A BRIEF HISTORY
From ancient times, Thrissur district has played a significant part in the political history of south India. The early political history of the district is interlinked with that of the Cheras of the Sangam age, who ruled over vast portions of Kerala with their capital at Vanchi. The whole of the present Thrissur district was included in the early Chera empire.
The district can claim to have played a significant part in fostering the trade relations between Kerala and the outside world in the ancient and medieval period. It can also claim to have played an important part in fostering cultural relations and in laying the foundation of a cosmopolitan and composite culture in this part of the country. Kodungalloor which had the unique distinction of being the 'Premium Emporium India', also belongs to the signal honour or having first given shelter to all the three communities which have contributed to the prosperity of Malabar'. These three communities are the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims.
The history of Thrissur district from the 9th to the 12th centuries is the history of Kulasekharas of Mahodayapuram and the history since 12th century is the history of the rise and growth of Perumpadappu Swarupam. In the course of its long and chequered history, the Perumpadappu Swarupam had its capital at different places.
According to the literary works of the period, the Perumpadappu Swarupam had its headquarters at Mahodayapuyram and had a number of Naduvazhies in southern Kerala. Central Kerala recognised the supremacy of the Perumpadappu Moopil and he is even referred to as the 'Kerala Chakravarthi' in the 'Sivavilasam' and some other works.
One of the landmarks in the history of the Perumpadappu Swarupam is the foundation of a new era called Pudu Vaipu era. The Pudu Vaipu era is traditionally believed to have commenced from the date on which the island of Vypeen was thrown from the sea.
The 14th and 15th centuries constituted a period of aggressive wars in the course of which the Zamorins of Calicut acquired a large part of the present Thrissur district. In the subsequent centuries the Portuguese dominated the scene. By the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese power in Kerala was on the verge of collapse.
About this time other European powers like the Dutch and the English appeared on the scene and challenged the Portuguese. Internal dissension in the Perumpadappu Swarupam helped the Dutch in getting a footing on the Kerala coast. As the Kerala chiefs were conscious of the impending doom of the Portuguese, they looked upon the Dutch as the rising power and extended a hearty welcome to them.
The decadence and consequential want of solidarity opened the flood gates of aggression. Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan figured very prominently during the period. In 1790 Raja Rama Varma (1790-1805) popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran ascended the throne of Cochin. With the accession of this ruler the modern period in the history of Cochin and of the district begin. Sakthan Thampuran was the most powerful maharaja as the very name indicate. He is the architect of Thrissur town. Sakthan Thampuran ascended the throne just before the conclusion of a treaty with the English East Company. According to that treaty, Cochin threw off all allegiance to Tippu and became a tributary to the Company. The wave of nationalism and political consciousness which swept through the country since the early decades of this century had its repercussion in the district as well.
Even as early as 1919 a committee of the Indian National Congress was functioning in Thrissur. In the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1921, several persons in Thrissur town and other places in the district took active part and courted arrest. Thrissur district can claim the honour of having been in the forefront of the countrywide movement for temple entry and abolition of untouchability. The famous Guruvayur Satyagraha is a memorable episode in the history of the National Movement.
The Government of Cochin under the guidance of Sri. R. K. Shanmughom Chetti followed a policy of conciliation. By decree the public demand for the introduction of responsible Government in the State grew strong. In August 1938 Cochin announced a scheme for reforming the State legislature and introducing a system as per the Government of India Act of 1919 in the British Indian provinces. The administration of certain departments was entrusted to an elected member of the legislature to be nominated by the Maharaja. In the elections to the reformed legislature two political parties, viz. the Cochin State Congress and the Cochin Congress won 12 and 13 seats respectively. With the help of a few independents Ambat Sivarama Menon who was the leader of the Cochin Congress Party took up office as Minister under the scheme in June 1938. On his death in August 1938
Dr. A.R. Menon was appointed as Minister. When the State Legislature passed a vote of non-confidence against him, Dr. Menon resigned office on February 25,1942 and was succeeded by
Sri T.K. Nair who continued in office till July 11,1945.
The introduction of dyarchy did not satisfy the political aspirations of the people of Cochin. The idea of full responsible Government on the basis of adult franchise had caught their imagination. On January 26, 1941 a new political organisation called the Cochin State Praja Mandal took shape on the initiative of a few young politicians under the leadership of V.R. Krishnan Ezhuthachan.
The 'Quit India' Movement of 1942 had its echoes in the district. After the release of the leaders from jail in 1943, the Cochin State Praja Mandal pursued its organisational activities more vigorously. In the elections to the State Legislature in 1945 it won 12, of the 19 seats contested by its candidates. At the annual conference of the Praja Mandal held at Ernakulam in 1946 it was decided to start a state wide movement for the achievement of a responsible Government. The State Legislature was scheduled to meet on July 29, and it was decided that the day should be observed all over the State as 'Responsible Government Day'. In pursuance of this decision, meetings and demonstrations were held all over the State demanding the end of Dewan's rule and the transfer of full political power to the elected representatives of the people. The Maharaja of Cochin announced in August 1946 his decision to transfer all departments of the State Government except law and order and finance to the control of Ministers responsible to the State Legislature. In co-operation with other parties in the State Legislature, the Cochin State Praja Mandal decided to accept the offer. Consequently the first popular Cabinet of Cochin consisting of Panampilli Govinda Menon, C.R. Iyyunni, K. Ayyappan and T.K. Nair assumed office.
The first step towards the achievement of the goal of ' Aikyakerala ' was taken with the integration of 'Travancore Cochin' States in July 1949. With the linguistic reorganisation of States in India, in November 1956 the Kerala State came into existence.
TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Area and population: It is bounded on the north by Palakkad district, on the east by Palakkad district and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, on the south by Ernakulam and Idukki districts, and on the west by the Arabian Sea. The area of the district is 3032 sq. km., while the population is 2,975,440 according to 2001 census.
Natural Divisions : Descending from the heights of the Western Ghats in the east, the land slopes towards the west forming three distinct natural divisions - the highlands, the plains and the sea board
River System: The Periyar, the Chalakudy, the Karuvannur, and the Ponnani (Bharatha Puzha) are the main river systems in the district. They take their origin from the mountains on the east, and flow westward and discharge into the Arabian Sea. There are a number of tributaries also joining these main rivers.
The district has a tropical humid climate with an oppressive hot season and plentiful and seasonal rainfall. The hot season from March to May is followed by the South West Monsoon season from June to September. The period from December to February is the North East Monsoon season, although the rain stop by the end of December and the rest of the period is generally dry.
FLORA AND FAUNA
The mountain ranges with thick evergreen forests afford ideal abode for various animals and game including diverse birds while the middle country with hills and low plateau, mostly cleared for cultivation and human habitation, still affords shelter and food for many of the smaller mammals, birds and reptiles and also many lower animals of diverse groups. The lowlands of the extreme west, bordering the coastline are dotted with backwaters and estuaries of rivers, all connected by an interesting system of canals forming a continuous waterway. Its waters abound in fish and afford feeding ground for many water birds, local and migrant, while the plains have rich fauna representing all groups. Among the mammals the Primates are represented by the langurs and monkeys. Coconut palm and paddy are mainly cultivated in the lowlands.
The total population of Thrissur district according to the census of 2001 is 2,975,440 of whom 1,422,047 are men and 1,553,393 are women. Hindus constitute the bulk of the population of this district. Other communities are Christians and Muslims. The Konkani Brahmins are another immigrant caste and they are found mainly in Cranganore and Mukundapuram taluks.
The Nairs who till recently followed the Marumakkathayam family system constitute the most important section among the Hindus of Thrissur. Now a vast majority of them have taken to agriculture while others have been absorbed in Government service and other professions. Till a few decades ago, the Nairs were divided into several sub-castes and inter-dining and inter-marriages were not permitted among them. The Nairs attached to Namboodiri and Kshatriya houses for certain domestic and religious services were called Illathu Nairs and Swarupattil Nairs respectively. Charna Nairs, Pallichans, Vattekadans, Odathu Nairs, Auduru Nairs and Attikurussi Nairs are other Nair subdivisions. Every Nair had a title affixed to his name. Achan, Kartha, Kaimal and Mannadiar were some of the titles of nobility conferred on the Nairs by the Rajas of Cochin while Panikkar and Kurup were the titles of those who maintained Kalaries as their hereditary profession. Menon was the title conferred on the Nairs who followed a literacy career. When the country underwent tremendous changes, strict observations of caste rules fell into disuse.
The Samanthans, though very few in number in the district, are said to have sprung from the union of Kshatriya men with Nair women. They have marumakkathayis . The Ezhavas who follow Makkathayam are numerically one of the strongest communities in Thrissur. They have attained important positions as merchants, landowners and cultivators. A good number of them have also taken to learned professions. Velythedans, Velakkattalavans and Chaliyans are hereditary washermen, barbers and weavers respectively. Ezhuthachans otherwise known as Kadupottans who follow the patriarchal system of inheritance are supposed to be the descendants of Pattar Brahmins. They are hereditary village school masters. The Valans, Arayans and Mukkuvas are fishermen mostly living in the coastal areas of Thrissur district. Besides, there are a number of other castes like the Mannans, Velans, Pulluvans and Pattilans in the district.
Another section among the Hindus is the Kammalas who are divided into carpenters, masons, braziers, blacksmiths, goldsmiths etc. As their service is essential, they are till engaged in their traditional occupations. But in recent years a sizable section of them have taken to modern education and steady progress. The Devanga Chettis and Kaikolans are weaving castes found in Mukundapuram taluk. They immigrated into the district from Mysore and Coimbatore respectively. The Vaniyans Kudumis, Pandithans, Kallans, Pandarams, Ambattans, Vannans, Chakkiliyans and Kusavan are also immigrant castes. The Vaniyans wear the sacred thread and resemble Konkani Brahmins. The Pandarams are engaged in making Pappadam, the favourite crisp cake of the Malayalees. Ambattans are Tamil barbers and Vannans are Tamil washermen.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes form a significant section among the Hindus of the district. The former are mainly agricultural labourers and are found in all the Taluks. The Scheduled Tribes of the district are the Kadar, the Malayar and the Mathuvans. The Kadar of the area belong to two clans, the Anamala Kadar living at Parambikulam and West Kadar living at Adirappilli. The Malayar and Kadar are nomadic people.
Christians form the second largest community in the district. It is strange that Cranganore where the Gospel of Christ is believed to have been first preached in India should have the lowest proportion of Christians among the taluks of the district. The earliest Church in the district was a Nestorian branch of the Asiatic Church presided over by Bishops usually ordained in Persia. The early Christians were known as Syrian Christians. The Syrians Catholics, Latin Catholics, Jacobites, the Reformed Syrians and Protestants are some of the main sections of the Christian Community in the district . In Thrissur and its neighbourhood there is a small community of Christians known as Chaldeans.
The Christians have a predominant place in the social and economic life of the district. Trade and agriculture are the chief occupations of the community. There have been several survivals of Hindu customs among the Christians such as caste prejudice, belief in astrology, omens, witchcraft and charms, the tying of the tali as part of the marriage ceremony and its removal on the death of the husband, the performance of Sradha or the annual ceremony for the soul of the dead etc.
Muslims form the third major community in the district. A majority of them are found in Chavakkad and Kodungalloor taluks. Most of them are Sunnis. Some of the Muslims are cultivators or traders, while the majority are boatmen, fishermen and labourers of every description.
CUSTOMS AND RITUALS
Serpent (naga) worship and ancestor worship, evidently non-Aryan practices, have been widely prevalent in the district. The temples here are centres of religious activity. The Vadakkunnathan Temple at Thrissur, Koodalmanikam temple at Irinjalakuda, the Kurumba Bhagavathi temple at Kodungalloor, the Sri Rama Temple at Triprayar, the Sri Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor are some of the reputed shrines. The prominent Gods and Goddesses worshipped are Vishnu, Siva, Bhagavathi, Siva, Bhagavathi, Subramonia and Sastha .
Fasting is a significant form of religious observance. It is observed on Shashti, Ekadasi, Pradosham , Full Moon and New Moon days. On Shashti viz. the sixth day of the fortnight, fast is observed by those who wish for issue. Ekadasi is sacred to Vishnu and Pradosham to Siva. Fast in honour of the Goddess Parvathi is observed on Full Moon days. The observance of festivals is an important aspect of religious activities. Here special mention may be made of the three major festivals of the Malayalees viz. Onam, Vishu and Tiruvathira. Among the ceremonies still current may be mentioned N amakaranam, Chorunu, Vidyarambham, Upanayanam and Sradha .
The laws of inheritance prevalent in the district have been the makkathayam (Patrilineal) and Marumakkathayam (Matrilineal system). Marumakkathayam is the dominant one which most of the people were in allegiance. The Ambalavasis, the Kshatriyas, Samantans, Velekkattavans, Veluthedans and a few other castes have followed the Marumakkathayam system in the district. Among the communities that have followed the Makkathayam system may be mentioned the Namboothiris, Ezhavas, Kammalas, Kanakkans, Cherumans, Tanda Pulayans, Vettuvas, Ezhuthachans, Kanisans, Panans, Perumannans, Mannans, Velas, Velans, Arayans, Amukuvans, Mukkuvans, Marakkans and all the hill tribes. The Christians and Muslims also have been Makkathayis .
The famous Thrissur Pooram is an annual festival celebrated during April-May in the Vadakkumnathan temple here. During the festival idols of Gods and Goddesses from various temples are brought in all pomp and pagentry with the play of drums and musical instruments and pro-technics to the Thekkinkadu Maaidan. Lakhs of people attend the festival every year. An all India Exhibition is also conducted every year during the Pooram days under the combined auspices of the Thiruvampady and Paramekkavu Devaswoms at the temple premises.
Rice , tapioca, coconut, areacanut, rubber, cashew and banana are the most important agricultural products of the district. The most important crop of the district is paddy. In certain areas three crops are raised (Viruppu, Mundakan and Punja) in a year. One of the striking features in regard to agricultural operations in the district is the cultivation. Extensive low-level lakes in Thrissur and Mukundpuram taluks are artificially reclaimed and bunded. Tapioca is the food of the poor and the middle class. The reason for the large scale consumption of tapioca is attribute to its high calorific value. Coconut is one of the important garden crops of the district. Among condiments and spices the arecanut tree stands first. Poor farmers with small holdings are the cultivators of the crop.
Fruits and Vegetables
Thrissur is a land of fruits. Perhaps no other district in the State grows a greater variety of fruits or has better facilities for horticulture. Plantain, jack fruits, mangoes, bread fruits, pineapples, etc., are grown in abundance in most parts of the district. Jack and mango trees are extensively grown in the gardens attached to houses. Cashewnut is cultivated in almost all parts of the district. The cultivation of rubber is popular.
The district affords the best example to the fact that a damp climate is not conductive to the growth of cattle. The indigenous breed of cattle is weak and stunted in growth.
The cultural tradition of the district goes back to very early days. There were great centers of learning and culture in the district in the ancient and early medieval periods. In the early centuries of the Christian era, Mathilakam was a great centre of learning and culture. Buddhist and Jai scholars of repute are said to have lived here and engaged themselves and teaching. At a later district in the ancient and early medieval periods. In the early days. There were great centres of learning and culture in the stage, under the Kullasekhara of the second Chera Empire, Mahodayapuram became famous as a great seat of learning and culture. The greatest literacy figure in the district was Mahakavi Vallathol Narayana Menon. Though born in the Malabar region of Kerala. Vallathol made Cheruthuruthy his headquarters. He was not only a great poet but also a distinguished patron of the arts of Kerala, particularly Kathakali. He founded the Kerala Kalamandalam of Cheruthuruthy to disseminate the art and culture of Kerala.
LITERARY AND CULTURAL SOCIETIES
Kerala Sahitya Academy: The Kerala Sahitya Academy was established on August 15, 1956. It aims at the development of Malayalam Language and Literature and works in co-operation with the Kerala Sahitya Academy in New Delhi. There is a good library attached to the Academy consisting of two sections - the General Section and the Research section.
Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy: It is also located in Thrissur town and was established on April 12, 1938. Its aim is to foster and develop Kerala Dance, Drama and Music and to promote through them the cultural unity of Kerala It works in close collaboration with the Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy in New Delhi for the enrichment of Indian culture. A regional theatre is constructed in Thrissur with all modern facilities.
Kerala Lalithakala Academy: This was established in 1962. The aim of the Academy is to promote the culture, painting, plastic and visual arts.
School of Drama: This was established at Aranattukara in the year 1977. The institution conducts a three year course in Bachelor of Theatre Arts, Direction, Acting, Children's Theatre etc., are the subjects which are being taught here.
Institute of Fine Arts: This is located in Thrissur town and imparts training in Arts, printing, Sculpture, Engraving etc. Formerly this institution was known as Government Occupational Institute.
Kerala Kalamandalam: Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy was founded in 1930 by Mahakavi Vallathol. Its main objective is to revive, preserve and develop the ancient and traditional art form of Kerala particularly the Kathakali.
Thrissur district has a long tradition in the field of fishing industry. If offers natural facilities for marine and inland fisheries. Its coast line is about 54 km. in length from Azhikode to Puthenkadappuram. Fishing is the main occupation of a large number of people. The main fishing castes are Valan, Aryan, Mukkuvan and Marakkan. Thrissur is one of the biggest fish market of Kerala. Fish in an important item in the diet of about 90% of the population. Oil sardines are used as manure. About 95% of the total catch is marketed within the district. The fishing industry thus makes a sizable contribution to the wealth of the district, and is the main source of income of a large section of the people inhabiting the coastal area. There are seven major fishing centres in the district viz., Azhikode, Nattika, Vadanappilli, Kadappuram, Blangad, Puthenkadappuram and Chettuva. The district have 18 coastal fisheries villages and three inland fisheries villages. There is a Shrimp hatchery at Azhikode.
A total area under forests in the district is 1006.72 sq. km. The forests of the district are mainly seen in the eastern portion of Talappilli, Thrissur and Mukundapuram taluks. They extend from the Shoroor river (Bharathapuzha) in the north to the Chalakudy river in the south. The Initial works of a wild life sanctuary has been started at Echhippara in the reservoir area of Chimmani dam. A tree park with facilities to conduct studies on trees and forest for public functioning at Kuthiran under social forestry is a unique instance in the state. This institution is the second one in the country.
Forest produce: The chief forest produce is timber. The principal local markets for timber are Cochin, Ernakulam and Thrissur. A large quantity of timber is transported to Coimbatore and Pollachi. High girth rosewood is exported to foreign countries. Other hard wood species which command a steady market are Irul, Pullamaruthu, Koramaruthu, Venga, Venteak, Pongu, Agil etc. Minor forest products are also abundant in the district. Mattaipal Karuvelampatta, Marotti, Poovam, Zamalporia, Kanjiram, Elavarngam are some of them. Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) at Peechi is an institution which conducts ecological and Forests Development Research studies. The Institute has a very good nursery of medical plants.
Power loom Industry: There are six power loom factories in Co-operative sector in the district. They are at Kodungallur, Aviniseri, Adat, Machad, Nadathara and Manaloor. In addition to this, there is an institutional Power loom complex at Keecheri.
Textile Industry: There are six textile mills in the district. They are Alagappa Textiles at Alagappanagr, Kerala Lakshmi Mills at Pullazhi, Thrissur Cotton Mills at Nattika, Rajgopal Textiles at Athani, Sitaram Spinning and Weaving Mills, Thrissur and Vanaja Textiles at Kurichikkara. The mills namely the Cochin Hosieries Kuriachira, Thrissur and the Kunnath Textiles, Thrissur are engaged in the manufacture of hosiery products. The Madura Coasts at Koratty produce cotton sewing threads. The thread produced here is sold throughout the country. Sitaram Spinning and Weaving Mills the earliest textile mill in the district (1909) caught fire in December 1959. The mill started functioning later.
Tile Industry: The tile industry is the most important industry in the district employing the largest number of labourers. From a humble beginning early in this century, the industry had grown considerably in recent years. At present there are 160 tile factories in the district. Suitable clay required for the manufacture of tiles and bricks is found in Ollur, Pudukkad, Kaluvannor and Amballur which are the main centres of this industry.
Timber Industry: The timber industry of the district is of considerable importance. It had its beginnings in the first decade of this century when the first saw mill in the State was erected at Thrissur (1905) to convert teak and superior hard wood logs into slabs and other sizes. Most Chalakudy, which are the most important timber marts in the district. In Chalakudy, Ollur and Thrissur, there are many saw mills with up-to-date plant and machinery.
Soap Manufacture: Soap manufacture is one of the flourishing industries of the district. It is mainly located in Irinjalakuda and Thrissur town.
Canning Industry: This is an industry that has recently sprung up and has immense prospects for development. The first unit of the Canning industries (Cochin) was started in Thrissur in 1947. The other two units are Darlco Cannings and Kayee Plantation Cannings, both situated at Thrissur r. Pineapple slices, Pineapple juice, tit bits, jams, squashes, syrups, jellies and marmalades are some of the products of these units. A canning industrial unit is being established at Nadathara by the Thrissur Fruits and Vegetables Marketing Society and it is going on very successfully.
Diary Unit: There is a diary unit at Ramavarmapuram in the public sector.
Chemicals: There are five units engaged in the manufacturers of chemicals Pharmaceutical products like elixirs, syrups, vitamin tablets, transfusion bottles, etc. In addition, some of the units manufacture commercial products like ink, paints, and varnish.
Oil Mills: Oil Mills are found in all parts of the district. Coconut oil is the most important product of these Mills. For a long time, the extraction of oil from copra was a cottage industry. Oil is also extracted from lemon-grass, gingelly castor-seed, groundnut etc.
Printing: The printing industry is fairly well developed in the district. Modern methods and techniques in printing are available in the district.
Match Industry: Soft wood required in the manufacture of match sticks is obtained from the local forests. Veneers and splints are also made in the match factories
Cottage Industry: Handloom weaving is a premier cottage industry of the district. It was practiced mainly by hereditary weaving communities like the Challias, Chettiars, Mudalis and Mudaliars. Poomangalam and Aripalam in Mukundapuram taluk and Kuttamippli and Thiruvilwamal in Talappilli Taluk are well known weaving centres of the district.
Coir Industry: Coir manufacturing is one of the important cottage industries of the district. The kind of yarn produced in the district is known are Chittattukara, Kottapuram and Kodungallor. Superior varieties of the quality of yarn known as 'Parur Special' are also produced in these areas. Another variety of yarn manufactured in the district is the rope yarn and the main centres of production are Kandassankadavu and Manalur.
Curing of Arecanuts: Arecanuts have to be cured for the market. Arecanut preparation is a seasonal industry of some importance. In the taluks of Talappilli, Thrissur and Mukundapuram hundreds of men and women are engaged in this occupation form September to January.
Cashew Industry: Thrissur district was the largest producer of cashew nuts next only to Kollam district in the State.
Grass mat and basket manufacture: The industry is an ancient one and products of this industry are widely used in Kerala. Very beautiful mats, either plain of with excellent designs are made.
Beedi Making Units: There are three Beedi making units at Ancheri, Chavakkad and Vadanappilly which are run by primary Beedi Co-operative societies under central Kairali Beedi co-operatives of which the headquarters at Shornoor.
Leather Industry: The manufacture of chappals, shoes suit cases and hand bags out of leather is an important industry of the district. Tanned leather is mostly procured from outside the district. Work in leather is the hereditary occupation of the "Chakkilins" or "Tholkollans", who are scattered in all parts of the district. Thrissur is one of the most important centres of production of leather articles. The Foot Wear Service Centre at West Fort under the Ministry of Industries, Govt. of India imparts training in Shoemaking.
Engineering Workshops and Foundaries: Small smiths mending agricultural implements are found in rural areas. Repair shops have sprung up in towns. There are some umbrella manufacturing factories also in the district.
INDUSTRIAL ARTS (HANDICRAFTS)
Bell-metal Industry: Thrissur district is the largest producer of bell-metal articles in the State. The industry is monopolised by two castes - Moosaries and Kammalas . The main centres of production are Kadavallur, Kunnamkulam, Thrissur and Irinjalakuda. "Deepastambhams" and a few other articles are highly appreciated and there is a great demand for them in North India. A Bell Metal Workers Cooperative Society is successfully conducting large scale production of Bell Metal articles at Nadavaramba
Polishing of Imitation Stones: Thrissur, Ollur and Pudukkad are the chief centres of the industry. After being polished and processed the stones are exported to foreign countries. Now the imitation diamond manufacturing workers have been brought under a Central Cooperative Society called Diamond India, Thrissur
Wood Carving: Wood carving is an important handicraft of the district. Almost the entire carving is done by carpenters hailing from Viswakarma community. The wood carvers of Cherpu seven miles from Thrissur, are well known. The figure of elephants made in this place have a wide reputation. Carvings out of buffalo horn are also made here. The carving of Kathakali dance dolls is also a special feature of this district. With the increasing appreciation of the art of this district. With the increasing appreciation of the art of Kathakali, the demand for these carvings has also been increasing. Another important handi-craft is "Alavattam" (peak-cock feather fan) made at Kanimangalam in Thrissur.
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
Two of the Ashta Vaidyas in the field of Ayurveda viz; Kuttenchery Manu Moose and Thalikkattu Moose belong to Thrissur district. The western system of medicine was introduced here in the early part of the 19th century. There are 122 Allopathy hospitals and 14 Ayurveda hospitals and a homeopathy hospital in the district. Ayurvedic and Homoeo systems of treatments are very popular in the district. Nature cure methods attract a large section of the people to Thrissur district. Prakruthi Chikkilsa Sahakaraana Sanitorium has been established to propagate Nature Cure among public. An Auyrveda Regional Research Institute under Government of India is functioning at Cheruthuruthy.
The district is covered by a net work of main roads and village roads. National Highway No. 17 - the highway runs from Puduponnal to Kottayam in the district. National Highway No. 47 in Thrissur district consists of the following two roads.
1. Thrissur-Waniampara road. This road starts from Thrissur town and runs eastward to the district limit at Vaniampara and enters Palakkad district via Alathur.
2. Thrissur-Chalakudy Road. It starts from Thrissur town and goes southward to the district limit at Anjal and entres Ernakulam district via Angamali enroute to Thiruvananthapuram.
Railways: The district is well served by railways. The broad gauge running north to south enters the district near Vallathol Nagar Station and crosses the district for about 69 kms. touching Vettikkattiri, Mullurkkanchery, Mulankunnathukavu, Poonkunnam, Thrissur, Ollur, Pudukkad, Nellai, Irinjalakuda, Chalakudy, Koratty, Angamaly and Karukutty.
Waterway: Before the construction of roads in the latter half of the 19th century inland traffic in the district was through backwaters and rivers. The main canals of the district are: (1) Ponnani Canal in Chavakkad taluk, (2) Canoli Canal in Mukundapuram taluk, and (3) Shanmugham Canal in Mukundapuram taluk, and (4) Puthenthode in Thrissur taluk. These canals from the main arteries of water communications.