Thrissur in Kerala is a place where monuments of past stands with its perpetual aura. Thrissur is visited for its attractions like age-old temples, churches and other monuments. Having its origin in the phase Thri-Shiva Perur it means the town of Lord Shiva. This tourist site is synonymous with the temple of Vadukkumnathan that towering the city since 2000 years ago in the same style. The other famous temples of Thrissur are Paramekkavu and the Thiruvambadi. Gained status as the planned city in kerala during the rule of Raja Rama Varma, Thrissur which slopes down from the Vadukkumnathan is an attraction always due to its temples surrounded by the teak forest. All the roads of Thrissur town depart from the central round of the temple. Due to its various old temples and church Thrissur is an important part of Kerala tours.
Being an intellectual and cultural hub of kerala, Thrissur is a home to a few of the renowned poets and litterateurs. The roots of Sahitya Akademi, The Sangeetha Nataka Academi, The Lalitha Kala Akademi and the Kerala Kalamandalam are found here.Also known as the gold capital of Kerala, Thrissur has the almost 70% production of kerala gold jewelry. The tallest church in South Asia, Puthenpally church attracts a large number of Christian pilgrims across the world.
Season Timing :
How to Reach :
The Cochin International Airport located at Nedumbassery is 45 kilometers away from Thrissur
Guruvayoor, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Coimbatore and Trivandrum have daily state bus service to Thrissur.
The Thrissur railway station is the nearest one to reach this city. The station is well-linked to all major cities of India as well Kerala.
Thrissur, the cultural and intellectual hub of Kerala is visited by the cultural and art enthusiasts from the all parts of the world. Kerala has a position in the cultural tourism of world map due its diverse forms of arts forms. The cultural organization of Kerala Sahitya Akademi conducts a wide variety of seminars and talks on contemporary art and culture and various other topics.
Eminent scholars, litterateurs participate in these sessions. Art exhibitions and dramatic performances are held at the premises of Lalit Kala Academy. The regional theatre adjacent to the Akademi is the main venue for other performances of arts. The Thrissur School of Drama is another main attraction to the tourists which provides course on drama.
Thrissur in Kerala has lots of unique fairs and festivals, the most important festivals are :
Thrissur Pooram :
Thrissur wears a new look during the Pooram festival which is two centuries old celebrated during the months of April-May. A huge crowd joins the fifteen decorated elephants that take part in the cultural procession from two temples - Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu, to the Vadakkumnathan temple. Rhythmic beats of the music and drums make the event more vivacious. On the wee hours of morning people display fire works which is the main feature of the festival. Basically a Hindu festival, Pooram is the one where people of all religions take part with great pomp and enthusiasm.
The Pulikali (tiger dance) is a major event in Thrissur celebrated on the fourth day of the Onam celebrations. The artists decorate pain their bodies as tigers to take part in the procession with the crowds. Music and dance are the soul of the event. One group is dressed as pulis and other as hunters; hunters mock hunt the pulis which is the main climax of the festival.
Koodalmanikyam Temple Festival :
The Koodalmanikyam temple located at Irinjalakuda is dedicated to the deity of Bharata, brother of Hindu God Rama. The festival of this temple continues for ten days. People carry the image of the deity in a grand procession featured by music, dance, decorated elephants, etc. Kathakali dance and other dance forms are performed by the amateur artists to please the audience.
Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls :
An extended Travel to Thrissur means exploration of the natural beauty of the tropical rain forests and the waterfalls-Athirapally and Vazhachal-that are situated at a virgin backdrop of nature. The forest ranges lies behind the waterfalls are abode of wild elephants. So one may spot an elephant here but it is a little bit risky. The forests and the Chalakudy River are home to various floras and faunas. A water theme park is also here to provide you some fun and pleasure.
Animal feeding may be your passion, but feeding an elephant at an auspicious occasion is a ritual performed by the localities of Thrissur. Elephant feeding at the temple of Vadakkumnathan on the first day of Karkidakam (July-August) is known as Aanayootu. Elephants are well-decorated for the ceremony; they are fed with well-prepared food having medicinal value. After inauguration by the priest the devotees feed the elephants.
Specialty in Gastronomy :
The cuisine of Thrissur is mainly vegetarian as it is the abode of the Hindu devotees. The main specialties are the Payasam (kheer) and vegetarian meals of Ambiswamy. One can also savor other typical kerala cuisines at the roadside eateries.
Tourist Places in Thrissur
1Vadakkumnathan Temple :
Vadakkumnathan Temple, a wonder of stone and wood, is the major attraction in Thrissur, Kerala. Stepping into this temple you will be bewildered by its charm and architecture mostly its Kingsize kerala architecture. While you explore the nook and corner of the temple premise you feel for the time that you are in the centuries of 17th or 18th. Sprawling an area of 8-9 acres the compound of the temple is surrounded by walls on each side. Facing the north, east, south and west, the majestic Gopurams create a unique craftsmanship; the wood carvings drawn on the temple is simple yet overwhelming. Each of the murals tells a story, mostly of the Hindu Epic Mahabharata. Shiva linga is the main idol in the temple. Shrines of other deities-- Parvathy, Ganapathi, Sri Rama-are found in the Nalambalam.
2Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours :
Known as the largest Syrian church in India, this Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours is a worth visiting site in Thrissur. It is also known as ‘Puthenpalli’ (New Church). The tall tower of the church can be seen any location of the city. This church is mainly visited for its gothic architecture. The intricate murals of the interiors tell the biblical stories and the life of the saints.
3Kerala Kalamandalam :
A Kerala tour itinerary on Kerala art and culture includes this training centre as a good number of foreign students study the Kerala performing arts. A centre of performing arts not only in kerala but also in entire India, the Kerala Kalamandalam is located at Cheruthuruthy on the banks of Bharathapuzha River. This is visited for its peaceful atmosphere. It is only professional training centre for various classical and semi-classical art forms of Kerala- Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Ottan Thullal, Panchavadyam. One has to visit this centre for its old Gurukulam system of learning.
4Archeological Museum :
The Archeological Museum of Thrissur has a rare collection of artifacts of the old civilizations like Indus Valley and Harappa. The picture gallery of the museum has a selected works of paintings from other galleries of kerala. The main attraction sof the gallery are the 10th century stone and brass sculpture, murals and relics of other parts of kerala, life-size statues of the great personalities, models of temples, palm-leaf manuscript, etc.
Read more: Thrissur Archaeological Museum
Pilgrim Centre in Thrissur
Thrissur, the culture capital of Kerala houses the most renowned pilgrimage center of Kerala, Guruvayoor and other temples also. The pilgrimage centers of Thrissur are :
1Guruvayoor Pilgrim Centre
Guruvayoor is 32 kms away from Thrissur. This is the most visited Hindu pilgrimage centre in Kerala and known as the Dwarka of the south. The main attraction is its Sree Krishna Swamy Temple dates back to 16th century. It is dedicated to Krishna, and so known here as Guruvayoorappan (the Lord of Guruvayoor). People have a belief that the idol is worshipped Lord Brahma himself at Dwaraka. The poet Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri composed this well-known Sanskrit devotional poem, 'Narayaneeyam' at this temple. Guruvayoor temple is also the site for ritualistic weddings and 'Annaprasanam' the first feeding ceremony of a child.
2Irinjalakuda (Pilgrim Centre)
A temple of Bharatha is located at Irinjalakuda which is 21 kms from Thrissur. This is the only temple dedicated to brother of Rama, Lakshmana.
3Arattupuzha (Temple Festival)
Arattupuzha village is visited by the tourists for its well known annual Pooram festival celebrated at the temple in the months of April-May. The main feature of this festival is that the colorful ceremonial processions which carry the images of the deities of 41 neighboring temples to this village.
4Rama temple, Tripraya
This temple is 25 kms away from Thrissur. The architecture of the temple is similar to the Vadakkumnathan Temple.
5Divine Retreat Centre
This Christian Retreat Centre is located at Muringoor and Potta adjacent to Chalakudy. The weekly retreat is held from Sunday to Saturday.
Vadakunnathan Temple displays the typical Kerala architecture and it houses sacred shrines of Paramasiva, Paravathy, Shankaranarayana, Ganapath, Sri Rama, and Sri Krishna. Legend says that this temple is founded by Parasurama, the mythical character relates with the creation of Kerala. Pooram festival, celebrated annually in April-May is its main attraction to the devotees.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.
Leave your comment