With its many institutes, temples and the flamboyant Pooram festival,Thrissur is Kerala’s capital city of culture and also a popular pilgrimage destination. Tucked away from the sea, Thrissur is situated in central Kerala. The Vadakkunnathan Temple dominates the landscape of this pilgrim centre. Thrissur is actually built around the hill (locally called Round) that this temple to Shiva is on. Though dedicated predominantly to Shiva, there are some shrines to Vishnu and a Jain saint. Open to non-Hindus only during Pooram, this temple is renowned for it’s richly carved timber roofs and the elaborate murals inside.
How to Reach Thrissur?
By Air : The closest airport to Thrissur is the Nedumbassery International Airport at Kochi. Kochi is approximately 79 kms and a 3 hour drive from Thrissur. You can hire a cab or take a bus from here to Thrissur. From Kochi to Thrissur is also an easy 2-hour train journey.
By Rail : Thrissur has a railway staion which is touched by a host of significant services connecting the region with the rest of the country. Located 65 Kms away from the airport, the railway station is just a short walk from the Vaddakunnathan Temple. A few trains arriving at this railhead include Trivandrum Mail (from Chennai Central), Kerala Express (from New Delhi Railway Station) and Mumbai - Kanyakumari Express (from Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus).
By Road : The state transport and privately operated services have separate bus stops. State transport has a larger network with buses plying from Chennai (13 hours), Thiruvananthapuram (8 hours), Kochi (3 hours), Kozhikode (3 ½ hours), Kottayam and Palakkad (1 ½ hours).
Best Time to Visit Thrissur
The best time to visit Thrissur are between October- February, when you can escape the heat and humidity of summer coupled with abrupt showers. But if you can brave the heat and humidity in April-May, there’s a good chance that you may catch a glimpse of the 8-day Pooram festival.
Things to do in Thrissur
The list of things to do in Thrissur depends on your interests. The culturally inclined can visit the Archaeological Museum to view the splendid murals and other artifacts on display. To follow the history of the age old dance forms in Kerala pay a visit to Cheraturuthy 32 km away – this is where Kathakali has been kept alive to date and the school of dance here will provide insights into this unique dance form.
Wildlife enthusiast can venture into the realms of the Silent Valley Park forests and check out the wildlife and flora and fauna in the area.
Thrissur has its share of old temples and churches that are replete with beautiful carvings and murals. Shop for local handicrafts and good quality silk textiles and saris to take back home as a reminder of your visit to this part of the world.
Places Near Thrissur
If you are looking for places near Thrissur that you can visit, here are some suggestions. Silent Valley National Park on the border with Tamil Nadu is a hidden verdant paradise and a city getaway from Thrissur. Virgin rainforest covers the area and in it are harboured over a hundred varieties of orchid. At 2000 meters, bordering the Kunthi River, this small sanctuary has a variety of flora and fauna. Some animals found here are the Nilgiri tahr, bison, and the black-faced Nilgiri langur.
Cheraturuthy 32 km from Trichur and near the town of Shornur, has the Kerala Kalamandalam that promotes Keralan dance and theatre and almost single-handedly prevented the ritualised dance drama form of Kathakali from dying out. The oldest surviving theatre form in the world is Kuttiyattam. In Kerala Kalamandalam it is studied and performed. Legends like the director Peter Brook have come here to study the form.
Hotels in Thrissur – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Thrissur ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.