THRISSUR – The Cultural Capital
Thrissur an abbreviation of Thiru-Siva-Peruru has always been referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala. Thiru denotes holiness and not three. The central and the most important feature is Vadakkunnathan Kshetram where the reigning deity is Lord Siva.
Centrally located in the State of Kerala this district is a rich reservoir in history, culture and archaeological remains. Thrissur Pooram, for long as one can remember the two dominant temple groups hallowed by many temples in Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu clans look into a friendly combat for supremacy, is celebrated every year during April- May.
There are several important points of tourist attraction in Thrissur.
Guruvayoor, one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala, is 29 Kms. north west of Thrissur. The main attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna popularly known as Guruvayoorappan. People throng here in large numbers for worship the year round.
This is not just another place for worship. It has been the repository of culture and heritage unparalelled in Kerala history. Vadakku does not represent North and it is the corruption of the word ‘Edvam’ or ‘Sacred Bull’. Kunnu is the Malayalam word for a hillock Edvakkunnathan thus became Vadakkunnathan. The deity is Lord Siva represented by ‘Mahalingam’ which now cannot be seen due to the mount formed by the traditional offerings or abhisheka with ghee. The exquisite murals on this shrine narrate the story of the epic Mahabharatha. The decorative wall paintings and carvings alone are worth a visit.
On the left of the entrance one can see the famous Kuthambalam a beautiful structure with an elegant sloping roof of metal plates. Ancient dramatic form of Chakkiar Koothu is staged here.
This is situated beside the Town Hall Road. Several relics and heirlooms of archaeological importance are kept here.
The art museum in a separate building in the Zoo compound, is a treat for the connoisseur of art. Good collection of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewelry are preserved here.
This is one of the tallest churches in Asia and is known for its Gothic model of architecture.
Eight Km. journey from the town on the Kunnamkulam road leads to this picturesque hillock known for its scenic splendour overlooking the sprawling town and country side.
Kerala Sahithya Akademy, Sangeetha Nataka Akademy and Kerala Lalithakala Academy are head quartered at Thrissur making the epithet ‘cultural capital of Kerala’ more meaningful.
Arattupuzha Temple, situated 16 Kms away from the town on the Thrissur- Kodungallor road, is known for its annual pooram festival held in April-May every year which is one of the most colourful carnivals of Kerala.
This enchanting picnic spot situated 20 Kms east of Thrissur offers boating facilities in the reservoir. One can see tuskers on the bank of this reservoir
Cheraman Juma Masjid:
Kodungallur constructed in AD.629 is famous as the first mosque erected in India and also the first in India and second in the world where the Juma prayers were started. People from far and near irrespective of caste and creed visit this holy place and pay their homage. Idul Fitar (Ramsan) and Idul-Asha (Bakrid) are celebrated here on a grand scale.
Athirappally and Vazhachal water Falls
A shimmering expanse of tranquil beauty this waterfall, of 80 feet height 30 Kms.east of Chalakkudy. Athirappally attracts a large number of eco tourists. Vazhachal another water fall is 5 Kms. away from Athirapally. One cannot but watch this without breath taking splendour.
Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy was founded in 1930 by Mahakavi Vallathol. It’s main objective is to revive, preserve and develop the ancient and traditional art form of Kerala particularly Kathakali. Now the Kerala Kala Mandalam is functioning at Vallathol Nagar with its new building complex at Natyagraha. The old Kerala Kala Mandalam is still at Cheruthuruthy on the shore of Nila River (Bharathapuzha). The Samadhi (Tomb) of the Poet Vallathol the founder of this famous institution is in the premises of old Kala Mandalam.
Koodalmanickam Temple (Irinjalakuda):
The Koodalmanickam temple is an ancient and historic one situated in Manavalassery village about 10 Kms. from Irinjalakuda Railway station. Lord Bharatha is the deity of the temple. The festival is held annually for 11 days in Medom (April-May)