KERALA TOURISM

THRISSUR

THRISSUR

Thrissur has traditionally been a centre of learning. With the decline of Buddhism and Jainism due to the growing supremacy of Brahminism during the revival of Hinduism, Thrissur became an important centre of Sanskrit learning. It is believed that the great Hindu saint, Adi Shankara, was born in answer to the prayer made by Arayambal and Sivaguru at Vadakkunnathan temple. Sankara's disciples Hastamalaka, Thotaka, Padmapada and Sudhachara established four Madoms in the city, namely the Northern Madom, the Middle Madom, the In-Between Madom and the Southern Madom, respectively. Thrissur had been visited by other religious icons like Swami Vivekananda and St. Thomas. Sree Narayana Guru, who fought against the caste system in Hindu religion, founded his first temple in Koorkanchery.

In 1790, Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran, ascended the throne of Cochin. Raja Rama Varma re-built Thrissur from destruction after attacks from Tipu Sultan's army, clearing the magnificent teak forest around the Vadukunathan Temple. Sakthan Thanpuran is hence known as the architect of Thrissur town. For a brief period, Thrissur was the capital of the Kochi kingdom and gained prominence. The Shaktan Thampuran palace was the abode of the Cochin king.

Sakthan Thampuran shifted his residence to Thrissur because of its salubrious climate and for safety from the depredations of the naval powers of the West. Sakthan Thampuran settled several Syrian Christian families in the town from their business centres in adjoining areas. Soon Thrissur was built into a flourishing centre of internal trade in Kerala.

Thrissur has played a significant part in the political history of South India. During the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1921, several people from the city took active part and courted arrest. Thrissur district can also claim the honour of having been in the forefront of the countrywide movement for temple entry and abolition of untouchability.

ATHIRAPILLY WATER FALLS (63 Kms from Thrissur)

Athirappilly is a first grade Grama Panchayath with 489.00 km² area in Mukundapuram Taluk, Thrissur district in Kerala, south India. It is located 70 km Kochi city, 55 km from Cochin International Airport, 60 km from Thrissur city and 30 km from Chalakudy town. Athirappilly Falls is a part of Chalakudy river .Athirappilly is easily reachable from Chalakudy by taking a vehicle for rent or by bus from the Chalakudy private bus terminal.

VAZHACHAL

Another popular waterfall to visit is the Vazhachal Falls.Just a short drive from Athirapilly is close to dense forests and a part of the Chalakudy river

PUNNATHUR KOTTA

Punathurkotta is very unique in being the largest elephant park in the world with over 60 elephants. All of them are donated by the devotees of Guruvayurappan. The elephant race and the feast for elephants are a few of the unique features. There are elephants of all ages including very small elephant to old ones.

SAKTHAN PALACE

Named as Vadakkekara Palace, was reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by Sri.Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin, well as Sakthan Thampuran(Greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty) is preserved by Archaeological Department.

MUSEUM AND ZOO

Photography permitted with the permission from Director/Supt.
Working Hours : 10am to 5pm. Wednesdays upto 1pm.
Thrissur Zoo is a major attraction for children and students with a variety of animals.
Entrance fee : Adults - Rs. 5/-, Children - Rs. 3/-(upto 14 yrs.)
Still Camera : Rs. 5/-, Video Camera - Rs. 500/-. Open on all work days except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6:30p.m

CHAVAKKAD BEACH

A sea shore for rare scenic beauty. Acknowledged as one of the best beaches along the west coast. Unaltered by modernisation and laced on the borders by an array of coconut palms

VILANGANKUNNU

This hillock has been converted by the tourism department as an amusement park. While grown ups relish the scenic splendor from the hill top. Children can relax and play to their hearts.

Thrissur Pooram

The Thrissur Pooram festival in the Vadakkumnathan Temple is celebrated annually in April-May. It is a festival in which Gods and Goddesses from various trembles are brought in all pomp and pageantry with the play of drums and musical instruments and pyrotechnics to the Thekkinkadu Maidan. Lakhs of people attend the festival. An all India Exhibition is also conducted every year during the Pooram days under the combined auspices of the Thiruvambady and Paramekkavu Devaswoms at the temple premises.

Thrissur Pooram is today, rightfully, called 'the pooram of all poorams' (literally translated from malayalam), meaning the biggest or the best of all poorams. The Thrissur pooram, is celebrated ever year, on the pooram day, in the month of Medam (mid-april to mid-may) month as per the malayalam calendar. While all poorams (read temple festivals), have a huge influence on surrounding neighborhoods and towns, few other festivals require their active involvement. Thrissur town plays host, for 36 hours from the wee hours of the pooram day, to one of the most largest collection of people and elephants. The richly decorated elephant, as seen during the Thrissur pooram, is now globally recognized, and its association with Kerala. On the pooram day, fifty (50) or more elephants will pass through the very center of Thrissur town, or the Vadakkunnathan temple. The main features of the pooram festival are these decorated elephants with their nettipattam (decorative headdress), beautiful crafted koda (parasol or umberalla), the kolam, decorative bells and ornaments etc. Add to this the panchavadyam, the rhythmic beating of the drum, and what would be a cacophony otherwise is turned into an organized but spontaneous symphony. The fireworks display in the early hours of the next day, will rival shows held anywhere in the world, without even using many of the modern and newer pyrotechnics.

GURUVAYUR TEMPLE

Located 29 km north-west of Thrissur District in God's Own Kerala, Guruvayur is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of South India. Guruvayur is also called the Bhoolokavaikunta - the heaven on Earth!

The square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum Sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord MahaVishnu.

It is at this temple that Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri composed his well-known Sanskrit devotional poem 'Narayaneeyam'. The temple is renowned for its healing powers. Several offerings are made to the deity here from the simple 'Archana' (offering of flowers) to the expensive and elaborate 'Udayastamana' pooja or 'Thulabharam' where a devotee is weighed against offering of bananas, sugar, jaggery or coconuts.

Guruvayur is the site for weddings and Annaprasanam, the first feeding ceremony of a child. This is probably the only site for several weddings and 'Annaprasanam', the first feeding ceremony of child.

Within the temple, there are also the idols of Ganapathy, Sree Ayyappa and Edathedathy Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. The walls of the sanctum sanctorum are inlaid with exquisite mural paintings and carvings. The eastern nada is the main entrance to the shrine. I

Just in front of the temple there is a huge tower of light, it has thirteen discs including basement and is 24 feet in height. There are four Deepasthambams made of brass, inside the temple. One at northern wing was smashed by the Gajarajan Kesavan . The eastern tower, Kizhakke Gopuram (eastern tower) is 33 feet and Patinjhare Gopuram (western tower) is 27 feet in height.

In the chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the tall 33.5 m high gold plated wajasthambam (flag post). There is also a 7 m high dipastambham (pillar of lamps), with its thirteen circular receptacles, which provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The temple is dedicated to Krishna known here as Guruvayurappan or the Lord of Guruvayur.

KODUNGALLUR

The famous BHARANI UTSAVAM is conducted in Meenam (March-April) for eight days. Another important Festival of this in Kodungallur Thalapoli which falls on Dec-Jan every year Thousands of people witness these two festivals.

The Bhagawati temple at Kodungallur is of great renown throughout the state of Kerala. Kodungallur situated on the west coast, was once a great port of the Chera rulers of Tamilnadu, It was known by the Greek as the musris. Tiruvanchikkulam, now a suburb of Kodungallur was a center of great historic significance during the chera period. Cheran Senguttuvan is said to have built the temple to Kannagi - a manifestation of Kaali or Kotravai or Durga, here (Silappadikaaram).

It is believed to have been a Shiva temple originally, as worship is offered first to Shiva before being offered to Bhagawati, and there is a mandapam in front of the shiva shrine, and there is none infront of Bhagawatis. The image of Bhagawati is believed to have been carved out of a jack fruit three. The face of the image is covered with a mask, and the image is decorated with several pieces of jewellary.
created Bhramani, Vaishnavi, Maheswari, Kaumari, Varahi and Indrani from Bhrama, vishnu, Mahadeva, Kumara, Yama and Indra, and they were defeated by Daaruka, however Shiva created Kaali and she killed Daaruka.The image of Kali faces east. This image is believed to be a personification of Kali, who had killed the demon Daaruka. Daaruka is said to have worshipped Bhrama, and harassed the devas. The goddesses
There is a crimson cloth hung on the western wall of the sanctum and worship is offered here. There is also a secret chamber east of the Kali image, with an underground passage. Also is a shrine to Kshetrapala, the guardian deity and Vasurimala associated with small pox.

The festivals of significance at Kodungallur are Makara Sankaranti and the Bharani Festival.

Makara Sankaranti coinciding with Pongal in Tamilnadu is one of the important festivals at Kodungallur. As in Taminadu, the day prior to Pongal is celebrated with the burning of unwanted belongings in a bonfire.

Makara Sankranti brings with it 4 days of colorful fanfare, with processions twice a day on elephants to the accompaniment of music, fireworks. The final day's procession is marked by the accompaniment of several women carrying plates of rice and coconut. In fact, the centermost entity in the procession, is a plate containing these offerings, on an elephant. A grand reception os offered to this procession when it reaches the temple. The procession rleaves from the original location of the Bhagawati temple, (the Kurumbayamma shrine in Kodungallur).

The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is one of the grandest in Kerala. It is a month of festivities from the Bharani asterism in the month of Aquarius to 7 days after the Bharani asterism in the month of Pisces. Traditionally the temple (especially during the Bharani festival) has been associated with a lot of animal sacrifices. These customs have been done away within the 20th century. The blood of the sacrificed used to be spilled over two stones in the prakaram, and as mentioned above, this practice is now stopped.

ARATTUPUZHA POORAM

The Festival is held in April-May every year. It is one of the most colourful carnivals of Kerala drawing thousands of people from different parts. Idols from 41 temples in the neighbourhood villages are brought at night in procession to this village on rows of gaily caparisoned elephants. It is probable that Arattupuzha was so called, because the deities, "ARAT" in the waters of the Arattupuzha river.

MACHATTU MAMANGAM

Situated near Wadakkanchery the place called Machadu,Thiruvanikavu Temple also known as Machattu Vela celebrated in February with great prestigious and splendor on the last day of the 5day annual festival at Thiruvanikavu Temple. Devotees bring richly decorated Poykuthiras (Horses) in ceremonial processions as offering to the deity.

FEAST & FAIRS OF PALAYUR CHURCH

The Catholic Syrian Church of Palayur is one of the seven churches founded by St.Thomas. The feast falls on July 15 and many pilgrims from different parts of India visit the church.

 

 

 

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