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Kerala : Central Kerala : Thrissur
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Thrissur [1] (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.

Get in

By air

Kochi International Airport [2], is 58 km away from the city with direct flights from the Middle East, Singapore, Maldives, Europe and Sri Lanka. Kozhikode (Calicut) Airport is 80 km away from city.

Alternatively reach Chennai (Madras), Bangalore, Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, or other Indian cities and then by train.

By train

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.

By bus

You can also reach here by bus from cities like Kozhikode, Mangalore, Kochi, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Mumbai and Coimbatore.

By road

Thrissur is well connected to other cities Kochi, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Pollachi by road.

Get around

  • Bus - local bus service system is cheap.
  • Autorickshaw - Auto rickshaws are the main form of local transport, if you don't have your own means of transportation. Autorickshaws running in the city limits are to use fare meters, while the ones from the adjacent areas need not use them. However it is a rule that such autorickshaws without metres should not pick up passengers within city limits. There is a pre-paid auto rickshaw counter at Thrissur Railway Station.
  • Taxi - Local taxis are also available at cheap rates. Please note that there are no local Taxis (Yellow cabs or the one's having yellow roof and black body). The taxis known as 'Tourist taxis' are meant for long travel or one day trips.
  • Car - There are many car rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive.
  • Bike - Bikes are available for rental in Thrissur. This is available for a week or more than that.
  • Walk - Many places of attractions are near by each other so you could walk between them.


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.



  • Shakthan Thampuran Palace. Named as Vadakkekara Palace, was reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by Sri. Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin, well as Sakthan Thampuran(Greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty) is preserved by Archaeological Department.
  • Archeological & Art Museum. It has a good collection of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewelers.
  • Thrissur Zoo. It is a major attraction for children and students with a variety of animals. There is a special building which houses snakes.
  • Appan Thampuran Smarakam. Established in 1976 at Ayyanthole where Sri. Ramavarma Appanthampuran who lived the Kumarapuram Palace. This is also a cultural museum.
  • Basilica of Our Lady of Dolores. The 1875-built Roman Catholic Minor Basilica is locally called Puthen Palli. The 140 ft long steeple is visible from anywhere in the town. The chapel has 15 altars. It boasts of neo Gothic spires and the largest interior of any church in South India with a lot of mural paintings on the walls and ceilings.
  • Vilangan Kunnu. This hillock has been converted by the tourism department as an amusement park. While grown ups relish the scenic splendor from the hill top. Children can relax and play to their hearts. Lot of people use this place for their morning walk. Early in the morning walking to the top of hillock is a good exercise. View from top of the hill is really good especially at the time of sun rise and sun set. Now this place is under control of Thrissur District Tourism promotion Council and they charge nominal fee for admission to amusement park and parking the vehicle.


  • Athirappilly Falls, (63 km from Thrissur). This 80 feet high waterfall at the threshold of the Sholayar ranges is a popular picnic spot. Two amusement parks, DreamWorld and SilverStorm, are located nearby.
  • Vazhachal, (a short drive from Athirapilly). Close to dense forests and a part of the Chalakudy river.
  • Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, 23 km from city. It is very unique in being the largest elephant park in the world with over 60 elephants.
  • Peechi Dam, (20 km from city). It is a good picnic spot.
  • Chavakad Beach, 25 km. A sea shore for rare scenic beauty. Acknowledged as one of the best beaches along the west coast.
  • Kerala Kalamandalam, (30 km). It is in Cheruthuruthy and was founded by the Poet Sri. Vallathol Narayana Menon, to encourage the study of the ancient arts of Kerala such as Kathakali and Mohiniyattom.
  • Kallayikkunnu, (30 km away, near to Kunnamkulam, exactly 2.5 km from Kunnamkulam on Kozhikode road). This hill station is also known as narimadakkunnu. This is a beautiful place. Many newly married couples prefer this place for still and moving photography, while many film makers also prefer this place for song scenes. Its a place of natural beauty.

Thrissur Pooram

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


  • 1) Participate in the Thrissur Pooram

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.

  • 2) Puli Kali

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.

  • 3) Thekkinkadu Maidan

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.

  • 4) Bible Tower

The Bible Tower, is the tallest church tower in Asia. It can be seen from anywhere in the Thrissur city.

  • 5) Buy gold

Considered as the Gold Capital of India, gold ornament are widely sold.

  • 6) An elephant ride

Ride an elephant in Thekkinkadu Maidan, widely acclaimed as the land of elephant lovers.

  • 7) 'Indian Coffee House

Sip a cup of coffe at Indian Coffee House in Thrissur Round, one of culture mascots of Kerala.

  • 8) Join a Chit fund

One of the contributions of Thrissur to the world of economics. Recognised by RBI as 'Banking town, Thrissur houses the headquarters of three banks.

  • 9) Ayurvedic massage

Thrissur has many century old tradition in drug manufacturing and treatment.

  • 10) Visit a temple and church

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.

  • Mothimahal, MG Road (Near Over bridge), 914872422203. 24/7. Hotel and multi cuisine restaurant.
  • Ming Palace, Round South (Near Ragam Theater), 0091-9447170515, 0091- 487- 2428823. 24/7. Chinese restaurant with international and Indian cuisine.
  • Indian Coffee House, Round North, Vadakke Stand.
  • Mithila Vegetarian Restaurant, Round North.
  • Bharath Hotel, Round South. 8AM-10PM. Vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner. North Indian dishes served after 6PM.
  • Central Hotel, Chembukkavu.
  • Hotel Ambadi, Round West.
  • Hotel Navarathna, Round West (near Khadi Gramodhyog show room). This hotel provides good North Indian food.
  • Trichur Tower Hotels, Sakthan Stand. Multi cuisine restaurant.
  • Joys Palace Hotel, Sakthan Stand. Multi cuisine restaurant.
  • Dass Continental, Sakthan Stand. Multi cuisine restaurant.
  • LuLu Garden Hotels, Lulu International Convention Center, Puzhakkal Padam. Multi cuisine restaurant.
  • Pathans, Round South (Near Ragam Theater). Vegetarian Restaurant


  • Flavors, (at City Center shopping complex). Good shakes and ice cream.
  • Ashoka Bakes, (Near railway station). Juices, shakes.
  • Spoon, (East fort).
  • Delite Bakery, (Near Sakthan Stand).
  • Mothimahal, (Near Over bridge, MG Road).
  • MingPalace, Round South.
  • Bini Bar & Restaurant, Round North.
  • Central Hotel Bar & Restaurant, Chembukkavu.
  • Aramana Bar, Chettiyangadi.
  • Alukkas Bar, Chettiyangadi.
  • Hotel Merlin International, (near Thrissur Railway Station).
  • Kovilakam, (Near Patturaickal Junction).
  • Kolkata Bar & Restaurant, (Off Round South).
  • Yatri Nivas, Chembukkavu.
  • J.P Bar, (West Fort).
  • Kavitha Bar, Punkunnam.
  • Apsara Bar (also known as Parvattani Pottakulam Bar), East Fort.
  • Hotel Krishna, (near Vilangan hills).
  • Hotel Prince, West Fort.
  • Joys Palace, (Near Shakthan Thmapuran Stand).
  • Ashoka Inn, (Near Shakthan Thmapuran Stand).
  • peninzula (restaurant/bar), near ramdas theartre.
  • Getha hotel, Near railway station.
  • Calcutta Bar & Restaurant, Kuruppam Road (Near Railway Station). An old Lodge converted bar, it is today one of the best bars in Thrissur, The food is very good and priced reasonably for bar standards. You have options such as Rooftop, Air-Conditioned, or a room would be made available for more personal conversations.


  • Casino Hotel.
  • Coconut Island, [3]. an exclusive island guesthouse in the backwaters.
  • Dass Continental.
  • Elite International.
  • Krishna, (Near Vilangan Hills).
  • Love Shore Inn, (near the railway station).
  • Merlin International.
  • Pathans.
  • Sidhartha.

Stay Safe

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.

For help dial:

  • 100 - Police Control Room
  • 101 - Fire Brigade Control Room

Health care

  • Govt.Medical College Hospital, Mulankunnathukavu
  • Jubilee Mission Medical College, Mission Quarters
  • Aswini Hospital, Karunakaran Nambiar Road, Thrissur
  • Daya Hospital, Thrissur
  • Amala Medical College, Amala Nagar
  • MAcare Medical and Dental Clinic Valapad, Thripayar
  • Lakshmi Nature Cure and Yoga Center, Viyoor
  • Mother Hospital, Kanjani Road
  • West Fort Hospital, West Fort
  • West Fort Hightech Hospital, Guruvayur Road
  • Elite Hospital, Koorkenchery
  • Metropolitan Hospital, Kokkalai Road
  • Trichur Heart Hospital, S.T Nagar
  • St.Joseph Mission Hospital (a.k.a Choondal Hospital), Choondal
  • District Hospital, Round East
  • Co-Operative Hospital, Shornur Road
  • Balya Hospital for Children, S.T Nagar
  • C.A.M Hospital, Olarikara
  • GEM Hospital, Convent Road
  • E.S.I Hospital, Kanjani Road
  • E.S.I Hospital, M.G.Kavu
  • Vaidya Ratnam Ayurveda Hospital, Ollur
  • Sunethri Ayurvedic Hospital &Speciality centre, Chiyyaram

Get out

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.

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