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Shubhyatra >> Kerala Yatra >> Thrissur

THRISSUR

District : Thrissur
Known As : Trichur
STD Code : 0487
Best Time to Visit : September to April is ideal.

Thrissur - Cradle of Culture

Thrissur Pooram
Thrissur Pooram - Kerala



FACT FILE
To See : Vaddakunathan Temple, Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu, Thrissur Pooram, Shakthan Thampuram Palace, Archaeological Museum, Marthoma Mariam Big Church, Dolores Basilica, Lourdes Cathedral, Town Hall, Thypooyam Shree Maheswara Temple, Karthiyayini Temple.
Most Famous For : Vaddakunathan Temple, Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu.
Don't Miss : Thrissur Pooram Festival.
Must Experience : Grand show of Fireworks.
Getting Around : Vilangankunnu – 10 km, Aaratupuzha Temple – 16 km, Urakam Amma Thiruvadi Temple – 13 km, Jacobite Churches at Arthat – 28 km.
To Shop : Nadavaramba Krishna & Son – Local Crafts, Mangalore Music Stores, Surabhi – Kerala State Handicrafts.
Getting There : Air - Nearest Airport - Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery. Calicut Airport - 163 km North of Trichur.
Rail - Venad and Amritha Express connects daily from Trivandrum.
Road -Thrissur is on N-H-47 that links from Kanyakumari. Regular Bus Services from Trivandrum. 32 kms off N-H-17 that links Mumbai to Edapally.
Inside Tip : During Thrissur Poonam Festival a huge crowd gathers in Thrissur. So, take precautions as there may be chances of a Stampede.
Important Distances : 83 km N of Kochi, Palakkad – 67 km, Ernakulam – 79 km, Trivendrum – 275 kms.
Where to Eat : Sego, Calcutta, Jaya, Cafe Casino, Aramana Bar and Restaurant, Ambady Restaurant, Hotel Bharat, Pathan's Hotel.
Staying Options : Sidhartha Regency, Alukka's Tourist Home, Luciya Palace, Gurukripa lodge. Trichur Towers.

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No other place in India, perhaps stands by its name so emphatically as Thrissur does. Presumably because nowhere will you find miracles strewn away on the streets as it happens in this inaudible town of South India. An abbreviation of 'Thiru-Siva-Peruru' (the town with the name of Holy Shiva), Thrissur has been referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala since the days of yore. A town whose heart is stuffed with tradition, a vibrant school of literature and arts, Trichur, is a town so content with its past that modernity is still something to be gaped at. As you will walk along the slender lanes of this quiet little town, you will find an inescapable magnetism in every corner, in the stories of rulers whose gravity was matched only by their sense of justice, in the hypnotic notes of the Thrissur Pooram that resound long after the last firework has added a bright star in the night sky. So, don't forget to add Thrissur in your holiday itinerary because it is only here that you will find the golden 'nendrakai' chips, it is here that you will see 'kodakallu' (umbrella stones) and it is only here that you will pray in a historic church that still follows old rites and have no images of Christ, only the cross.

The Golden Age of Glory

The crowned heads that stood to itself segregated the history of Kerala into mainly three parts - the preface, the story and the finale. Nevertheless, Thrissur always played a cardinal role in designing its pages. The early political history of the district finds its refuge under the Cheras of the Sangam age. It is they, who fostered the trade relations between Kerala and the outside world in the ancient and medieval period. However, the credit of fostering cultural relations and laying the foundation of a cosmopolitan and composite culture in this part of the country does goes to Raja Rama Varma (1790-1805), popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran. After all, it was a simple life that the man who broke the hold of feudal chieftains over the kingdom believed in. Three centuries after his time, the town that saw the reign of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, continues to be true to Thampuran's ideology. And it is this ordinary lifestyle that makes Thrissur so extraordinary even today.

Cheer Up Around The Town

The Temple Guide To The City

Vadakkunathan Temple Thrissur
Vadakkunathan Temple Thrissur - Kerala


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Thrissur is such an encyclopedia of culture that, apparantly, you will need quite a few days to explore this treasure trove. At the heart of Thrissur, within a circular compound - Thrissur's famous round - is the Vadakkunathan Temple acting as a landmark for the visitors. Believed to have been built by no less than Parasurama, who is said to have reclaimed Kerala from the sea, this is one of the largest temples in the state. Visit the four majestic gopurams, adorned with carvings in wood and stone, that stand sentinel around the temple. Bali stones in brass are seen everywhere and stone effigies of prostrating men dot the ground.

The deity is represented by a magnificent mahalingam of Lord Shiva. The mahalingam, however, cannot be seen these days for a piquant reason; days, months and years of it being covered with the traditional offering has concealed it under layers of ghee (parts of which are believed to be about 1,000 years old). You can just catch a glimpse of an 11-ft high mound of ghee embellished with 13 cascading crescents of gold and three serpent hoods at the top. In what many take for a miracle, the ghee does not melt or emit a smell, even in Kerala's warm tropical climate. A visit to the Vadakkunathan Temple is incomplete without a visit to both the red-roofed Thiruvambadi temple (dedicated to Shiva's son Subramanya) and the Paramekkavu temple (dedicated to Shiva's consort Parvathi).

Wander Around To Find Miracles of The City

The next halt in your itinerary shoud be at the Shakthan Thampuran Palace, the erstwhile abode of the greatest ruler of the Kochi dynasty. Walk along the voluminous corridors and you will be amazed to see loads of woodwork sans embellishments, attesting the simple and spartan lifestyle of Kerala's rulers. Also known as the Palace Thoppu, this colossal mansion is located near the north bus stand and is closed on Mondays. Walk to the north-east of the Thrissur Round towards Chembukkavu, and you will see the stately Archeological Museum. Once the summer palace of the king of Kollengode, the museum now houses a melange of artifacts together with some jocular items like the sati stones, and the hero and heroine stones! You can also go through the vast collections of Harappan shards and menhirs, wooden models of the grand old 'ambalams' of Kerala and huge burial pots kept here. 'Kodakallu' (umbrella stones) can be spotted around Thrissur at places such as Erumpatty and Nelluvaya on the road towards Guruvayoor.

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Marthoma Mariam Church - The Big Brother

Visit the Marthoma Mariam Big Church or the Valiya Palli (big church) as it is locally known. The name is given not because of its size, but for its age and is believed to be the oldest church in these parts, dating back to when Shakthan Thampuran settled 64 Syrian Christians in Thrissur around the end of 18th century. Interestingly, parts of the Mass are still held in Syriac. The congregation still follows old rites and have no idols or pictorial representations of Christ inside the chapel, but only the cross. Here you can see huge chandeliers and coloured glass balls dangling from the ceiling, the choir's gallery and a tulip-shaped pulpit.

Thrissur Pooram - Dance With The Jumbos

Elephants at Thrissur Pooram - Kerala
Elephants at Thrissur Pooram - Kerala

The Thrissur Pooram has a special charm in God's own country. Interestingly, Shakthan Thampuran conceived of the Pooram to counter what he thought was an peremptory section of the temple-owing priestly aristocracy; the pooram was to be a people's festival. Plan a holiday trip during the month of Medam (April-May) and you can behold the impressive action of beautifully caparisoned elephants as they compete to create enticing sights and sounds. The pachyderms decorated with gold ornaments, each ridden by three priests, are a sight to enjoy. In the evening the whole complex of Vadakkunathan Temple reverberates with the blaze of colourful fireworks as the Chenda Melam orchestra rise to a deafening crescendo.

Drive Far For Excursions Near The Heart

Drive 20 km east of Thrissur to reach the much hyped Peechi Dam. A grasy knoll of modest size, it is a popular picnic spot for day trips out of Thrissur. One can enjoy boating on the shimmering waters of the reservoir. If you are lucky, you might even spot a wild tusker or two on the forested banks, which form part of the 125 sq. km Peechi Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend an afternoon in the periphery of the Athirappally and Vazhachal Waterfalls and enjoy a close encounter with the nature. Here, the water plunges from a height of nearly 80 feet before joining the Chalakudi river. Walk along the Chalakudy river amidst bamboo grooves and arecanut plantations and enjoy a cool chance of photography. Drive towards south of Thrissur on SH 22 for 16 km to reach the 1500 year Aaratupuzha Temple. No doubt, you will be bewitched to see huge blue stone pillars, shinning bell metal lamps, 'vada mala' offerings, green paddy fields and the silent Aarat River together with the sound of chenda, all at the same time. The temple is simultaneously both picturesque and euphonic in nature.

Get Going

The nearest airhead is the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, 45 km from Thrissur. One can fly upto there, then get a cab to reach the cultural capital. However, if you are planning to come from Ernakulam (79 km) or Trivandrum (275 km), you have to drive on NH 47 that links Salem to Kanyakumari. Thrissur station is at the south-west of the Round and is connected daily with Trivandrum by the Venad and Amritha Express. You can also catch the Mangla Lakshadweep Express, if you are coming from Delhi. The KSRTC bus stand is just east of the station on the Station Road. Frequent KSRTC buses are regulated between Thrissur and other destinations like Guruvayur, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Coimbatore, Kozhikode and Trivandrum.

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Thrissur Pooram Festival

Kerala Culture In A New Attire
Plan a holiday trip to the land which flaunts to be the cradle of Malayali culture. An abbreviation of 'Thiru-Siva-Peruru' (the town with the name of Holy Shiva), Thrissur has an unavoidable charm strewn over its streets that entices its every visitor.


The Charm of Thrissur Puram
Thrissur Puram is a two-centuries old temple festival known for its unique pomp and pageantry. Watch the breathtaking parade of 30 richly caparisoned elephants at the Vadakkumnathan temple, each escorted with three efficient priests sitting atop them.


Wish Under The Sky
The Thrissur festival is also known for a grand display of fireworks in the night. A variety of fireworks lit up dark canopy above Thrissur, which is a lovely scene to behold.


The Sacred Big Brother
Visit the Marthoma Mariam Big Church or the Valiya Palli (big church) as it is locally known in Thrissur. Built in the end of 18th century, the church still follows old rites and have no idols of Christ inside the chapel, save the cross. Look for the splendid chandeliers and coloured glass balls dangling from the ceiling, the choir's gallery and a tulip-shaped pulpit adding only to the decor.


Ride The Elegant Porter of India
Beautifully caparisoned elephants, embellished with radiant artifacts and euphonic bells will remind you of the royal glamor of Kerala, at every turn. If you are in India, don't miss this favored tourist attraction to ride an elephant during the Thrissur festival.


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