Thrissur  (formerly Trichur) is a popular city in the central part of Kerala in Southern India.It is known as cultural capital of Kerala, with numerous of cultural institutions, art centers, museums etc.
Thrissur is one of the oldest cities in Kerala. The legend says, the city was the town created by Lord Parasurama (6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu) soon after formation of Kerala, by creating a large Shiva temple. The entire city is formed around the grand Shiva temple known as Vadakumnathan Temple. The temple is in the center of a mega roundabout that is of 64 acres. This round is known as Swaraj Round. All roads connect to this.
Perhaps when Indians think of Thrissur, the first image would be the famous Thrissur Pooram festival, the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. This is also known as largest festival in Kerala. The festival is at the Vadakkumnathan temple grounds, in April or May. The city is equally famous for the final celebrations of the Onam festival, which is the national festival of Kerala. It hosts the famous Pulikali during Onam celebrations in August or September (depends on Malayalam calendar). Apart from festivals and culture, Thrissur is also well known as one of the best shopping centers in Kerala for silks and gold ornaments. The city is also known as Entrepreneurial City, due to presence of large number of entrepreneurs working in various trades.
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 Thiru-Siva-Perur, meaning 'the Big Town of Lord Siva'. The name is appropriate, for Thrissur derives its main glory from Vadakunnathan Temple, (Vadakunnathan, Lord of the North) 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 port of Chera Kings mentioned in Silapathikaram of Sangam Tamil Period.
From very early times Thrissur has been a centre of learning and, with the decline of Buddhism and Jainism and the establishment of the supremacy of Brahmanism during the revival of Hinduism, Thrissur 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 Thrissur and died here. Sankara Acharya's disciples Hastamalaka, Thotaka, Padmapada and Sudhachara established in the town four Maddams, namely the Northern Madam, the Middle Madam, the ln-Between Madam and the Southern Madam respectively, all of which are extant except the In-Between one.
Thrissur 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 Thrissur 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 Thrissur. The town is built around a hillock atop which is the Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or temple which has Shiva as the presiding deity.
Thrissur rose in importance due to Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran who ascended the throne of Kochi in 1790. Large areas of Thrissur were captured by the Zamorins of Kozhikode in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the latter half of the 18th century, Tipu Sultan held sway over Thrissur until the European domination began under the Portuguese, 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 Indian Temples. This temple features low, tiled roofs, an abundance of woodwork, and the famous koothambalam or theater 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, Chalakudy, Karuvannur and Ponnani (Bharatha Puzha) are the main river systems in the district.
A place of great antiquity, Thrissur 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 Thrissur District. The Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka are situated in Thrissur 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
Witness world-renowned Thrissur Pooram, arguably the most famous festival of Kerala and is called the pooram of all poorams. The festival is held in the premises of the Vadakkumnatha temple, a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture. The festival highlights include, among other things, a spectacular pageant of 30 caparisoned elephants and Kudamattom, a competition in the swift rhythmic changing of brightly coloured and sequined parasols.
Dress like Big Cat to attend Puli Kali, on the fourth day of Onam, where Puli Kali troupes from all over the district assemble to display their skills.
Take a stroll in Thekkinkadu Maidan, which seats the Vadakkumnathan temple and host the spectacular cultural festival, Thrissur Pooram, which is considered the 'Mother of all Poorams in Kerala.
The Bible Tower, is the tallest church tower in Asia. It can be seen from anywhere in the Thrissur city.
Considered as the Gold Capital of India, gold ornament are widely sold.
Ride an elephant in Thekkinkadu Maidan, widely acclaimed as the land of elephant lovers.
Sip a cup of coffe at Indian Coffee House in Thrissur Round, one of culture mascots of Kerala.
One of the contributions of Thrissur to the world of economics. Recognised by RBI as 'Banking town, Thrissur houses the headquarters of three banks.
Thrissur has many century old tradition in drug manufacturing and treatment.
Thrissur is treasure of temples and churches
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.
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.