The rich cultural and religious heritage, glorious architecture and its grand archaeological assets have made Thrissur the ‘Cultural Capital’ of Kerala. Many dynasties and rulers have lived this city and their imprints can be seen architecturally all over the place. Thrissur, earlier known as Trichur is the fourth largest city in Kerala. It is located off the seashores, in the heart of Kerala and is built around a hill that consists of a very famous temple named Vadakkumnathan temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Very famous and great institutions like Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Lalithakala Academy are also present here.
Thrissur is also one of the largest hubs of ayurvedic drug manufacturing companies in India. This city is also popularly known for its very famous Pooram Festival, timber roofed temples and churches.
It is believed that this city was founded by Lord Parasurama due to which Thrissur has a divine atmosphere and majestic surroundings that attracts many visitors and tourist around the globe.
Major Tourists Attractions in Thrissur
- Vadakkumnathan Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it the most prominent tourist destination and the main site to visit for the pilgrims coming over this city. This temple is famous for its rich architectural style, intricate wooden carvings and timber roof structure. Built in around 12th Century, the temple complex houses fifteen shrines, some of which are dedicated to other deities such as Lord Vishnu and some Jain Saints. It is surrounded by lush green fauna and flora which enhances its beauty further. Cultural dance and events also takes place inside the temple to entertain the crowd.
- Athirappalli Waterfalls: Athirappali Waterfalls are regarded as the ‘Niagra Falls of India’. It is one of the famous picnic spot of Thrissur. Comprising of 80 feet waterfalls, this place gives a magnificent view that gives a sigh of relief to one’s soul and body. It is a preferred place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the nature.
- Thrissur Zoo: It is one of the oldest zoos present in the country. It consists of wide variety of species of animals and is a good place to hang around with kids. It is located at a distance of about 2 Km from the heart of the city.
- Guruvayoor Temple: It is considered to be the ‘Dwarka of South India’ and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Guruvayoor Temple is an important site of visit by the tourist and Krishna devotees. This temple houses a library that contains wide range of books on art and philosophy. ‘Thulabharam’ is one of the very special offering that is made to Lord Krishna by their devotees. In this offering, devotees weigh themselves against jaggery, coconut, sugar and bananas equivalent to their weight.
- Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary – Located beside the Western Ghats in Thrissur, Chimmony (or Chimminy) Wildlife Sanctuary is a national park. This place is a home to a huge variety of fauna, most prominently the avian species that are present here in large numbers.
Besides those that are mentioned above, there are many other places of tourist interest in Thrissur that attracts many visitors and pilgrims across the country.
- Shakthan Thampuran Palace
- Chamundeshwari Temple
- Heritage Garden
- Institute of Mural Painting or Town Hall
- Nava Mukunda Temple
- Arattupuzha Temple
- Harikanyaka Temple
- Dream World Water Park
- Silver Storm Water Park
- Art Museum
- Archaeological Museum
- Puthan Palli
Festivals and Fairs
Thrissur is known as the cultural capital of Kerala as this city has a rich past and vibrant cultural attached with it. Many of the important festivals like Christmas, Onam, Easter, Vishu, Eid are celebrated here however, the most widely celebrated festivals of Thrissur are Thrissur Pooram, Kavakali, Aanayoottu, Machada Mamangam, Boat Race and Kodungallur Bharani.
- Thrissur Pooram: It is an annual festival usually held in the month of April-May which lasts for 3 days. This festival is celebrated at the temples dedicated to Goddess Durga and Kali. Thrissur Pooram is considered to be the ‘Pooram of all Poorams”. It is widely celebrated with lot of enthusiasm and joy. This festival witnesses huge crowd participation and a lot of traditional and cultural events. One can enjoy the sight of large processions that are carried out throughout the city accompanying large number of elephants decked up with beautiful ornaments. Dance activities, sound of drums and trumpets, fireworks add an extra spice to this festival.
- Kavakali: This festival is also known as Puli Kali. It coincides with the celebration of Onam which is a harvest festival celebrated in Southern India. This festival attracts thousands of visitors to this city. During this festival, one can enjoy and watch the traditional and cultural art performances by thousands of trained artists.
- Aanayoottu: Thrissur, known as the land of elephants celebrates this annual ceremony known as Aanayoottu where there is a world’s largest elephant feeding ceremony is celebrated every year at Vadakkunnathan Temple.
- Boat Race: The boat race programmes are organized by Kerala Tourism department between August-September. Boat race is an adventurous sport which is a must see event for visitors coming over this place during this timeframe.
- Kodungallur Bharani: Kodungallur Bharani is another important annual festival celebrated in Thrissur. It is usually celebrated in the month of March-April at Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple that lasts for eight days.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Thrissur is between December to March when the climate is pleasant and cool. One can explore and do all the sightseeing very comfortably. Generally, the climate here is hot and humid during rest of the year. During the months of April to June, Thrissur witnesses hot and humid weather with maximum temperature touching 380C. Heavy showers take place between the months of July and September. Many visitors especially come during the monsoon season to witness the beauty of nature.
How to Reach
By Air – Thrissur does not have its own airport. The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport located at a distance of around 55 Km from the main city. Kochi airport is very well connected with all major states and cities across India. Many buses and taxis are available at the Kochi airport to reach Thrissur.
By Rail – Thrissur Railway station is well connected with all the major cities across Kerala and other parts of the country. All the major and important trains travelling to Southern India have their connectivity to Thrissur.
By Road – Kerala Road Transport has very well developed the road network that connects Thrissur with all the major cities and towns of Kerala.