It is the cultural capital of Kerala, Trichur, gained prominence under the reign of Raja Rama Varma in 1790. In Thrissur, you can experience the rich cultural heritage that the state of Kerala proudly upholds. The multi-hued past of this city comes alive at the Archaeological Museum and the Art Museum as also the art gallery located within the Town Hall. The Vadakkunathan Temple is the spiritual centre of the city and is famous all over India for its magnificent annual Pooram festival. The sight of brilliantly caparisoned elephants during the festival is one that must not be missed. The city and the area around it have a number of museums, art schools, and institutes, which are dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural traditions of Kerala.
Thrissur Sightseeing places
Vadakkumnathan Temple: This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a perfect example of Kerala temple architecture style. Legend has it that the temple was built by Lord Parasurama, who raised the land of Kerala from ocean depths. This temple has four majestic gopurams with intricate woodwork, and it also has some of the most beautiful 17th century murals from Indian epics done in natural colors. The magnificent Koothambalam, a hall inside the temple dedicated for performing arts, is quite distinct from any other in Kerala in its sheer size and aesthetic grandeur.
Archeological Museum: The museum housed in Kollengode Palace, an architectural marvel built in the traditional and western fusion architecture style, has a spectacular display of priceless artifacts. The museum holds an impressive collection of Stone Age weapons, excavated artifacts from Indus valley and Harappa sites, megalithic burial Urns, excavated relics from the ancient port of Crangannore, stone and bronze sculptures from 10th to 18th century, temple models et cetera.
Zoo & Art Museum: The zoo and art museum are located in a sprawling 13.5 acre wooded land with beautiful landscaping and rich flowerbeds. The zoo is home to a large number of endangered animals including lions, tigers, Indian sloth bear et cetera. The reptile park here is said to be one of the largest in India housing the mighty Indian king cobra, vipers, pythons et cetera.
Shakthan Thampuram Palace: The palace was used by King Sakthan Thampuram during his reign as the Raja of Cochin. This magnificent palace also known as Vadakkechira Palace was built in 1795 in the traditional Kerala and Dutch fusion architecture style. This era is acclaimed by historians as the “golden era” of Cochin with many farsighted projects envisaged and strategic relations improved.
Our lady of Doloures basilica: The huge dome on top of the main altar is adorned with paintings done in vibrant colors on the apostles, Mater Dolorosa and the seven dolours of the Blessed Virgin. This majestic gothic basilica dedicated to our Lady of Sorrows is acclaimed to be one of the tallest and biggest churches in Asia. The shrine has some exquisite frescoes and wall paintings on biblical themes. The church has vaulted ceiling and encloses the main altar of our Lady of Doloures and 15 beautiful side altars.
Peechi dam & Vazhani wildlife sanctuary: Both are nestled in the amidst verdant hills and emerald green forests, the majestic Peechi dam offers picture post card scenery in all its pristine glory. The dam constructed on Manali River is at a distance of 23 km from Thrissur. Peechi offers an ideal spot to enjoy Kerala’s emerald greenery with its vast catchment area, botanical gardens and lush green forests. The sanctuary is a safe haven for Tigers, Elephants, Leopards, Indian Wild Dogs and a variety of deer. This sanctuary is also a treasure trove of rare plants of medicinal value and a variety of exotic orchids.
Athirapally & Vazhachal waterfalls: These awesome waterfalls tucked inside the lush green forests of Sholayar are sure to hold you captivated with its astounding beauty. Athirapally & Vazhachal Waterfalls is located at a distance of 65 km from Thrissur inside the dense ever green forest ranges of Sholayar. Athirapally, the tallest amongst the two, cascades down from a height of 80 feet. Come and enjoy this breathtaking natural splendor, one of the best guarded secrets and miracles of nature.
Guruvayoor: Guruvayoor is Known as the Dwaraka of south, this ancient pilgrim center is located at a distance of 32 km from Thrissur. The majestic Sree Krishna Swamy temple located here attracts hordes of pilgrims from all over India. The temple, shrouded in mystery and legends, is said to house the idol of Sri Krishna worshipped by Lord Brahma at Dwaraka. The temple is widely renowned for its healing powers and is a preferred site to hold Hindu weddings.
Punnathur Kotta: In this sanctuary, elephants are prepared and trained for the various rituals and festivals linked with the temple. Located at a distance of 2 km from Guruvayoor, it is here the temple elephants of Guruvayoor are taken care of. The Guruvayoor temple gets many elephants as offerings from pious devotees. In Punnathur Kotta elephant venerations including Gajapooja (elephant worship) and Anayoottu (Elephant feeding) are celebrated with much fervor and gaiety.
Kerala Kala Mandalam, Cheruthuruthi: Cheruthuruthi, a small picturesque town basking in pristine bucolic charms on the banks of the scenic river Bharatapuzha, offers an ideal setting for learning Kerala’s myriad performing art forms. Kerala Kala Mandalam in Cheruthuruthi is at a distance of 33 km from Thrissur. This center for learning was the vision of the eminent Malayalam poet Vallathol Narayana Menon for preserving and promoting Kerala’s exotic dance forms. The center established in 1930 is now a deemed university for art and culture offering training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam, Thullal and Panchavadyam.
Palayur Church: This church is at a small distance from Guruvayoor and has some exquisite stone lambs and a silver statue of St Thomas. Acclaimed as the oldest church in India, Palayur Church is the earliest of the 7 churches founded by Apostle St Thomas - the Apostle in 52AD. Novena and mass is offered in the honor of St. Thomas every Tuesday drawing pilgrims from all over the state.
Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikyam Temple: The temple has beautiful murals in natural colors and delicate wood works on the sanctum walls. The temple is an important center of pilgrimage for Hindus. Koodalmanikyam is the only temple in India dedicated to Lord Bharata, the brother of Lord Rama. The temple is located in Irinjalakuda at a distance of 21 km from Thrissur and the specialty is that there is only one idol for worship.
Cheraman Juma Masjid: This magnificent mosque built in 629 AD by Malik Ibn Dinar is constructed in the traditional Hindu temple architecture style of Kerala. This mosque located in Kodungallur in Thrissur district is considered to be the oldest mosque in India and the second oldest mosque in the world to offer Jumu’ah prayers. The burning sanctuary lamp of this mosque is said to be more than a thousand years old.
Vilangankunnu: This beautiful hill is just 7 km from the city and is an ideal destination for holidaying and picnicking.
Things to Do
Kerala Kala Mandapam: Under this a visitor can spend a whole day inside Kala Mandalam - a repository of Kerala’s rich tradition, learning about various indigenous art forms.“A Day with the Masters” is a unique Cultural Tourism initiative promoted jointly by Kala Mandalam and the Kerala Tourism Department.
Ayurvedic Spas: There are different sorts of treatments available guaranteed to rejuvenate your body and soul. Treat yourself and indulge in this amazingly refreshing Ayurvedic spa experience. A visit to Thrissur is never complete without a visit to one of those rejuvenating Ayurvedic spas.
Boating: Private boats could be hired on hourly basis to explore this beautiful area and to spot some wildlife. It is a popular way to explore the mesmerizing greenery and picture perfect beauty of Peechi dam and Vazhani wildlife sanctuary.
Trekking: It is a popular sport around the Athirapally- Vazhachal waterfalls area. The unique ecosystem of the region can be best experienced with a trekking expedition through the evergreen forests. Trekking through this fascinating jungle crisscrossed with narrow silver streams and small waterfalls is a real treat to the nature lovers. It also brings to life some of the most amazing spectacles of nature.
Kathakali: Catch a glimpse of this exotic dance-drama in one of the various centers located in and around Thrissur. The dance-drama of Kathakali is a temple art form re-enacting stories from the Hindu epics. The characters are attired in elaborate costumes with brightly painted faces.
Location: Thrissur is on the Malabar belt in central Kerala, bordered by the districts of Ernakulam in south, Palakkad in East, Malappuram in North and Idukki in the southeast.
Climate: The District enjoys a temperate tropical climate throughout the year.
Best Time to Visit: Thrissur Pooram, a colorful festival of Vadakkumnathan Temple is celebrated during April – May, plan your trip to include this visual delight.
Shopping: The city offers some good shopping complexes to cater to the urban brand conscious crowd. It offers a wide range of shopping options sure to tire even the biggest shopaholic. There are innumerable gold and textile shops which dot the town. Traditional Kerala jewellery in gold and studded with precious and semi precious stones can be bought in Thrissur. Thrissur boasts of a number of good textile showrooms making your shopping a delightful fantasy woven in silk threads. Thrissur also has some really good authentic handicraft shops if you are looking to buy souvenirs.
How to Reach Trissur?
By Air: The nearest international airport is at Nedumbassery, which is 58 km away.
By Rail: Thrissur/Trichur Railway Station is on the route of the railway line that connects the Southern part of Kerala with the rest of India.
By Road: Trichur/Thrissur is well connected with almost all the major towns and cities of Kerala as well as India.