Visitor attractions in Thrissur
Thrissur pronunciation (help·info) (Malayalam: തൃശൂര്), formerly known as Trichur, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. Thrissur city is built around a 65-acre (260,000 m2) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan, which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple. This area is the city's cultural and spiritual centre, offering, in addition to religious experiences, an array of festivals and historical and natural sights.
Thrissur is known for the Thrissur Pooram festival, the most colourful and spectacular temple festival in Kerala. The festival is held at the Thekkinkadu Maidan in April or May. Thrissur has a large number of well-known temples including Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, Vadakkumnathan temple and Paramekkavu temple, as well as two famous churches, the Our Lady of Lourdes Syro-Malabar Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral and the Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours (Puthan Pally). The city is also the venue of Pulikali during Onam celebrations in August or September.
- Kodungallur Bharani
The second largest film festival in Kerala, Thrissur International Film Festival is an annual event. Nearly 100 films from 20 countries are screened.
Thrissur Pooram is called 'the pooram of all poorams' (festival). It is the biggest of all poorams held in Kerala state, and is celebrated every year in the month of Medam (mid-April to mid-May) as per the Malayalam calendar. Thrissur City plays host, for 36 hours from the wee hours of the pooram day, to one of the largest collections of people and elephants. The richly decorated elephant, as seen during the Thrissur Pooram, is now globally recognised, and its association with Kerala. On the pooram day, fifty or more elephants pass through the very center of Thrissur City, the Vadakkunnathan Temple. The main features of the pooram are these decorated elephants with their nettipattam (decorative golden headdress), beautifully crafted kolam, decorative bells and ornaments. Added to this is the panchavadyam, the rhythmic beating of the drum, and what would be a cacophony otherwise is turned into an organized but spontaneous symphony. The fireworks display in the early hours of the next day rivals shows held anywhere in the world, without even using many of the modern pyrotechnics.
Conducted ahead of the famous Thrissur Pooram in Thekkinkadu Maidan, the most visited exhibition in Kerala is an idea of freedom fighters from Thrissur city to promote Indian products. The festival's official name is All India Agricultural, Industrial, Educational and Cultural Exhibition.
Considered to be the largest alternative film festival in South Asia, the festival is held every year in February at Thrissur city.
Earlier known as Vadakkekara Palace, this palace was reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin, well as Sakthan Thampuran. In its Bronze Gallery one can find bronze statues belonging to the period between the 12th and the 18th centuries. The Sculpture Gallery displays granite statues from the 9th century to the 17th century. The Numismatics Gallery systematically displays ancient coins which were in circulation in the former province of Kochi and neighbouring kingdoms. The History Gallery depicts some of the milestones of the Kochi dynasty. The Epigraphy Gallery showcases the genesis and evolution of ancient writings.
This 65-acre (260,000 m2) hillock which seats the Vadakkumnathan Temple is oval shaped open ground in the centre of the Thrissur City which is under the custody of the Cochin Devaswom Board (CDB). It hosts the spectacular cultural festival Thrissur Pooram. King of Cochin, Rama Varma Sakthan Thampuran, constructed the Thekkinkadu Maidan at the heart of Thrissur City after destroying the forest around the Vadakkumnatha Temple despite the resistance of Brahmin priests and other orthodox groups of people.
The Kole Wetlands provides 40 percent of Kerala's rice requirement and acts as a natural drainage system for Thrissur city and Thrissur District. This is one of largest, highly productive and threatened wetlands in Kerala and has been declared in Ramsar Convention for protection. It is in the Central Asian Flyway of migratory birds. In terms of the number of birds, the Thrissur Kole Wetlands is the third largest in India. It has been recognised as one of India's Important Bird Areas by BirdLife International.
Vanchikulam in older days was a waterway connecting all parts of Kerala, especially Ernakulam District. It was a big trading hub where goods and people were transported to different parts of Kerala state and to the nearby ports.
This 50-acre (200,000 m2) beautiful green hillock is a popular picnic spot and recreation centre among young and old. The hill, which is covered in thick bush, gives a panoramic view of the whole Thrissur City from the top. The view includes thousands of acres of green paddy fields intercepted by water-filled kole lands, streams and verdant villages below.
Museums and zoos
This museum displays collections of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery. It showcases a rare collection of paintings and artifacts to create awareness about the architectural heritage of the state among the public as well as the students of archeology. Bearing a distinct mark of traditional and western influence in its construction, the stately Archeological Museum in Thrissur boasts of a rare collection of exhibits well preserved for posterity. The museum has the largest collection of excavated materials from Megalithic sites in Kerala.
This is the first and only museum in Kerala state dedicated to the local mural arts. It also houses excavated materials from Indus Valley Civilization, Harappa and Cheraman Parambu, Kodungallur. Another main attraction of the museum is manuscripts written on dry palm leaves, known as Olagrandhangal in Malayalam.
Spread over an area of 13.5 acres (55,000 m2) of land, this is home to a wide variety of mammals, reptiles and birds. A special building houses snakes. The zoo includes some rare and endangered species. The variety of wildlife in the Thrissur zoo includes tigers, lions, deer, sloth bears, monkeys, hippopotamuses, camels, cobras, kraits, vipers, and rat snakes.
Dedicated to Vallathol Narayana Menon, popularly known as Mahakavi Vallathol, this museum exhibits most of his personal belongings. Situated near the banks of Nila, this museum was the residence of the poet who built Kerala Kalamandalam, a centre of training in Kerala arts.
This is the tallest church tower in India and Asia. The 260 feet (79 m) tower stands tall elegantly behind two towers of 140 feet (43 m) height. The red cross on the top of the Bible Tower is lit to show the presence of the Roman Catholic Church in Thrissur. It can be seen from anywhere in the Thrissur city. In the tower one can see the childhood of Christ carved in wood, the healing of Christ depicted in stained glass, the miracles of Christ in brass, the sufferings of Christ in oil paints, beautiful paintings of apostles in terra cotta, mural paintings of the life history of St. Thomas, and the glorious resurrection of Christ depicted in canvas.
The temple dates back 3,000 years and has been the host of the most ancient and well-known yearly Devamela, a festival when all gods and goddesses assemble at Arattupuzha.
This is the fourth biggest temple in India in terms of the number of devotees per day. It is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus of Kerala and is often referred to as "Bhuloka Vaikunta", which translates to the "Holy Abode of Vishnu on Earth".
- Paramekkavu Temple
Built in the 9th century, this temple is the only one Shaivite Thiruppathies in Kerala out of 274 in India. The temple has mural paintings and is a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. It has the oldest reference in history in old Tamil Sangam literature. The temple is one of the oldest Shiva temples in South India, where Lord Shiva is said to live along with his whole family. This temple has a healthy relation with Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.
Nestled in the heart of Thrissur city, Vadakkunnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. The temple is a classic example of the architectural style of Kerala and has monumental towers on all four sides and also a kuttambalam. Mural paintings depicting various episodes from Mahabharata can be seen inside the temple. According to popular local lore, this is the first temple built by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu.
Considered one of the largest churches in Kerala, this church is dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. The church is noted for its imposing interior. The main attraction is an underground shrine, considered a masterpiece of architectural design.
If there is any church in South India which can be compared with the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City, it is St. Anthony's Forane Church in Ollur. Every inch of space in the church is decorated, under both western and indigenous influences, with the highest achievements of the painter, the sculptor, the ceramics worker, the carpenter, the goldsmith, the bronze artisan, or the architect - using every media known or imaginable like gold, silver, iron, bronze, wood, ivory, and stone, including laterite, granite, and precious stones. A unique feature of the church is its number and variety of the angel images, of which there are more than five thousand images of angels in the church, in fresco, mural, wood, plaster, stone, metal and ivory. The paintings of the church cover an area of thousands of square feet and are considered one of the most beautiful ones in the whole of Kerala.
Established in 52 AD by St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is the first church in the Indian subcontinent. It is the oldest church in India and is called an Apostolic Church credited to the Apostolate of St. Thomas who preached and also started conversion of people to Christianity here.
Beaches and backwaters
Located in Mala, this is the oldest synagogues in India. The synagogue was built by Cochin Jews with the wood donated to Joseph Rabban by the erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin. It was attacked by Tipu Sultan's army during the Second Anglo-Mysore War.
Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and the Sholayar ranges, this 24-metre (80 ft) waterfall is the popular tourist destination. It is nicknamed "The Niagara of India".
Locally known as Chettuva Fort, this fort was constructed by the Dutch East India Company with the permission from the Kingdom of Cochin in 1714. The fort was captured and recaptured many times by the British Empire, Dutch East India Company, Kingdom of Mysore, Zamorin of Calicut and Kingdom of Cochin. The fort is now in a dilapidated condition.
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