Difference between revisions of "Thrissur"
Revision as of 09:42, 27 January 2010
It is the head quarters of the district with the same name. It is an important cultural centre, and is known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala. It is famous for the Thrissur Pooram festival, the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. The festival is held near the Vadakkumnathan temple, in April or May. Also the venue of Pulikali during Onam celebrations in August or September (depends on malayalam calendar). Thrissur is also the best shopping center in Kerala for silks and gold ornaments.
Thrissur city is well connected and serviced by rail to all major cities in India. Daily overnight trains run from Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore and Hyderabad. Long distance trains from Mumbai and Delhi also pass through Thrissur.
Thrissur is well connected to other cities Kochi, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Pollachi by road.
The word Trichur is the anglicized form of the Malayalam name of the town Thri-Siva-Perur, meaning the town of Lord Siva. The name is appropriate, for Trichur derives its main glory from Vadakunnathan Temple, (Vadakunnathan, Lord of the North, is a name of Siva) that dominates the topography of the town.Trichur is of hoary fame, and the origin of Vadakkunnathan Temple is ascribed to Parasurama, the legendary hero who is said to have reclaimed Kerala from the sea by a miraculous feat. In historical times it was a suburb of Musiris (present Cranganore) the capital of the ancient Chera Empire, an international Emporium where most of the ancient trading nationals of the world had their settlements.
From very early times Trichur has been a centre of learning and, with the decline of Buddism and Jainism and the establishment of the supremacy of Brahminism during the revival of Hinduisum, Trichur became an important centre of Sanskrit learning. The great Sankara Acharya had taught Advaita here. After his travels in different regions of India he is believed to have come back and settled in Trichur and died here. Sankara Acharya's disciples Hastamalaka, Thotaka, Padmapada and Sudhachara established in the town four Maddams, namely the Northern Madham, the Middle Madham, the ln-Between Madham and the Southern Madham respectively, all of which are extant except the In-Between one.
Trichur occupies a prominent place in the history and culture of Kerala and is said to be the Cultural Capital of the State. It is also one of the main trade centers in the state.The present Trichur District was carved out of a bigger District of the same name on 1 Apr 1958. It derives its name from the location of its headquarters at Trichur. The town is built around a hillock atop which is the Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or temple which has Shiva as the presiding deity.
Trichur rose in importance due, it is believed, to Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran who ascended the throne of Kochi in 1790. Large areas of Trichur were captured by the Zamorins of Kozhikode in the 14th and 15th centuries. Later, in the latter half of the 18th centuries, Tipu Sultan held sway over Trichur until the European domination began under the Portugese, the Dutch, and the English.
Long ago, the vast open area around the temple was a magnificent teak forest called Thekkinkadu. Today, the forest has given way to one of the most important examples of Kerala's architecture which often does away with the imposing gopurams of South Indiantemples. This temple features low, tiled roofs, an abundance of woodwork, and the famous koothambalam or theatre hall with sloping roofs of metal plates within which is performed the dramatic art form chakiar koothu. The Vadakkumnathan temple is also well-known for its murals depicting scenes from the Mahabharatha as well as exquisite paintings and carvings.
South East corner of the district is bounded by Tamil Nadu. The Periyar, The Chalakudy, The Karuvannur and Ponnani (Bharatha Puzha) are the main river systems in the district.
A place of great antiquity, Trichur was also known by such names as Vrishabhadripuram and Ten Kailasm in ancient days. The famous Kerala Kalamandiram, Cheruthuruthi, founded by the late poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, is in Trichur District. The Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka are situated in Trichur town.
Since the word pooram literally means a group or a meeting, it was believed that every year the dynastic Gods and Goddesses of neighboring provinces met together for a day of celebrations. Trichur Pooram, the Pooram of all Poorams, the most spectacular festival of this cultural capital celebrated at Vadakkumnathan Temple every year during April-May. Though non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, Kerala’s grandest temple pageantry, which includes colourful processions of caparisoned elephants and a midnight fireworks display, parasol exchanges, drum concerts can be witnessed from the crowded streets of Trichur.
Trichur Pooram, the mother of all temple festivals in the state, is essentially one of spectacles. The two devaswams- Thiruvampadi and Paramekkavu- explore and exploit every source at their command to make this annual festival a memorable one.It is celebrated with a colourful procession of caparisoned elephants, parasol exchanges, drum concerts, display of pyro-techniques and refreshing scenes of public participation .During the festival season, Trichur, popularly known as the temple town turns into a town of colour, music and mirth. The Pooram programmes extending about 36 hours begins with the ezhunellippu of the Kanimangalam Shasta in the morning followed by the ezhunnellippu of the other six minor temples on the Pooram Day.
The ezhunnellippu programme which is considered to be a ritual symbolising the visit of the Deities from the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples to the Vadakkunnathan temple. A major event of the Pooram festival is the Panchavadyam in which about 200 artistes from the disciplines of Thimila, Madhalam, Trumpet, Cymbal and Edakka participate. Another major event of the pooram begins with the setting off of the ‘Pandimelam’ at noon in which about 200 artistes in the disciplines of drum, trumpets, pipe and cymbal participate. The grand finale of this festival of colour, music and fire works would be marked with a function of bidding farewell to the deities of the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswams in front of the Western Gate of the Vadakkunnathan Temple.
A noteworthy feature of the pooram festival is the participation of a cross section of people and elephants. The pachyderms emerge out in all their regalia with newly fabricated caparisons. They make their way through the milling crowds drawn from all religions, castes and creed to the accompaniment of ecstatic percussion ensembles. The exhibition of the paraphernalia of elephant decorative, commonly known as ‘Aana Chamayal pradarsanam’, the spectacular show of ‘Kudamattom’ in which parasols of myriad numbers, designs and colours are exchanged by the people atop the elephants. The Pooram festival is concluded with a spectacular fire works display, which is held in the wee hours of the day after the Pooram. The Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswams present many innovative patterns and varieties of fire works which make spectators going into raptures. This famous and magnificent display of fireworks add to the popularity of the Pooram festival.
The most striking feature of the Trichur Pooram is its very secular nature. The Muslim and Christian Communities actively take part in it and they play a very prominent role in the very conduct of the festival. Most of the pandals are the craft work of the experts from the Muslim community
There are many small houses in the small lane near Dolors Basillica which specilizes in selling fresh vellayappams and other delicacies. One should definitely try the delicacies from there. One should definitely try the cuisines from the toddy shops located in small villages.
Thrissur city is generally a safe city for a regular tourist. Take the precautions which you would be regularly taking in various other small cities in India. Beware of Pick pocketing. Certain areas near the bus stands and railway station may not be a good place for women moving around alone in the nights.
Thrissur city has three police stations. The East Police Station located in between the Municipal Bus Stand and 'Sakthan Thampuran' Bus Stand. The West Police Station is located at the suburb of Ayyanthole just next to the District Collectorate (H.Q of the civil administration). The Traffic Police Station is just opposite to the East police station quite close to the Police Club and the Fire Station. Regular patrols of the law and order and the traffic police are present in various parts of the town.
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Thrissur Railway Station is a major station in the Southern Railway network and all important trains stop here. Regular train services are there to Cochin and Palakkad are available from here. Thrissur also has a suburban station Punkunnam, but only local passenger trains and a few express trains stops here.
The 'Sakthan Thampuran' Bus Stand located at the Southern part of the city is the origin point of buses proceeding towards Palakkad.The 'Municipal Bus Stand' located at Round South caters to the local bus transport. From North bus stand, there are buses which goes to Shoranur and Palakkad. The bus station of the state owned Transport corporation (KSRTC) is located at Chettiyangadi and is quite close to the Railway Station.