Air: The nearest
airport is at Cochin, 78 kms away.
Rail: Trichur is
an important railway station on the Southern Railway and is
linked to most major towns inside and outside
roads connect Trichur to several important centres. Both KSRTC
and private operators run bus services. There are direct buses
to Palani, Madurai, Bangalore, Mysore, Erode and
For local transport there are auto rickshaws, yellow-top and
tourist taxis and buses. Trichur Map
Trichur - The Cultural Capital
The name of this town, often called the cultural
capital of Kerala, derives from ‘Tiru- Shiva Perur’ or the town with
the name of Lord Shiva. Appropriately enough, the town is built
around a hillock atop which is its most prominent feature, the
Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or temple, which has Shiva as its presiding
deity. Adi Sankaraacharya is supposed to have spent his last days in
this temple.Trichur’s rise as a town of importance is
attributed top Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as ‘Sakthan
Thampuran’, who ascended the throne of the State of Cochin in 1790.
Large areas of Trichur were captured by the latter half of the 18th
century; Tripu Sultan held sway over Trichur 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 Tekkinkadu. Today the forest has
given way to one of the most important examples of Kerala temple
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 ‘kuttambalam’ or theatre hall
with sloping roofs of metal plates within which is performed the old
dramatic arts from of ‘chakiar koothu’. The Vadakkumnathan temple is
also well known for its murals depicting the Mahabharatha as well as
exquisite paintings carvings.
The most spectacular festival is Pooram celebrated
at the Vadakkumnathan Temple every year during April-May. Though
non- Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, Kerala’s grandest
temple pageantry, which included colorful processions of caparisoned
elephants and a midnight fireworks display, can be witnessed from
the crowded streets of Trichur.The Kerala Kalamandalam, the Kerala Sahitya
Academy and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are all situated in
and around Trichur, as are the Nataka Niketan, the Nritta
Kalalayalam and the Rama Varma Research Institute. These centers
have lent the town the status of Kerala’s cultural
capital.Within the zoo compound is the small Art Museum,
which has a good collection of wood carvings, metal sculptures,
Kathakali figures and ancient jewellery. The timings are the same as
for the zoo.During Onam (August / September) there is the
annual Kandassamkadavu Boat Race.If you’ve ever wondered what the ‘Gulf boom’
means, visit Chavakkad, a town in Trichur district, which is perhaps
Kerala’s quintessential ‘Gulf town’. You will find fancy,
ostentatious houses built with the remittances of Malayalee migrant
labour in the Middle East countries. And if you’re luck enough to be
invited into one, don’t be shocked by the Sonys and Panasonics and
If you’re lucky, you might even spot a wild tusker
or two on the forested banks, which from part of the 125 sq km .
Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. If you’re more found of hills, a
good picnic spot is Vilangankunnu, 7 km from Trichur.Situated at the junction where the river meets the
sea, 36 km south-west of Trichur, is Kodungalloor or Cranganore, its
old Anglicised name. It is almost an island bounded on the west by
the Arabian Sea and by the river mouths of Chetvai and Azhikode on
the north and south and by the backwaters in the east. Kodungalloor
can also be reached by boat from Cochin, an exhilarating 5-hour
trip.An important part in ancient times, the Greeks as
Musiris knew Kodungalloor. St. Thomas the Apostle is believed to
have landed here in 5 A.D. It was the capital of Cheraman Perumal,
King of Kerala. The place where
his palace stood is today called
Cheramanparambu. Other places worth visiting are the ancient
Tiruvanchikulam temple, the Bhagwati temple, the Portuguese fort and
the old mosque. This mosque, similar in appearance to a Hindu
temple, is believed to be the first mosque in India, dating to
around 643 A. D.The Rama temple at Triprayar, 25 km away, features
architecture similar to the Vadakkumnathan temple. At Irinjalakuda,
21 km from Trichur, is a temple Bharatha, probably the only temple
in India dedicated to the brother of Lord Rama.
East of Chalakudy, near the entrance to the
Sholayar forest ranges are the beautiful water falls of Athirampally
and Vazhachal, 5 km apart.The 408-year-old Jewish Synagogue in Mala of
Thrissur district would be renovated by the District Tourism
Promotion Council at a cost of Rs. 1.2 million. The renovation works
of the Synagogue would be carried out without altering the basic
structure. The adjoining cemetery that has two parts would be
beautified and a garden with necessary lighting and parking
facilities would be set up. Established in 1597, the Synagogue was
the place of worship for around 30 families who had settled in Mala.
In the first half of 1950s these families migrated to Israel."
Places to visit :
The cradle of Kathakali training in India, Kerala Kalamandalam is located on the banks of Kerala's longest river, the Bharathapuzha in Cheruthuruthy. The state's flagship training school for Kathakali dance drama and other indigenous performing arts of Kerala, Kalamandalam was founded in 1927 AD by the revered poet Vallathol. North of Trichur, 20 km away, near the Shoranur Railway Junction, is Cheruthuruthy, home of the renowned Kerala Kalamadalm, founded by the poet Vallathol and today the repository of the tradition of the kathakali dance from. It is in this academy that the best of Kerala’s kathakali performers get their rigorous training. The institution also offers training in music, drama and other dance froms including mohiniyattam, koodiyettam and thullal.For an enchanting getaway, head for the Peechi dam, 23 km from Trichur. An irrigation projects site, it offers boating facilities as the reservoir.The Kalamandalam troupes tour all over the world with their performances. But you don’t have to wait to see one for you can visit the center free to watch the training sessions from 0430 to 0630 hrs, 0830 to 1200 hrs and 1530 to 1730 hrs daily. It is closed on weekend, March 31, June 15 all public holidays. Vacations are during April and May.Kathakali and other dance performances that start at 2030 hrs and go no until daybreak are held here every year on January 26, August 15. September 18 and November 8. Entry id free. For further information, contact the Secretary, Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruhty, Trichur - 679 531.
Among Kerala’s more colourful festivals is the annual ‘pooram’ festival in April/May at Arattupuzha. This is when idols from 41 temples of the neighbouring areas are brought in procession at night to Arattupuzha village.
Thrissur is best known for its mammoth Pooram Festival, which is the most colourful and spectacular temple festival of Kerala. The legends and myths behind each festival of Kerala are many, varied and equally interesting. Since the word pooram literally means a group or a meeting, it was believed that every year the dynastic gods and goddesses of neighbouring province met together for a day of celebration. This usually happened on the pooram asterism of one of the spring months.Some of the main Pooram celebrations are at Aratupuzha, Thrissur, Uthralikavu, Cheeramkulangara, Pariyanampetta, Mannarkad, Perumanam, Aryankavu, Mangottu, Medamkulangara, Kodikal, Thirumandhamkunnu etc. Traditionally, two groups representing the main geographic divisions of Thrissur, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi, rival to add to the Pooram's grandeur. Both teams field face to face arrays of richly caparisoned elephants.
The famous Ayyappa temple at Aarattupuzha is just 14 kms from Thrissur, and celebrates its annual pooram festival during March.
The final pooram is conducted with sixty one caparisoned elephants bearing bright coloured umbrellas and parasols, presenting an unparalleled spectacle. The temple ensemble lends a majestic tenor to the extravaganza.
Vadakkumnathan Temple Vadukkumnnatha is a prominent Shiva temple, in downtown Thrissur, Kerala.
This is one of Kerala's most ancient shrines, which also houses a museum of ancient wall paintings, wood carvings and art pieces of immense historical value.The 'Pooram' festival, falling in April/ May, attracts devotees and tourists from all over the world. It is a spectacular event, combining the majestic elephant pageantry with the frenzied playing of drums and cymbals and rounded off with a fireworks extravaganza. The Vadakkumnathan Temple is open for worship from 0400 to 1030 hrs and 1700 to 2030 hrs. However, non- Hindus are not allowed inside. For a sight of mural paintings from all over Kerala, visit the Town Hall, an imposing building with a picture gallery or ‘chitralayam.’
'Machattuvela' also known as 'Machattu Mamangam' is celebrated with great pomp, pageantry and splendour on the last day of the five-day annual festival at Machattu Thiruvanikavu Temple near Vadakkancherry, Thrissur.
Athirapilly and Vazhachal Waterfalls
Athirappalli and Vazhachal, the two scenic and popular waterfalls on the edge of the Sholayar forest ranges are just 5 km apart.
The falls are very popular with tourists. Athirappally is located 78 kms from Kochi, located at the entrance to Sholayar ranges, this waterfall is a popular picnic spot.
Affording to the onlookers, one of the most bewitching sights, Athirappally Falls is about 80ft. high and located in the forest area.
Combined with the greenery, it infuses freshness into any tired soul. The Athirapally Falls join the Chalakkudy River after plummeting a drop of 80 feet.
Vazhachal is a picturesque spot just a short drive from Athirapally and is adjacent to dense green forestland. Vazhachal is part of the Chalakkudy River.
Both the waterfalls, their cool, misty waters cascading down in the backdrop of thick green forest and rocky terrain, are a scintillating experience to visitors.
Peechi Vazhani Wildlife
The Peechi-Vazhani Sanctuary comprising of the dense, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests is situated in the catchment area of the Peechi and Vazhani dams.With more than 50 species of orchids and medicinal plants, the sanctuary is a veritable treasure trove of rare flora and fauna. The place is congenial for boating and trekking.
Thriprayar Temple, located south of Thrissur is one of the important temples dedicated to Lord Rama. The exquisite wood carvings, sculptures and Mural Paintings are an interesting sight. The temple festival is held in November / December and includes a parade of 17 elephants. During the Onam festival in the months of August / September, there is a snake boat race. There are regular buses to Thriprayar from the Shakthan Thamburan bus stand.
Guruvayoor, where the famous Sree Krishna Temple is situated, is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of kerala. The walls of the sanctum sanctorum are inlaid with exquisite mural paintings and carvings.
In Kerala, this is probably the only temple that hosts the maximum number of marriages and rice feeding ceremonies (the ritual first meal for infants).
It was also the hub of the 'Guruvayoor Sathyagraha' , a historic movement demanding temple entry rights for the 'so called' lower castes.
The historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to local belief, the temple was created by 'Guru', the 'preceptor of the gods' and 'Vayu', the 'god of winds'. The eastern 'nada' is the main entrance to the shrine.
In the 'Chuttambalam' (outer enclosure) is a 33.5-m tall gold-plated 'Dwajastambham' (flagpost). There is also a 7 m high 'Deepastambham' (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly brillant spectacle, when lit. The square 'Sreekovil' is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple, there are also the images of Ganapathy, Sree Ayyappa and Edathedathy Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.Punnathoorkotta, which is at a distance of 2 kms from Guruvayoor is home of 50 temple elephants, offers unusual spectacles of the gentle pachyderm.