Thirusur is the Cultural capital of Kerala, were the world famous Vadakkumnatha Temple Pooram festival. Guruvayoor Temple, Koodal Manikyam Temple, Cheraman Masjid the first ever mosque in Kerala, Kodungalloor Church, Kalamandalam at Chruthuruthy, Athirappally – Vazhachal waterfalls, beaches at Chavakkad and Nattika, Peechi Dam, Agricultural University at Mannuthi, lots of festival are the features in which Thrissur is proud of.
Thrissur, with its rich history cultural heritage and archaeological wealth is called the cultural capital of Kerala. From ancient times, this district has played a significant role in the political history of South india. 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 molding 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. A cultural centre, the Kerala Kala Mandalam, the Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are located here.
Places to Visit
- Vadakkumnathan Temple
One of the oldest temples in kerala, the vadakkumnathan Temple is a classic example of the Kerala architecture and has many decorative murals and pieces of art. This is the venue of the world famous Pooram festival celebrated annually in April – May. The temple is situated right in the center of the city. As soon as you enter, you will be spellbound by the architecture of the temple and the surrounding greenery. From the entrance itself can view the architectural wonders on the top of the roof. Best time to visit the temple is morning (6 -8 am), to enter temple you need to specific dress codes.
- Art Museum
Located in the Zoo compound, the art museum displays collections of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewelers. (Open from 10.00 – 1700 hrs on all days except Mondays) . t is located on the town hall road. The Museum is well known for its collection of murals and relics from nearly all over the state of Kerala. The Art Museum is located in a separate building in the Zoo compound of Thrissur.
- Peechi Dam
Situated 23 KM east of Thrissur. This picnic spot offers boating facilities. There are frequent private buses from Thrissur to Peechi dam. The dam is built across the Manali River. Near the dam you can find a botanical gardens as well as the rippling fountains accentuate the beauty of the place, nearby Peechi Wildlife Snactuary is also an attraction for tourists which is situated 15 KM away from Thrissur.
- Athirappally and Vazhachal Waterfalls
Located 63 KM from Thrissur, the most famous waterfalls of Kerala, Athirappaly and Vazhachal are situated on the Chalakkudy river which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges is the largest waterfall in kerala. The Vazhachal waterfall is close to dense green forests that are home to many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna. This is the only place in the western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen.
- Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy
Situated 32 KM north of Thrissur, Cheruthuruthy is the seat of the Kerala Kalamandalam, renowned the world over its Kathakali training centre. The music and dance academy was founded by the famous poet. Vallathol Narayana Menon. Training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Thullal and other art forms of Kerala is imparted here. Cultural programmes are also arranged.
This village is known for Pooram festival at the temple in April – May. The uniqueness of this festival is the ceremonial processions carrying the image of the deities of 41 neighboring temples to this village. Located on the banks of the Karuvannur river and it is home to the annual Arattupuzha Pooram.
- Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam Temple
Situated 21 KM from Thrissur, the ancient temple is dedicated to lord Bharatha, the brother of Sri Rama. It is perhaps the only temple in india with Bharatha as the deity. The colorful eleven day annual festival with a pageant of thirteen caparisoned elephants in held in April/May.
Situated 23 KM west of Thrissur, guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centers of Kerala. Its main attraction is the Sree Krishna Temple. This historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the temple id the creation of 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 the tall 33.5 m high gold plated Dwajasthambam ( flag – post ). There is also a 7 m high Dipastambham (pillar of lamps ), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple there are also the images of Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedattu Kavil Bhagavathy. Only hindus are allowed inside the temple.
- Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallor
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.
- Shakthan Thempuran Palace
Also known as Palace Thoppu, the campus covers an area of 6 acres. Here you can see three shavakudeerams (tombs) including that of Shakthan Thampuran. The greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty.
- Punnathoor Kotta Elephant Sanctuary
Situated 2 KM from Guruvayoor (Open 09.00 – 1800 HRS ), the palace grounds of the erstwhile Rajas of Punnathoor is today home to 60 temple elephants. All the elephants here are offerings from the devotees and the camp is the only one of its kind in the world.
- Muziris Heritage Village
Situated 35 KM from Thrissur, the ancient port city of muziris, once a major centre for trade and commerce, was the gateway for various religious faiths like Christianity, Judaism, Islam and others. A thriving link in the indo-Roman trade during the First century BC, merchants from a number of cultures are believed to have operated in this port. Gold coins, topaz, coral, copper, glass, wine and wheat imported from a far, while pearl, diamonds, sapphire, ivory, silk, pepper and precious stones were exported from the Kerala cost. The Muziris Heritage Project is a unique heritage preservation cum-tourism project that provides circuit and timeline tours, culture tours, museum tours, backwater cruises etc to help rediscover the imposing past of this exciting new find on the international archaeological map.
- Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary
Located 37 KM from Thrissur in the Mukundapuram Taluk of Thrissur district, chimmini is only a two hour drive from Kochi. With its dense forests, a variety of birds and butterflies, and innumerable trekking trails, this is a sanctuary that provides a heady experience for nature enthusiasts.
Situated 35 KM from Thrissur, once a maritime port of international repute because of its strategic location at the confluence of the Periyar River and the Arabian Sea, Kodungalloor was considered the gateway to ancient india or the Rome of the east because of its stauts as a centre for trade. It was also the entry point of three major religions to india –Chiristianity, Judaism and Islam.
- The Tiger Dance
Every year on the fourth day of onam, Thrissur comes alive with the rhythm of Pulikali of tiger dance. Traditional art forms, men painted like tigers don masks and prowl about imitating the tiger. Hordes of people throng the Swaraj Round, encircling the Thekkinkadu Maindan to witness the Pulikali, believed to have originated in the 18th century when soldiers belonging to the army of Sakthan Thampuran first performed it.
- Thrissur Pooram
Thrissur the land of temples, known for its diverse culture and for Pooram. Thrissur pooram is a biggest pooram festival in Kerala, also known as Pooram of all pooram. It has been held in center of the famous Vadakkumnathan temple, situated on the famous thekkinkadu maidhanam. It’s a pooram of ten temples, and is a 36 hours pooram with full of peoples and elephants around, which attracts thousands of foreign tourists every year. Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu are the two major temples to make this fascinating festival a remarkable one each year. The pooram has more than 50 decorated elephants with golden head dress, ornaments and umbrellas and alavattam are making this festival more colorful. The notable feature is, all other communities actively participate and make their prominent part in every part of the festival. The materials for the Umbrellas for Kudamattam are offered by the churches and the pandal works are crafted by Muslim communities.