Thrissur

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Thrissur
തൃശ്ശൂര്‍
Trichur (Anglicised name)
City
Clockwise from top: Thrissur Pooram, Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, Puli Kali, Vadakkunnathan Temple
Clockwise from top: Thrissur Pooram, Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, Puli Kali, Vadakkunnathan Temple
Thrissur is located in Kerala
Thrissur
Thrissur
Coordinates: 10°31′N 76°13′E / 10.52°N 76.21°E / 10.52; 76.21Coordinates: 10°31′N 76°13′E / 10.52°N 76.21°E / 10.52; 76.21
Country  India
State Kerala
District Thrissur District
Government
 • Type Mayor–council government
 • Body Thrissur Municipal Corporation
 • Mayor Rajan Pallan
 • Deputy Mayor P.V. Sarojini
 • Police commissioner Jacob Thomas
Area
 • City 101.43 km2 (39.16 sq mi)
Elevation 2.83 m (9.28 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • City 315,596
 • Density 3,100/km2 (8,100/sq mi)
 • Metro[1] 1,854,783
Demonym Thrissurian, Thrissurkaran
Languages
 • Official Malayalam, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 680XXX
Telephone code Thrissur: 91-(0)487, Irinjalakuda: 91-(0)480, Wadakancherry: 91-(0)4884, Kunnamkulam: 91-(0)4885
Vehicle registration Thrissur: KL-08, Irinjalakuda: KL-45, Guruvayur: KL-46, Kodungalloor: KL-47, Wadakancherry: KL-48 & Chalakudy: KL-64
Coastline 0 kilometres (0 mi)
Literacy 97.24%
Climate Am/Aw (Köppen)
Precipitation 3,100 millimetres (120 in)
Avg. summer temperature 35 °C (95 °F)
Avg. winter temperature 20 °C (68 °F)
Website www.corporationofthrissur.org

Thrissur About this sound pronunciation  originally Thirusivapperoor and previously known by its anglicised form as Trichur, is the fourth largest city, the third largest urban agglomeration in Kerala (Pop. 1,854,783) and the 20th largest in India.[2][3] It is also the headquarters of the Thrissur District.[4] The City is built around a 65-acre (26 ha) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple. Thrissur was once the capital of the Kingdom of Cochin. It is located 300 kilometres (186 mi) towards north-west of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

Thrissur is also known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala because of its cultural, spiritual and religious leanings throughout history.[5] It houses the Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Kerala Lalithakala Akademi and Kerala Sahitya Academy.[6] The city hosts the Thrissur Pooram festival, the most colourful and spectacular temple festival in Kerala.[7][8] The festival is held at the Thekkinkadu Maidan in April or May.[5] Thrissur has a large number of well-known temples including the Vadakkumnathan temple, Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple and Paramekkavu temple, as well as two famous churches, the Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral and the Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica.[9]

Thrissur has historically been a center of Hindu scholarship. The city houses one of the most important temples of Hindu Shaivism, that is the Vadakunnathan temple. The district is also home of one of the most holiest Hindu Vaishnava temples, the Guruvayur temple. Christianity, Islam and Judaism entered into the Indian subcontinent through the Thrissur District. The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings claim Thomas the Apostle to have set foot in Muziris near Thrissur 2,000 years ago. (AD 51–52)[10][11] The country's first mosque, Cheraman Juma Masjid, opened in AD 629.[12][13][13][14][15][16] Thrissur has opened the gates for Arabs, Romans, Portuguese, Dutch and English.

The city has served as an incubator for many Malayali entrepreneurs,[17] and is a major financial and commercial hub of Kerala.[18] It flexes its economic muscle in India as the headquarters of three major scheduled banks, South Indian Bank Ltd, Catholic Syrian Bank and Dhanalakshmi Bank Ltd and a clutch of Chit funds.[19] The city is also a big centre for shopping in Kerala for silks and gold jewellery. Thrissur attracts the largest number of domestic tourists in Kerala.[20]

Apart from being the cultural nerve centre of Kerala, it is also a major academic hub and is home to several educational institutions including the Kerala Kalamandalam, Jawahar Bal Bhavan Thrissur, Kerala Police Academy, Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala University of Medical and Allied Sciences, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Kerala Institute of Local Administration.[21][22][23]

Etymology[edit]

The name Thrissur is a shortened form of Tamil word Thiru-Shiva-Per-Ur (Tamil: Respected-Shiva-great-city) (Malayalam: തിരു-ശിവ-പേര്-ഊര്, Lord-Shiva-Name-Town) literally translates to 'The City or Town with the name of the "Lord Siva"'. The name owes itself to the most prominent feature of the city, that is the Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or temple, which has Shiva as its presiding deity.[24] Alternately, Thri-Shiva-Perur (Malayalam: ത്രി-ശിവ-പേരൂര്‍, Three-Shiva-Palace) means the place with three famous Shiva temples which are said to be – the Vadakkumnathan Temple, Kottapuram Shiva temple and the Poonkunnam Siva Temple.[25] Thrissur was also known as "Vrishabhadripuram" Kailasam of the South) in ancient days.[26]

History[edit]

Main article: History of Thrissur

Pre-history[edit]

The 15 feet (4.6 m) in high and 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 m) wide Ramavarmapuram menhir

Starting from the Stone Age, Thrissur must have been the site of human settlement. This is evidenced by the presence of megalithic monuments at Ramavarmapuram, Kuttoor, Cherur and Villadam.[27] The Ramavarmapuram monument is in granite and is of the menhir type. The monument in Ramavarmapuram is 15 feet (4.6 m) in height and 12 feet 4 inches (3.76 m) wide. Since1944, it has been protected by the Department of Archaeology. The monument is locally known as Padakkallu or Pulachikkallu. These menhirs are memorials put up at burial sites for the departed souls. They belong to the Megalithic Age of Kerala, which is roughly estimated between 1000 BCE and 500 CE.[28] All such monuments have not been dated exactly. Some experts are of the view that these are the remnants of the Neolithic Age in the development of human technology. The Ramavarmapuram menhir is also believed to be a monument belonging to the Sangam period in the South Indian history.[29]

Another monolithic monuments like Dolmens and rock-cut caves are at Porkulam, Chiramanengad, Eyyal, Kattakambal and Kakkad. According to historians, the dolmens are burial sites. Though most of the monuments were well protected, the dolmen at Porkulam was in a neglected condition. The monument excavated under eminent Archaeologist B. K. Thapar, between 1949 and 1950, was under the Department of Archaeology.[27] Another megalithic monument is situated at Ariyannur in Thrissur. This place has unravelled monuments such as the Kudakkallu or Thoppikkallu (Mushroom stones or Umbrella stones) and 'Munimada' (Saint's abode).[30] The laterite hillocks of Ariyannur rise to about 50 metres. Another reference in Ariyannur dates back to the early 15th century in the poem Chandrotsavam.[30]

Image of main entrance of Vadakkunnathan Temple seen from Swaraj Round from Illustrated Guide to the South Indian Railway

Pre-Colonial history[edit]

The region can claim to have played a significant part in fostering the trade relations between Kerala and the outside world in the ancient and medieval period. The early political history of Thrissur is interlinked with that of the Chera Dynasty of the Sangam age, who ruled over vast portions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. After the Cheras, the place was later ruled by the Kingdom of Cochin (Perumpadapu Swaroopam). Later, a powerful dynasty known as Zamorins of Calicut captured most of the Thrissur in 14th and 15th century.

Colonial period[edit]

Next was the turn of Portuguese who ruled Thrissur in the 16th century. In the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese power was reduced and Dutch became the main power. With the help of Dutch, Cochin Royal Family recaptured Thrissur from Samoothiri in 1710.[31]

A marriage procession going through the High Road, Thrissur City.

The modern City of Thrissur rose to importance after Sakthan Thampuran ascended the throne of Kingdom of Cochin (1769–1805). He changed the capital of Cochin Royal Family to Thrissur from Mattancherry and abolished the power of Namboothiri community, which controlled most of the temples of Thrissur district. The maharaja destroyed the forest around the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple, and started the most spectacular cultural festival called Thrissur Pooram. Sakthan Thampuran laid the modern foundation stone of Thrissur and made the city into a major financial and commercial hub of South India, by inviting Syrian Christian families and Brahmins from adjoining areas.[31]

However, during 1750–60 Hyder Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, attacked Thrissur and became tributary of the Kingdom of Mysore. Tipu Sultan, his son led another invasion in 1786 to Thrissur, where he destroyed the churches of Syrian Malabar Nasrani community and Hindu temples. Tipu Sultan's Army set fire to the church at Palayoor and attacked the Ollur church.[32] The economy of Thrissur totally collapsed because of this invasion.[33] Later he made a retreat from Thrissur, which served as the headquarters of Kerala region, after the Srirangapattanam war. In the meantime, Rama Varma X, the successor of Sakthan Thampuran signed a treaty with East Indian Company, and made Cochin a subsidiary of the British.

Anti-Colonial movements[edit]

The first known map of Thrissur City with Vadakkunnathan Temple prepared by John Gould in 1816

The Indian freedom movement struggle also grew in momentum in Thrissur after a Committee was formed in 1919 of the Indian National Congress. In 1921, the Civil Disobedience Movement also attracted a large number of people into the freedom struggle. In 1927 Mahatma Gandhi visited Vivekodayam School in the city.[34] In 1934, father of the nation, again visited the city for the housewarming of Barrister Krishna Menon. The house afterwards was known "Gandhi Mandiram" in Chembukkavu.[35] In the mean time, R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, the controversial Diwan of Cochin Kingdom from 1935 to 1941, was developing City by constructing Thrissur Town Hall and Ramanilayam. Even now also two monuments remain as the epicenter of Kerala politics. DR M R Menon, a minister in Government of Kochi was instrumental in building the Municipal Corporation Building, Thrissur and the Municipal Office Road. He even concerted Swaraj Round and other peripheries of the city road.[36][37]

Religion in Thrisur
Religion Percent
Hinduism
  
59.40%
Others
  
41.30%

Post-Colonial[edit]

In 1947, when India gained independence from the British rule, Thrissur was under Kingdom of Cochin. Thrissur district was formed on 1 July 1949, with the headquarters at Thrissur City. The City is usually referred to as the Cultural Capital of Kerala . The City had been a breeding ground of famous politicians and bureaucrats like R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, P.C. Rao, C. Achutha Menon, K. Karunakaran, Joseph Mundassery, Vinod Rai etc. after the independence. These individuals have changed the trajectory of Thrissur City afterwards.

.

P.S. Rao, advisor to the Rajapramukh and acting Governor of Kerala, is another person who Thrissurian is indebted to. He expanded Thrissur City by shifting all the administrative and government offices like Thrissur Collectorate to Ayyanthole from Chembukavu.[36] Government Engineering College, Thrissur, is another gift from Joseph Mundassery, the controversial former education minister who introduced Kerala Education Act. C. Achutha Menon, the former Chief Minister of Kerala gifted Kerala Agricultural University in 1971, a university for all agricultural related activities.[36]

K. Karunakaran, the Bhishma of Kerala politics started his career in Thrissur as a painter. Later on he became the "Leader" of city. During his regime Thrissur-Guruvayur Section and Poonkunnam Over Bridge was built.[38][39] Vinod Rai, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, is another person who turned fortunes of the city by building Sakthan Thampuran Nagar (S.T.Nagar) when he was collector of Thrissur district. He is also known as the second Sakthan Thampuran of Thrissur by shifting the Municipal Stand near the M.O. Road to Shaktan Thampuran Nagar, now known as Shaktan Thampuran Private Bus Stand, Thrissur.[40]

Geography[edit]

Main article: Geography of Thrissur
The Thrissur Kole Wetlands is one of largest, highly productive and threatened wetlands in Kerala. It acts as natural drainage for City of Thrissur.

The city of Thrissur is situated in Thrissur District of Central Kerala in India. The city is located at 10°31′N 76°13′E / 10.52°N 76.21°E / 10.52; 76.21 and has an average altitude of 2.83 metres. The city is 75 km north-east of Kochi, 133 km south-west of Coimbatore and 144 km south-east of Kozhikode.[41] The city is located in a hillock called Thekkinkadu Maidan which is the second highest point in city after the Vilangan Hills. From the hillock, the geography of the city move towards middle land where Thrissur Kole Wetlands is situated. The Kole Wetlands act as a natural drainage for the city where the water is carried out to river and from there to the Laccadive Sea, thus keeping Thrissur city safe from flood waters which affect most of the other cities in Kerala. [42][43][44][45] Different ponds, rivers and canals also keep the ground water safe from salt waters. The city is located in midland regions of Kerala, with an extended part of Palakkad plains.[46] The city geologically is composed of Archaean gneisses and crystalline schists. Major parts of city is covered by Archaeans rocks.[47] Th city lies near the center of the Indian tectonic plate (the Indian Plate) and is subject to comparatively little seismic or volcanic activity.

Ponds and canals save City of Thrissur from flooding in the monsoon. A view of Vadakkechira, Thrissur

.

Climate[edit]

Under the Köppen climate classification, City of Thrissur features a Tropical monsoon climate. Since the region lies in the south western coastal state of Kerala, the climate is tropical, with only minor differences in temperatures between day and night, as well as over the year. Summer lasts from March to May, and is followed by the South-west monsoon from June to September. October and November form the post monsoon or retreating monsoon season. Winter from December through February is slightly cooler, and windy, due to winds from the Western Ghats.[48]

The City is drained in the monsoonal season by heavy showers. The average annual rainfall is 3000 cm. The South-west monsoon generally sets in during the last week of May. After July the rainfall decreases. On an average, there are 124 rainy days in a year. The maximum average temperature of the City in the summer season is 33-degree Celsius while the minimum temperature recorded is 22.5 degrees Celsius. The winter season records a maximum average of 29-degree Celsius and a minimum average of 20-degree Celsius.[48]

Climate data for Thrissur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32
(90)
32
(90)
32
(90)
33
(91)
32
(90)
30
(86)
29
(84)
30
(86)
30
(86)
30
(86)
31
(88)
32
(90)
31.1
(88.1)
Average low °C (°F) 23
(73)
24
(75)
25
(77)
26
(79)
26
(79)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
23
(73)
24.3
(75.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 32
(1.26)
26
(1.02)
39
(1.54)
147
(5.79)
391
(15.39)
576
(22.68)
391
(15.39)
367
(14.45)
417
(16.42)
467
(18.39)
223
(8.78)
47
(1.85)
3,123
(122.96)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3 3 5 13 17 26 28 24 18 23 13 4 177
Source: World Weather Online

Economy[edit]

Main article: Economy of Thrissur

Thrissur is home to many leading Malayali entrepreneurs,[17] and is a major financial and commercial hub of Kerala.[18] Historians say that King Sakthan Thampuran had invited several Syrian Christian families and Brahmins to settle in Thrissur city from their business centres in adjoining areas. Soon, Thrissur became a flourishing centre of internal trade in Kerala. Thrissur is one of the major manufacturing centres of plain gold and rolled gold jewellery in South India; up to 70% of Kerala's jewellery is manufactured in Thrissur. There are around 3,000 gold ornaments manufacturing units in the city and 40,000-odd artisans and others work in these units.[49][50] The industry provides direct and indirect employment to 200,000 people in Thrissur.[51][52] The artisans based in these units, craft nearly 85 percent of one tonne gold which is used per day in Kerala. About 90 tonnes of gold was being used annually in Kerala for manufacturing of ornaments daily.

A car showroom in Thrissur City

According to Reserve Bank of India, the city in the 1930s boasted of head offices of 58 banks and was recognised by RBI as 'Banking Town'. Even now also it's the headquarters of major banks like South Indian Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, Dhanalakshmi Bank, Lord Krishna Bank and non-banking institutions like Manappuram General Finance and Leasing Ltd, Kerala State Financial Enterprise and ESAF Microfinance and Investments.[53][54] The city's financial capabilities also saw the rise of Chit fund. According to All Kerala Kuri Foreman's Association, Kerala have around 5,000 chit companies, with Thrissur District accounting for the maximum of 3,000. These chit companies provide employment to about 35,000 persons directly and an equal number indirectly.[55][56]

South Indian Bank headquarters in Thrissur City

The city is also emerging as the largest hub for Ayurvedic drug manufacturing industry in the India. Out of the 850 ayurvedic drug-manufacturing units in Kerala, about 150 units, including some of the major ayurvedic drug manufacturers in the Kerala state are located in and around the city. Of these, some of the companies like the Oushadhi, Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala, KP Namboodiris, Sitaram Ayurvedic Pharmacy Ltd, Kandamkulathy Vaidyasala, SNA Oushadhasala etc. are among the leading ayurvedic drug manufacturers in the state.[57] Thrissur Ayurveda Cluster, anonther initiative by a group of Ayurvedic manufacturers of Thrissur, has developed a cluster in KINFRA Park in Koratty in Thrissur District.[58][59][60][61][62][63]

Modern retailing is a big business and revenue earner for the city. Jewellery and textile retailing occupies a major part of the retailing business in Thrissur. The city is considered as hub of jewellery and textile business in Kerala. Most of the jewellery groups have outlets in Thrissur and provide jobs to thousands of people. Kalyan Group, Jos Alukka & Sons, Joyalukkas, Josco Group, Manuelsons Group, Jayalakshmi Silks, Seemas Wedding Collections, Pulimoottil Silks, Emmanuval Silks, Sree Lakshmi Silks, Fashion Fabrics, Elite Fabrics, Elite Sareee House, Modern Silks, Manshire, Lakshmi Silks, Kalima Collections and Chakola Silkhouse are the few to name.[64] InfoPark Thrissur, the fourth technology park in Kerala after Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi and Kozhikode is situated in Thrissur District.[65][66][67] Tourism has also contributed heavily to the economy of Thrissur. Domestic tourists generally use the city as a hub to explore the highly promoted tourism industry of the state of Kerala. The city with its temples, old churches and its culture, is ranked first in the number of domestic tourists visiting Kerala.[20]

Administration[edit]

Municipal Corporation Officials
Mayor Rajan Pallan
Police Commissioner Jacob Thomas
Deputy Mayor P. V. Sarojini
Members of Legislative Assembly
Thrissur Assembly Constituency Therambil Ramakrishnan
Ollur Assembly Constituency M. P. Vincent
Member of Parliament
Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency C. N. Jayadevan

Thrissur city functioned as a municipality since 1921 under the Cochin Municipal Regulations.[68][69] In 1932, the new corporation building was constructed, and in 1972 new areas from other Panchayats were added to the municipality.[68] On 1 October 2000, the municipal town was upgraded to the level of a Municipal Corporation with the Panchayats of Ayyanthole, Koorkkenchery, Nadathara, Vilvattom (part), Ollur and Ollukkara. The Corporation comprises three legislative assemblies Thrissur, Ollur and Cherpu.[70] The City is administered by the Thrissur Municipal Corporation, headed by a Mayor. Thrissur Municipal Corporation is the second-largest city corporation in the state of Kerala in India. The city is the only local body in Kerala which directly controls power, water supply and solid waste management system in the city. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 52 wards, from which the members of the corporation council are elected for five years. The corporation has its headquarters in Thrissur city.[68][71] The Thrissur Urban Development Authority and Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) are the agencies that prepare development plan for the city.[72][73][74][75]

Law & Order[edit]

The city is the headquarters of Thrissur City Police and Thrissur Rural Police. The Thrissur City Police is headed by a Police Commissioner, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The city is divided into two sub divisions, Thrissur and Guruvayur. It also operates 13 police stations, including a woman police station and a traffic police station.[76][77][78] The Thrissur City Police Commissionarate operates out of the erst-while District Armed Police headquarters at Ramavarmapuram. The Thrissur Rural Police has its headquarters at the District Collectorate complex at Ayyanthole. Thrissur is also the headquarters of Inspector General of Police, Thrissur Range, which looks after the law and order of Thrissur District, Palakkad District and Malappuram district. All the Superintendent of Police of these three districts come under his jurisdiction. The city also houses Kerala Police Academy,[79] Central Prison, Viyyur,[80] Police Dog Training Center and Excise Academy and Research Centre. India Reserve Battalion, new commando unit of Kerala Police is headquartered in Ramavarmapuram.[81] Border Security Force (148 battalion) have its first centre in Kerala in Thrissur only.[82][83]

Demographics[edit]

Population Growth of Thrissur 
Census Pop.
1941 57,500
1951 69,500 20.9%
1961 73,000 5.0%
1971 76,200 4.4%
1981 77,900 2.2%
1991 74,600 -4.2%
2001 317,526 325.6%
2011 325,474 2.5%
source:[84][85]

As of 2011 India census,[86] Thrissur city had a population of 325,474. Males constitute 48.6% and females constitute 51.4% of the total population. The density of population is 3,130/km2. The sex ratio is 1,092/1,000 male. The total number of the households in the city is 66,827. The average family size in the city is 4.27 members. The city has a slum population equivalent to 0.30% of the total city population and 0.37% of the Kerala's slum population. The city has an average literacy rate of 95.5%: male literacy rate is 97% whereas female literacy rate is 94.6%.

Thrissur Municipal Corporation has a population of 317,474 (2001) spread over an area of 101.42 km2. The city alone accounts for 38% of the urban population in the Thrissur District. Thrissur Urban Development Authority area encompasses the municipal corporation area and adjoining panchayats. The total area under municipal corporation jurisdiction is 101.42 km2, and the area under the Panchayats is 18.83 km2 Together, these constitute an area covering 120.25 km2. According to the 2011 census, the total population in the TDA is 344,933 i.e., 317,474 persons in the municipal corporation area and 27,459 persons in the Panchayat area.[87] Thrissur city alone accounts for 38% of the urban population in the Thrissur District.[87]

Politics[edit]

Thrissur has played a significant part in the political history of South India. The city of Thrissur is represented in the Kerala State Assembly by two elected members, one from Thrissur Assembly Constituency and another from Ollur Assembly Constituency. Therambil Ramakrishnan is the representative of Thrissur Assembly Constituency and M.P Vincent from Ollur Assembly Constituency. Thrissur city is also a part of the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency and elects a member to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India, once every five years. The current MP is C. N. Jayadevan. The Lok Sabha seat has been held by the Indian National Congress for six terms (1951–1957, 1984–1989, 1989–1991, 1991–1996, 1999–2004 and 2009–2012) and the Communist Party of India for nine terms (1957–1962, 1962–1967, 1967–1970, 1971–1977, 1977–1979, 1980–1984, 1996–1997, 1998–1999 and 2004–2009).

Cityscape[edit]

Skyline of Thrissur city as it look from Vilangan Hills.

Transport[edit]

Main article: Transport in Thrissur
Shaktan Thampuran Private Bus Stand, Thrissur, is the second largest private bus station in Kerala State.
Thrissur Railway Station is the busiest railway station in Kerala State.[88]

Road[edit]

Thrissur city is connected to the North-South Corridor National Highway System via the four-lane National Highway 47.[89] The highway traverses through the entire length and breadth of the city from different points and provides access to the nearby cities such of Kochi, Palakkad and Coimbatore. NH 47 provides two main exit points at Mannuthy and which is bypass to the Thrissur city and Thalore. The city is largely dependent on private buses, Taxis and auto rickshaws (called autos) for public transport. A transit terminal mobility hub situated in Puzhakkal is also under wraps to be made on lines of Vyttila Mobility Hub to reduce traffic congestion is recently approved to be realised soon.[90]

State-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs inter-state, inter-district and city services. Thrissur has three bus stations, the Shaktan Thampuran Private Bus Stand, Thrissur in Sakthan Thampuran Nagar; the Vadakke Stand (Northern Bus Stand) and the Thrissur KSRTC Bus Station near the Thrissur Railway Station. State Highway (SH 69) Thrissur-Kuttippuram Road, SH 22 KodungallurShornur Road, SH 75 Thrissur – Kanjani – Vadanappally Road are the three state highways which connect city with its suburbs and municipalities.

Railway[edit]

The Southern Railway Zone of the Indian Railways operates the main rail transport system in Thrissur. There are four railway stations in Thrissur city. Thrissur Railway Station, one of the busiest stations in Kerala provides trains to three directions and lies on the busy Shoranur-Cochin Harbour section. It has a satellite station, Poonkunnam Railway Station[91] and two minor stations, Ollur Railway Station and Mulankunnathukavu Railway Station. Thrissur Railway Station also connects to the temple town of Guruvayur by Thrissur-Guruvayur Section. In addition, Southern Railways is running a suburban railway system connecting Thrissur to Kochi and Palakkad using Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit services (MEMU).[92][93][94]

Air[edit]

Thrissur city is served by Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery), which is about 55 kilometres away. Direct domestic flights are available to major Indian cities like Chennai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. International flights to Middle East cities like Bahrain, Muscat, Sharjah, Jeddah, Riyadh, Doha and to Southeast Asian cities Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are available here. It has a dedicated Heli-taxi service and Chartered flights. Calicut International Airport at Karipur, is 80 kilometers from the city and Coimbatore Airport, which is 114 kilometers from the city also can be used by travellers.[95]

Culture and literature[edit]

Main article: Culture of Thrissur
Asia's highest church, the Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica is situated in the middle of Thrissur city

Festivals[edit]

Known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala, Thrissur enjoys a thriving cultural tradition dating back to centuries, and being the centre of Kerala's cultural activities. Thrissur Pooram also called as 'the pooram of all poorams' is celebrated in every year in the month of Medam (mid-April to mid-may) as per the malayalam calendar. It is the biggest of all poorams held in Kerala. The city plays host, for 36 hours from the wee hours of the pooram day, to one of the most largest collection of people and elephants.[96][97][98][99] Puli Kali also known as Kavakali is another festival, which attracts thousands of people to the city. It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam, an annual harvest festival, celebrated mainly in Kerala.[100][101] The most important festivals celebrated in the City include Christmas, Onam, Easter, Eid and Vishu. The City is widely acclaimed as the land of elephant lovers.[102][103] Aanayoottu (feeding of elephants), is the world largest elephant feeding ceremony held in Vadakkunnathan Temple in the City annually. The ceremony is conducted on the first day of the Malayalam month of Karkidakam.[104][105][106]

Literature[edit]

Literary lineage of Thrissur dates back to early history of Kerala but it came to prominence after Kerala Government set up Kerala Lalita Kala Akademi, Kerala Sahitya Academy, Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy and College of Fine Arts, Thrissur for promoting literature, music and arts in Kerala. After the Indian Independence, Thrissur became the literary capital of Kerala as turned to the playground of novelist, poets and orators. In 1952 when Current Books set its first shop in Thrissur by former education Minister Professor Joseph Mundassery, it become the abode of writer's like O. V. Vijayan, Kovilan, V. K. N., Uroob, Edasseri Govindan Nair, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, K. G. Sankara Pillai and Sarah Joseph. The area was later known as Current Moola ("Current Corner").[107] The building that housed the Current Books bookshop was demolished in 2011.[108]

Thrissur is home to prominent malayalam literary figures like Kovilan, Kunhunni Mash, Sukumar Azhikode, K. Satchidanandan, Mullanezhi, Sarah Joseph, Attoor Ravi Varma, Lalitha Lenin, P. Bhaskaran, Joseph Mundassery.[109]

Temples, Churches and Mosques[edit]

One of the four Vadakumnathan Temple Gates, inside the Swaraj Maidan.

The Vadakkunnathan temple believed to have been founded by the legendary saint Parasurama, is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture and houses several sacred shrines and with beautiful murals delineating graphically, various episodes from the Mahabharata. Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, one of the largest Sree Krishna temples in Kerala and Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple which is one of the largest Bagavathi temples in Kerala is also situated in the city. Asia's tallest church, the Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica (Puthan Pally), Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral which has an underground shrine, is a masterpiece of architecture. Mart Mariam Cathedral, the oldest church in the city, which belongs to the Assyrian Church of the East also known as Chaldean Syrian Church of the East, is situated in Thrissur. The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church and the St. Anthony's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, also known as Chinna Roma (Small Rome) are also in Thrissur. The Chettiyangadi Hanafi Mosque in Thrissur city is one of the old mosques in Kerala.

Cuisine[edit]

The cuisine of Thrissur is linked to its history, geography, demography and culture. Rice is the staple food. Achappam and Kuzhalappam are popular snacks. Vellayappam, a kind of rice hopper is another dish which is special to the city.

Education[edit]

Main article: Education in Thrissur

Already known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala, it is also fast developing as an education hub .[110][111] The City has traditionally been a centre of learning from ancient times. With the decline of Buddhism and Jainism and due to the growing supremacy of Brahminism during the revival of Hinduism, the City became an important centre of Sanskrit learning.[112][113] Schools in Thrissur City are either run publicly by the Kerala Government or privately, some with financial aid from the Government. The medium of education is either English or Malayalam, with the former being the majority. Most schools are affiliated with the Kerala State Education Board or Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) or the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) or the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) or the Montessori system.[113][114] There are 93 lower primary schools; 34 upper primary schools;[115][116] and 78 high schools;[117] and 157[118] higher secondary schools in the city.

With universities like Kerala Kalamandalam, Kerala Police Academy, Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala University of Medical and Allied Sciences and Kerala Institute of Local Administration, the City would add another feather in its crown by having 'World Class University' and a 'Science City'.[119][120][121] With the three medical colleges, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences and a medical university Kerala University of Medical and Allied Sciences, the city has become synonymous with medical education in Kerala. Colleges for engineering, law, veterinary, ayurveda, science, arts and commerce degrees are typically affiliated with the University of Calicut like Government Engineering College, Thrissur, Vidya Academy of Science and Technology, IES College of Engineering, St. Mary's College, Thrissur, St. Thomas College, Thrissur, Sree Kerala Varma College, Sri C. Achutha Menon Government College, St. Aloysius College, Thrissur, Kerala Veterinary College, Mannuthy, Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College, Vimala College, Government Law College, Thrissur, Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur and College of Horticulture.[112]

Healthcare[edit]

Main article: Hospitals in Thrissur

Thrissur city serves as a centre for healthcare in the Central Kerala. The portion covers Thrissur District, Palakkad District, Malappuram District and northern part of Ernakulam District. Most of the people in these districts come to city of Thrissur for their medical care. There are three medical colleges, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences and Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, and few other hi-tech hospitals.

The city has an ancient tradition of Ayurvedic treatment. From the Ashtavaidya tradition, Oushadhi, Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala, Sitaram Ayurvedic Pharmacy Ltd, SNA Oushadhasala, Vaidyamadhaom Vaidyasala and Amala Ayurvedic Hospital & Research Centre located in city of Thrissur,[63] All these firms have been instrumental in spreading the fame of Kerala Ayurvedic treatment, as thousands of overseas patients visit the Ayurvedic treatment facilities in and around Thrissur, every year. Vaidyaratnam runs a medical college and Chikitsalayam, with global standards. Sitaram have a 100 bedded eight storied super speciality hospital in the city of Thrissur, envisaged as the first of its kind Ayurveda super speciality hospital in the country. SNA Oushadhasala is also planning a 100-bedded modern Ayurvedic hospital with modern cottages near the present SNA Nursing Home. Besides, SNA is also planning to set up a modernised exclusive Ayurvedic manuscript library.[63]

Sports[edit]

V.K.N. Menon Indoor Stadium is the only indoor stadium in Thrissur city
Main article: Football in Thrissur

Thrissur city has been the breeding ground for the Kerala footballers, and Football is the most popular sport in the city. There are two football stadiums in Thrissur, Thrissur Municipal Corporation Stadium and Thope Stadium. Famous international players and former Indian captains C. V. Pappachan, I. M. Vijayan and Jo Paul Ancheri belong to Thrissur. The N.I. David Memorial Trophy, an annual inter-club football tournament is held in Thrissur every year. The football championship was started in 1996 by the then Superintendent of Police, Thrissur.[122][123][124][125][126] The city has a floodlit stadium, known as Thrissur Municipal Corporation Stadium.[127] It also has two indoor stadiums, V.K.N. Menon Indoor Stadium and a Sports Authority of India (SAI) maintained Thrissur Aquatic Complex with international facilities. Thrissur has contributed many national and international bodybuilding stars to India such as TV Poly and VM Basheer.[127]

Media[edit]

The first Malayalam newspaper which published from Thrissur was Lokamanyan in 1920. Then came Deenbandhu edited by V. R. Krishnan Ezhuthachan. Ezhuthachan started publishing as a weekly in 1941 from Thrissur. It was one of the first periodicals that supported the national movement. As soon as the Quit India movement was started, its editor and staff were sent to jail and publications were banned.[128] Later Lokamanyan (1920); Kerala Chintamani (1905); Kerala Kesari (1924); Mahatma (1930); Gomathy (1930) and Navajeevan of Joseph Mundassery was also published from Thrissur.[129][130][131]The Express started in 1944 from Thrissur with K Krishanan as the editor is very popular in Central Kerala for its nationalist and socialist views.[128] Major Malayalam newspapers published in Thrissur include Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam, Deepika, Kerala Kaumudi, Deshabhimani, Mangalam, Veekshanam, Metro Vaartha and Janayugom. A number of evening papers, like General in Malayalam and City Journal in English, are also published from the City. Newspapers in other regional languages like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu are also available in city.

Malayalam daily newspaper Mathrubhumi's Thrissur office

The first cinema hall in Kerala, with a manually operated film projector, was opened in Thrissur by Jose Kattookkaran in 1907. In 1913, the first electrically operated film projector was established in city again by Jose Kattookkaran and was called the Jose Electrical Bioscope now famously known as Jose Theatre.[132][133][134] Ragam, Ramdas, Girija, Kairali, Sree, Jose, Swapna and Bindhu are the theatres which show Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi movies in the city.

A film festival, known as ViBGYOR Film Festival, is held in the city every year. It is an international short and documentary film festival. Telephony services are provided by various players like Aircel, Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Docomo, MTS, Uninor, Tata Indicom and the state owned BSNL. BSNL is also offering 3G services in Thrissur which will enhance services such as multimedia, high speed mobile broadband, Internet access with the ability to view video footage on mobile handsets.[135] The city also have Broadband wireless services on WiMAX platform.[136][137]

Private FM radio stations in the Thrissur are Club FM 104.8 MHz, Radio Mango 91.9  MHz,[138] BEST FM 95 by (Asianet Communications Limited), Red FM 91.1 MHz.[139] All India Radio has an AM (630 kHz) and an FM (101.1 MHz) station for the city.[140] The transmitter of the All India Radio (630 kHz) was commissioned on 4 November 1956. The station started independent broadcasting in 1974.[141][142] Thrissur has a Doordarshan studio with a low power transmitter located near the studio.[143][144][145]

Picture gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]