Thrissur - the cultural capital of Kerala
 
Thrissur an abbreviation of Thiru-Siva-Peruru has always been referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala. The central and the most important feature of Thrissur town is the Vadakkunnathan temple, where the reigning deity is Lord Siva. Centrally located in the State of Kerala this district has a rich history, culture and has archaeological significance. The annual festival of Thrissur Pooram involves two main temples viz. Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu and a host of associated temples, the highlight of which is the kuda mattam ceremony on the final day. The festival is celebrated every year during April-May. 
 
Vadakkunnathan Temple
This is not just another place for worship. It has been the repository of culture and heritage unparalleled in Kerala history. Vadakku in Malayalam means north, but in this case, it is the corrupted form of the word 'Edvam' or 'Sacred Bull'. 'Kunnu' is the Malayalam word for hill. Thus 'Edvakkunnathan' became 'Vadakkunnathan'. The deity is Lord Siva represented by 'Mahalingam' which now cannot be seen due to the mount formed by the traditional offerings or abhisheka with ghee. The exquisite murals in this shrine narrate the story of the epic Mahabharatha. The decorative wall paintings and carvings alone are worth seeing. On the left of the entrance one can see the famous koothambalam (traditional performance stage) a beautiful structure with an elegant sloping roof of metal plates. Ancient dramatic form of Chakkiar Koothu is staged here.
 
Archaeological Museum
This is situated beside the Town Hall Road. Several relics and heirlooms of archaeological importance are kept here.
 
Art Museum
The art museum is in a separate building in the Zoo compound. It is a treat for the connoisseur of art. Good collection of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery are preserved here.
 
Puthan Palli
This is one of the tallest churches in Asia and is known for its Gothic model of architecture.
 
Vilangankunnu
Eight kilometers from Thrissur, on the Kunnamkulam road leads to this picturesque hillock known for its scenic splendour overlooking the sprawling town and countryside.
 
Academies
Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and Kerala Lalithakala Akademi are head quartered in Thrissur making the epithet 'cultural capital of Kerala' more meaningful.
 
Arattupuzha
Arattupuzha temple, situated 16 km from the town on the Thrissur - Kodungallur Road, is known for its annual pooram festival held in April-May every year, which is one of the most colourful carnivals of Kerala.
 
Peechi Dam
This enchanting picnic spot situated 20 km east of Thrissur offers boating facilities in the reservoir. One can see tuskers on the bank of this reservoir.
 
Cheraman Juma Masjid
Kodungallur constructed in A.D. 629 is famous as the first mosque erected in India and also the first in India and second in the world where the Juma prayers were started. People from far and near irrespective of caste and creed visit this holy place and pay their homage. Eid al-Fitr (Ramsan) and Eid ul-Adha (Bakrid) are celebrated here on a grand scale.
 
Athirappally and Vazhachal Waterfalls
A shimmering expanse of tranquil beauty, this waterfall of 80 ft. high is 30 km east of Chalakkudy. Athirappally attracts a large number of eco tourists. Vazhachal, another breathtaking waterfall is 5 km from Athirappally. 
 
Guruvayoor Temple
Guruvayoor, one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala, is 29 km northwest of Thrissur. The main attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna popularly known as Guruvayoorappan. Year round, people throng here in large numbers for worship.
 
Kerala Kalamandalam
Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy was founded in 1930 by Mahakavi Vallathol. It's main objective is to revive, preserve and develop the ancient and traditional art form of Kerala; particularly Kathakali. Now the Kerala Kalamandalam is functioning at Vallathol Nagar with its new building complex at Natyagraha. The old Kerala Kalamandalam is still at Cheruthuruthy on the shore of Nila River (Bharathapuzha). The Samadhi (final resting place) of poet Vallathol, the founder of this famous institution, is in the premises of the old Kalamandalam.
 
Palayur Church
The Catholic Syrian church of Palayur is one of the seven churches founded by St. Thomas. The feast falls on 15 July and many pilgrims from different parts of India visit the church.
 
Koodalmanickam Temple (Irinjalakuda)
The Koodalmanickam temple is an ancient and historic one situated in Manavalassery village about 10 km from Irinjalakuda railway station. Lord Bharatha is the deity of the temple. The festival is held annually for 11 days in the Malayalam month of medam (April-May).
 
Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine Kodungallur (Azhikode)
Nineteen hundred years ago the first missionary of Christianity to India, St.Thomas the Apostle set his foot at Kodungallur. The Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine a monument to him is situated here. It is a historic pilgrim centre of Indian Christians. The main feast of the church is celebrated on 1 November every year.
 
Source: IT Department, Government of Kerala