Thrissur, the center of literature and culture, the land of fairs and festivals, is referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala.
Thrissur has its name derived from 'Tiru-Shiva-Perur' (the town with the name of Lord Shiva) is the cultural capital of Kerala. The town is built around a hillock top. Its most prominent feature is the Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or temple which has Shiva as its presiding deity.
This temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture. One of the oldest temples in the state, this place contains the sacred shrines of Paramashiva, Parvathy, Sankaranarayanan, Ganapathy, Sri Rama, and Sri Krishna. The central shrines and Koothambalam exhibit exquisite vignettes carved in wood. The legend goes that this temple was founded by Parasurama. ' Thrissur Pooram ' the grandest temple pageantry in Kerala, is celebrated here in April -May every year.
Centre of fine arts in Kerala established by famous poet Vallathol.The Koothambalam is built as per Natyashastra norms and is a highlight. Regular programmes are held. Located in Cheruthuruthi in the backdrop of the Bharathapuzha river. It is situated in the North of Thrissur, 29km away near the Shoranur Railway Junction. It is the home of the renowned repository of the tradition of the Kathakali dance form. It is in this academy that the best of Kerala's Kathakali, Ottamthullal, and Chakyarkoothu performers get their rigorous training. The institution also offers training in music, drama, and other dance forms including Mohiniyattam and Koodiyattam.Tel: 0484 262418.
For the animal enthusiasts, Thrissur boasts a zoo, 2km from the town center. Within the 13.5 acres of the compound live a variety of fauna like the lion-tailed macaque, sloth bear, species of birds and deer. The snake park has a reptilian collection of King Cobras, Kraits, Vipers and Rat Snakes. Visiting time: 9 am - 5 pm. Holidays on Mondays and National holidays. (Tel: 0487 2333056)
Within the zoo, the compound is the small Art Museum which has a good collection of wood carvings metal sculptures, Kathakali figures, and ancient jewelry. There is also a wonderful collection of traditional Kerala lamps.
Sakthan Thampuran Palace & Museum
Located near the Old Bus Stand. The memorial of the "architect of Thrissur" lies here. Relics and artifacts belonging to the erstwhile Cochin Royal Family can be found here and their history traced.
Other tourist attractions
Anakkayam is roughly 20 km from Chalakudy on the Sholayar Peringalkuthu route, famous for its lake with cool and placid waters. The place got its name from a herd of elephants which used to visit the place quite often and the legend goes that the place got its name because some elephants had been drowned in this lake. The place is breathtakingly beautiful with its rushing waters, chiseled rocks and silent streams.
Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls
East of Chalakudy, near the entrance to the Sholayar forest ranges, are the beautiful waterfalls of Athirapally and Vazhachal, 5 km apart. Athirapally is 60 km away from Thrissur and 30 km away from Chalakkudy. These waterfalls are a place of scenic beauty and are of 80 feet high. Forest Dept.Tel: 0480 2701713.
For more information about the sightseeing places in and around Thrissur, visit Kerala.com's own website www.trichur.com.