Thrissur is the cradle of culture and art forms in Kerala and is termed as the cultural capital of the state. The city is home to many ancient temples, historical attractions and various cultural centers like Kerala Kalamandalam, Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy.
Every year hundreds of tourists come to this city to witness Thrissur Pooram, a grand temple festival that features colorful processions of elephants, fireworks and much more. Apart from the religious and cultural centers, Thrissur is also famous for scenic beaches, forest reserves, and waterfalls. Whether you are a native or a tourist visiting Kerala, here is our list of best places to visit in Thrissur.
Thrissur city is built around the iconic Vadakkumnathan temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. The temple is a typical example of ancient Kerala architecture featuring low, tiled roofs, woodwork, and the famous koothambalam or theatre hall with sloping roofs of metal plates. The Vadakkumnathan temple is also well known for its murals depicting scenes from the Mahabharata as well as exquisite paintings and carvings. Thekkinkadu maidanam, a large ground surrounding the temple, is the main venue of the Thrissur Pooram.
Shakthan Thampuran Palace is another historic landmark in the city. It was previously the royal abode of Rama Varma Shakthan Thampuran, the King of Cochin. This palace was constructed in 1795 and was converted into a museum in 2005. The palace features a blend of Kerala and the Dutch style of architecture is a treasure trove of history. The palace garden is an ideal place in the city to enjoy a day out.
Athirappilly waterfalls is one of the most scenic natural attractions in Thrissur district. It is the largest waterfall in Kerala and is often termed as the “Niagara Falls of India”. The waterfalls originate from the Anamudi mountain range of the Western Ghats. Athirappilly is located at 60 km from the city. You can also plan to visit the beautiful Vazhachal waterfalls, located just a few minutes’ drives away from Athirappilly.
Guruvayoor is a renowned pilgrim town which attracts Hindu devotees from all across India. The famous Sree Krishna Temple in Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred temples in South India. The temple attracts lakhs of devotees every year. Often called the Dwaraka of the South, Guruvayoor temple boasts of classic mural paintings that depict stories from Hindu mythology. It is located at a distance of about 27 km from Thrissur.
Thrissur Zoo and State Museum is located right in the heart of the city and is spread across an area of 13.5 acres. It is an ideal picnic spot for school children and families as it is home to a wide variety of animals, reptiles, and birds. Apart from the zoo, there is a Zoological Garden, Botanical Garden, a Natural History Museum and an Art Museum in the same compound. When you are in Thrissur, don’t forget to visit this place as it will give you an opportunity to explore the flora & fauna of the region.
Kerala Kalamandalam is situated in the village of Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur District. It is a Deemed University of Arts and Culture founded in 1927 by the renowned poet Vallathol Narayana Menon. The institute was established to preserve the cultural value of classical Indian art forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kudiyattam, Thullal, Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Nangiar Koothu, Panchavadyam and other musical instruments. It is located in a serene locality on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River.
If you like to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and breathe fresh air, head to Vilangan Kunnu, a hillock located about 9 km from the city. The hill is often termed as the ‘Oxygen jar of Thrissur city’. An open-air theatre, children’s park, and Kudumbashree canteen have been set up to attract visitors. The route to the hill opens at the highway near Amala Hospital. The entry to the hill is allowed from 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM.
Basilica of Our Lady of Dolores, also known locally as Puthan Palli is believed to be the first Catholic Church in India, and the third tallest church in Asia. The church is renowned for its Indo-Gothic style architecture and Bible tower with murals depicting the life history of Jesus Christ. The chapel has 15 altars and has two bell towers standing at the height of 140 ft which is visible from anywhere in the town. The exquisite decorations and fine paintings that adorn the church interiors will make you feel in awe.
If you are someone who is keen about learning more about Ayurveda and its importance, we suggest you visit the Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum located near Ollur in Thrissur district. It was established in 2013 to showcase the history and evolution of Ayurvedic medicine. The museum has separate galleries with presentations about the history of Ayurveda and its traditions. The museum also has a 3D gallery, a library with a huge collection of ancient scripts and texts used by Ashtavaidyas, a digital library with a large collection of videos related to Kerala Ayurvedic treatments and digital palm leaf manuscripts. The museum is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on all days except Mondays.
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