The Cultural Capital of Kerala
Thrissur, with its rich history, cultural heritage and archaeological wealth, is rich in cultural activities.
From ancient times, this district has played a significant role in the political history of south India. Thrissur, the name derived from 'Tiru-Shiva-Perur' (the town with the name of Lord Shiva) is the cultural capital of Kerala.
Its most prominent feature is the Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or temple, which has Shiva as its presiding deity. Many rulers and dynasties beginning with the Zamorins of Kozhikode, Tipu Sultan of Mysore and Europeans including the Dutch and the British have had a hand in moulding the destiny of this region. Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran was the architect of the present Thrissur town.
Today, Thrissur is world famous for its Pooram Festival, which is one of the biggest festivals of Kerala. Built around a hillock top, Thrissur houses the Kerala Kala Mandalam, the Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Nataka Academy.
Prime Attractions of Thrissur
Vadakkumnathan Temple : One of the oldest temples in the state, the Vadakkumnathan Temple is a classical example of the Kerala style of architecture and has many decorative murals and works of art. This is the venue of the world famous Pooram festival, celebrated annually in April- May. The fireworks at the Pooram are a spectacular sight. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. (Open: 04.00 - 10.30 am & 05.00- 08.30)
Arattupuzha : The Pooram Festival at the village temple in March/April features a ceremonial pageant of over 60 tuskers carrying the images of the deities of 23 neighbouring temples. Arattupuzha temple is open 05:00 - 09:30 am & 05:00 - 07:00 pm.
Art Museum : Located in the zoo compound, the art museum displays collections of woodcarvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery. Open 10.00 am - 05.00 pm on all days except Mondays.
Archaeological Museum : Located on the Town Hall Road, the museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays and national holidays.
Peechi Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary : The Peechi-Vazhani Sanctuary comprising of the dense, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani dams.
Zoo : Situated 2 kms from Thrissur town, it is open from 9.00am - 05.00 pm on all days except Mondays.
Town Hall : Houses the picture gallery where mural paintings from all parts of Kerala are on display. Aquarium: Close to the Nehru Park. Open 03.00 - 08.00 pm
Peechi Dam : 20 km east of Thrissur, this picnic spot offers boating facilities. There are frequent private buses from Thrissur. Built across the Manali River, the dam is a vast catchment area of nearly 3200 acres with extensive botanical gardens and cascading fountains offer numerous inviting avenues for tourists.
Vilangankunnu : (7 km from Thrissur) The Children's Park on this beautiful hillside picnic spot offers amusement rides. It remains open from 07:00 am uptil 07:00 pm.
Christian Divine Retreat Centres : They are located at Muringoor and Potta near Chalakudi, on the Kochi - Thrissur route.
Excursions of Thrissur
Guruvayoor : 29 km northwest of Thrissur, Guruvayoor, where the famous Sree Krishan Temple is situated, is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala. The historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the temple was created by 'Guru'- the preceptor of the gods and 'Vayu'- the god of winds.
The eastern 'nada' is the main entrance to the shrine. In the Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is a 33.5 m tall gold-plated 'Dwajastambham' (flagpost). There is also a 7-m high 'Deepastambham' (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly brillant spectacle when lit.
The square 'Sreekovil' is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple, there are also the images of Sree Ganapathy, Sree Ayyappa and Edathedathy Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. (Open 03:00 am - 01:00 pm & 04:30 pm- 08:30 pm)
Punnathoorkotta : (2 km from Guruvayoor) This home of 50 temple elephants offers unusual spectacles of the gentle pachyderm. Brought as ritual offerings to the temple, these elephants are groomed at this fort. Visitors are allowed into this elephant hostel.
Cheruthuruthy : (32 km north of Thrissur) Cheruthuruthy is the seat of the Kerala Kalamandalam, renowned the world over for its Kathakali Training Centre. This music and dance academy was founded by the famous poet, Vallathol Narayana Menon. Training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Thullal and other traditional art forms is imparted here. Cultural programmes are also arranged.
Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam Temple : (21 km from Thrissur) Situated 10 km from Irinjalakuda Railway Station, this ancient temple is perhaps the only one in India dedicated to Bharatha, the brother of Sree Rama. The eleven-day Annual Festival featuring a pageant of thirteen caparisoned elephants (held in April/May), marks the end of the festival season in Kerala. It is open from 03:30 am - 11:30 am & 05:00 pm - 08:30 pm).
Ariyannoor Temple, Kandanisserry : This temple has a carved entrance gable, which has been compared to the sculptures of American artist, Louise Nevelson. The Sree Krishna Temple at Thirukulashekharapuram as well as the Siva Temple at Thiruvanchikulam are believed to belong to the 9th century.
Thriprayar Temple : Thriprayar Temple, located south of Thrissur is one of the important temples dedicated to Lord Rama. The exquisite wood carvings, sculptures and Mural Paintings are an interesting sight.
Saint Thomas Memorial, Kodungalloor : St. Thomas, the apostle, is believed to have landed in Kodungalloor (formerly called Muziris) in 52 AD. The St. Thomas Church established by him houses ancient relics.
Athirapally Waterfalls : (65 km from Thrissur) This 80 foot high waterfall at the threshold of the Sholayar ranges is a popular picnic spot.
Vazhachal : (68 km from Thrissur) Just a short drive from Athirapally, this picturesque waterfall is close to dense green forests and is a part of the Chalakudy river. Athirapally and Vazhachal are the most famous waterfalls of Kerala that attract tourists in plenty.
Forts & Palaces
Shakthan Thampuran Palace : Also known as Palace Thoppu, the campus covers an area of 6 acres. Here one can see three tombs (Shavakudeerams) including that of Shakthan Thampuran, the greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty.
Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungalloor : Located 2 km from Kodungalloor town, this mosque resembles a Hindu temple in appearance. Built in 629 AD, this is the first mosque in India and the second in the world where Juma prayers were started. Other places of interest nearby include Cheramanparambu, the ancient Thiruvanchidulam Temple, the Bhagavathi Temple and the Portuguese Fort.
Fairs & Festivals of Thrissur
Places to stay in Thrissur
Siddharth Regency, Thrissur.
Casino Hotel, Thrissur.
Luciya Palace, Thrissur. Yatri Niwas, Thrissur.
Hotel Spring Valley, Athirapally.
Hotel Richmond Resorts, Athirapally.
RVK Tourist House, Guruvayoor.