makes people more attracted to it. This elephant belongs to Bastian Timbers Perumpillissery Cherpu. Thrissur pooram 2007 will be the 25th chance to this elephant. It is noted for the fact that it has no hairs on its tail.

Bastian Vinaya Sundar[edit]

Bastian Vinaya Sundar

He is the beauty among bastian elephants.he is calm in nature.

Bastian Vinaya Sankar[edit]

This elephant has the 4th rank of all the elephants in Kerala. It has a long tail whose hairs touch the ground. Elephant lovers in Kerala like it because of its wide ears.

Saj Prasad[edit]

This elephant is noted for its humble character. The easy way to identify this elephant is by the square-shaped hole on its ears. It belongs to Saj Timbers perumpillissery. It is mainly used for timber purposes rather than participating in festivals. this elephant is not living now.

Thrivullakkavu Manikandan[edit]

The easy way to identify this elephant is by its tusks, which collapse together, making it difficult for the telephone to sway its trunks. It belongs to Thiruvullakkavu Dharmasastha Kshethram. Not living now

MK Timbers Pathmanabhan[edit]

This elephant was brought from Kodanad (a place in the outskirts of Palakkad Kerala) Anakalari (place for teaching elephants). It was born in Kerala itself. The major factor that keeps the image of this elephant in the minds of elephant lovers is its wide ears. Therefore, it is known as the elephant which has wide ears.

Thiruvanikkavu Jayaram Kannan[edit]

This elephant is owned by Malayalam film super star Mr.Jayaram and he has shared the ownership of the elephant with Shri. V.Gopakumar, Thiruvanikkavu temple. This elephant shows a humble character. He has played major roles in several Malayalam and Tamil movies. He has acted in 33 movies sofar and acting in Rapakal with Super Star Mammooty and with actress Nayan Thara is known for his talent and humble behavior. Thiruvanikkavu Jayaram Kannan has also been awarded "Gajarajapattam" by Kodannoor DharmaSastha Kshetram. The function was inaugurated and Gajarajapattam submitted by Honble. Minister for Home and Tourism Mr. Kodiyeri Bala Krishnan in presence of Shri K. B. Ganesh Kumar MLA, Mr. V.S. Sunil Kumar MLA, Mr. Sathyan Anthikad, Mr. T.G.Ravi, Mr. Babu Namboodhiri, Mr. Sreeraman, Mr. Madambu Kunjhukuttan, Mr. Sreekumar Arookutty along with Mr. Jayaram, Parvathy, son Kalidasan, daughter Malavika and Shri. V.Gopakumar.

Thiruvanikkavu Devi Krishnan[edit]

This elephant is 28-year-old and with 10 ft height. Devi krishnan is known for its height at this young age and its humble behavior. He is a part of major festivals in Kerala. Now this elephant is belongs to Shri. V. Gopakumar.

Temple Festivals[edit]

Siva Temple at Cherpu
Cherpu is located in India
Location in Kerala, India
LocationCherpu, Kerala, India
Coordinates10°25′53″N 76°11′56″E / 10.4312900°N 76.1990200°E / 10.4312900; 76.1990200
State Party India

Peruvanam Pooram[edit]

Peruvanam temple in Cherpu is praised in the Manipravalam work Chandrostavam. Six Vattezhuthu and Malayalam inscriptions have been found in the temple. An 11th-century inscription from Thiruvattoor in north Kerala refers to seven persons originally belonging to this village, along with others being established there and a new settlement created. The main prathishta on this temple is Lord Siva. People believe that Peruvanam was once a big forest. The word vanam means forest in Malayalam. Peruvanam means a thick forest. This temple has artworks on the roof. It has a rare double-storeyed sreekovil (sanctum sanctorum), each presided by a deity of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord siva did tapas (penance) on a certain tree and that changed into the present sreekovil.

Peruvanam Pooram began a long time ago. Legend has it that it started in the form of an Utsavam (a bit different in rituals from Pooram and extending to 28 days) which went on for 500 years. After that, it was stopped for a period of time. Later it was restarted in the form of two poorams Peruvanam and Arattupuzha. The new version has been in existence now for 1425 years. It is held in the Malayalam month of Meenam (usually, April). There will be an Ezhunnallippu (Malayalam word which means taking out a temple deity atop a caparisoned elephant along with many jumbos—here totalling seven—to the accompaniment of traditional percussion ensembles like Panchari melam or Pandi melam. For the Peruvanam pooram, the first ezhunnallippu starts in the evening. More such processions follow, and the festival ends in the morning. The pooram has its highlight in the form of the four-hour Panchari melam starting past midnight and followed by fireworks.

Arattupuzha pooram[edit]

The famous Sastha temple at Aarattupuzha is 14 km south of Thrissur town, and celebrates its annual pooram festival in April/May. Arattupuzha pooram is known as Deva mela, a conglomeration of gods, given its massive attendance of deities from neighbourhood shrines. Historical records suggest that Arattupuzha pooram has been celebrated for more than 1,430 years. Like in Peruvanam, Arattupuzha pooram to features a series of ezhunnallipus. The highlight, however, is the kooti ezhunnallippu, where canonically 101 elephants would line up in the wee hours to the accompaniment of Pandi melams. The deity of Sriramaswamy, called Thriprayar Thevar, would occupy the centre slot, atop a decorated tusker on the main dyke (locally called nadavarambu) of the sprawling paddy fields.

Arattupuzha Pooram is the oldest and arguably the most spectacular of the pooram festivals of Kerala. It is believed that on this day 101 gods and goddesses of the neighbouring villages visited Sastha (Ayyappa), the presiding deity of the Arattupuzha temple. Nowadays around 70 elephants take part in the pooram procession on the sixth day of the seven-day festival. Pachari melam, Pandi melam, Panchavadyam add to the festive tempo. The arattu (holy bath of the idol of the deity) ritual is performed with great pomp and gaiety in the Arattupuzha river on the following day.

The final pooram is conducted—these days with 61 caparisoned elephants—bearing bright coloured parasols, presenting an amazing spectacle. The temple ensembles lend the event a touch of majesty. The elephant carries the images of the deities of 41 neighbouring temples to this village. Arattupuzha temple is open 05:00 - 09:30 am & 05:00 - 07:00 pm. The festival concludes with the arattu (holy bath of the idol of the deity).

Thayamkulangara pooyam[edit]

Thayamkulangara is another temple in Cherpu. It is known as kerala palani. The main festival in this temple is pooyam. This is celebrated in January–February every year. People celebrate pooyam with kavadiyattom.

Chathakudam Pooram[edit]

Chathakudam Pooram is known as the first Pooram in Peruvanam-Arattupuzha Pooram Festivals. This pooram is historically known as "Thiruvathira Purappadu" of Chathakudam Sree Dharma Sastha on Meenam Month. Chathakudam Sastha will participate in Peruvanam Pooram, Arattupuzha Pooram, Thottippal, Thikkattussery pooram etc. as a main participant. Sastha will be the main honour for Arattupuzha Peruvanam Pooram and Arattupuzha Devamela with Thriprayar Thevar.

Wooden elephant making[edit]

Cherpu is known for making elephant statues using wood. The person credited with this art is not a full-time sculptor, nor is he an artisan. But he has been associated with the making and sale of elephant carvings for more than half a century, so much so that the septuagenarian P. Krishnankutty Menon is fondly called "Aana Menon" (Elephant Menon) by the locals in Cherpu, Thrissur. A person can identify elephants made from Cherpu easily by looking at the nail. The nail will be painted in white color neatly. An interesting aspect of this is that the elephants are made with a single piece of wood.


  1. ^ "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2008-10-19.

Further reading[edit]