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    Thrissur - Cultural capital of Kerala

• Kalamandalam   • Peechi   • Guruvayoor

Aptly called the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is home to not just the museum and archeological museum,Thrissur but also to 'Kerala Kalamandalam'- the illustrious school that teaches and practices all the brilliant traditional art forms of Kerala. The Lourdes Cathedral, Puthan Pally Church, Vadkkunathan temple, the Guruvayoor temple, Kodungalloor mosque are the famous religious institutions in Thrissur. The most important and popular attraction of the district is Thrissur Pooram, a two century old festival celebrated with all pomp and splendor in April/May. A visit to Punnathur kotta, where elephants belonging to the temples in Thrissur and nearby areas are housed, will be an experience of a kind. Thrissur is also famous for the breathtaking waterfalls at Athirapally & Vazhachal, and the variety rides at the water park there. The Peechy dam and Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Vazhani dams are also famous picnic spots.

::::::::::: Places to see in and around :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

State Museum

The State Museum is of great archeological significance. The Museum displays among other amazing artifacts, temple models, stone sculptures, old coins and reproductions of some of the murals at renowned churches.

The Museum is open from 10am to 5pm IST and closed on Monday.

Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy - 32kms north-east of Thrissur

Thrissur

This is one of the most unique schools of Kerala. The institute offers rigorous training in Kerala's very own performance arts and also in other literature courses. This important academy of arts was found by a late poet and it does a lions share in preserving and promoting Kerala's unique art forms. Many foreigners also enroll as students here to be taught many lively arts by veteran performers.

Vadakkumnatha Kshethram

This temple is a celebrated landmark of the district, the hill on which it has been built forms the reference point for directions to get anywhere in Thrissur. The temple complex that accommodates many shrines, has many figurines and sculptures that talk volumes of the artistic abilities of the Malayalee craftsmen. The building, the stone carvings and woodwork are all done in typical Kerala style. It is at the courtyards of this Kshetram (temple) that all the processions congregate on the day of the very famous Thrissur Pooram celebrations. This festival that is celebrated once every April- May is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears and an event that attracts people from far and wide. The celebrations are grand with fireworks, colourful processions and brightly decorated elephants and panchavaadyam.

Koodal Manikyam Temple

This temple and its deity Bharata, a half brother of Lord Rama, has been known to have tremendous powers that has given many worshippers miraculous results and relief in times of agony and ill health. This is the only temple in India that is dedicated to Bharata.

St. Thomas Church

This is a beautiful house of worship that dates back to the 17 th century. The brilliant work in stone and wood is definitely worth seeing.

Peechi - 23 kms from Thrissur

Peechi is well known for the marvelously constructed Peechi Dam and reservoir. The dam that provides most of the water for irrigation also has boating facilities for tourists. There is also the famous Peechi- Vazhani Wild life Sanctuary situated near this beautiful picnic spot. One can often spot herds of elephants roaming about carelessly in the vast area under the sanctuary.

Kerala Forest Research Institute

It was in Thrissur that the state government chose to set up its forest research institute in the 70s. Scientists and researchers here work on medical plants, entomology, colonel propagation of plants, disease control and methods for reforestation etc

Athirappally Vazhachal - 62 kms south of Trichur

This is one of the best known tourist spots in Kerala. There are two beautiful cascades streaming out of the Sholayar ranges and separated by a mere distance of 5 kms.

Kodungalloor

Kodungalloor is a well known pilgrim center. There is a magnificent church here which also preserves holy relics from the days that St. Thomas landed here (52 AD).

There is also a famous Juma Masjid (mosque )here. The mosque is also of particular importance as this building constructed in 629 AD remains the first mosque in India and the second in the world where Juma prayers were offered.

Kodungalloor is also home to a few very well known temples. Thus the place is a symbol of the religious harmony.

Guruvayoor-29 kms from Thrissur city

Thrissur

This famous pilgrim centre is where the world famous centuries old Shree Krishna Temple is located. The temple complex accommodates a few shrines. But there are long queues to offer prayers to the main deity Guruvayoorappan. There is more than one entrance to the complex. In the outer enclosure, one can see gold plated flag post and several pillars of lamps, each of which has the sculpture of various mythological characters erected upon it. Processions led by the many decorated elephants that are owned by the temple at the time of festivals is indeed a splendid sight.

Punnathur Kotta -2 kms away from the Guruvayoor temple

This location near Guruvayoor, is one of its kind. Visitors to the place have the exquisite opportunity to see many elephants and observe them closely. Elephants of the SriKrishna temple and also the nearby temples are kept here at times when there are no ceremonies at the temples.

Other Attractions

The Sri Rama temple at Triprayar, the Lady of  Lourdes Cathedral and the Puhanpally Church and the temples and churches at Irinjalakkuda are the other famous places of worship. Irinjalakkuda is also a well known cultural centre.

Another well known cultural center at Thrissur is the Natana Kairali Research & Performing Centre.

Transportation

Air: The Nearest International Airport, Nedumbassery.(78 kms)

Rail: Thrissur is an important railhead of Southern Railways.

Road: The place is well connected by roads to all major cities of Kerala.

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