THRISSUR- The “Cultural Capital” of Kerala



Thrissur derived from Thiru-Siva-Peruru means with the name of Lord Siva. Established on 1 April 1958, this district is called the ‘Cultural Capital’ of
Kerala. 

Centrally located in the State of Kerala this district is a rich reservoir in history, culture and archaeological remains. Thrissur Pooram, for long as one can remember the two dominant temple groups hallowed by many temples in Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu clans look into a friendly combat for supremacy, is celebrated every year during April- May.

To trace back, Raja Rama Varma popularly known as “Sakthan Thampuran” (the Mighty King) constructed the Thrissur City the ruler of Thrissur. The town is built around a hillrock top. The area was a forest before the king designed the city for the living of his countrymen. Its most prominent feature is the Vadakkunnatha Kshethram, which has Lord Siva as its presiding deity. Adi Sankaracharya is supposed to have spent his last days in this temple. Dewaan Shanmukham built a concrete royal voyage around the Thekkinkadu ground where the temple is situated. The road known as Swaraj Round is the second largest ring road in Asia. 

Thrissur Pooram
This city is incomplete without the Thrissur Pooram, a spectacular festival of light and color, percussion and elephants.

Thrissur Pooram, considered to be the pooram of poorams (Festival of festivals) is a cultural highlight par excellence, celebrated in the Malayalam month of Medam (April/May).

It was Raja Rama Varma (1750-1805) who introduced the festival. He cleared the Teak Forest around the Vadakunnathan Temple. An ardent devotee of Lord Siva himself, he renovated the temple by creating a mammoth edifice, a ten-acre temple complex enclosed by lofty masonry walls. He erected four massive Gopurams (Entry Towers) at the crest of a seventy-acre evenly sloping Maidan fringed by broad circular roads. 

Rama Varma planned Thrissur Pooram as an instrument to subdue and suppress an insolent section of temple-owning priestly aristocracy, this he achieved by ensuring peoples voluntary co-operation. He wished the local people to take the leadership of Pooram. Towards this he entrusted the responsibility to two public temples of Thrissur – Thiruvambady and Paramekavu, managed by the then temple-going people in the respective ‘Thattakoms’ (sectors). Traditionally these two groups represent the main geographic divisions of Thrissur. They compete with each other to add Pooram’s grandeur. 

Kudamattom is a major attraction of the festival. Two arrays of 15 elephants each stand still facing each other for an hour.

Both teams from Thiruvambady and Paramekavu stand face to face on caparisoned elephants. And then follows “Kudamattom”, a competition in the swift and rhythmic changing of brightly colored and sequined parasols. 

Besides Thrissur Pooram, there are several other places of attraction in the Cultural Capital of Kerala. The first and foremost being the Vadakkunnathan Temple, which is not just another place of worship but has been the repository of culture and heritage unparalleled in Kerala history. The deity Lord Siva is represented by ‘Mahalingam’, which now cannot be seen due to the mount formed by the traditional offerings or abhisheka with ghee. The exquisite murals on this shrine narrate the story of the epic Mahabharata. The decorative wall paintings and carvings are worth a visit. 

Guruvayoor Temple one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centers of Kerala, is 29 Kms north west of Thrissur. The main attraction is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna popularly known as Guruvayoorappan. People throng here in large numbers for worships the year round.

Mahakavi Vallathol founded Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy in 1930. Its main objective is to revive, preserve and develop the ancient and traditional art form of Kerala particularly Kathakali. The samadhi (tomb) of poet Vallathol the founder of this famous institution is in the premises of the old Kala Mandalam. Now the Kerala Kala Mandalam is functioning at Vallathol Nagar with its new building complex at Natyagraha. The old Kerala Kala Mandalam is still at Cheruthuruthy on the shore of Nila River
(Bharathapuzha).

The Art Museum is a treat for the connoisseur of art. Good collection of woodcarvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewelry are preserved here. Peechi dam is an enchanting picnic spot situated 20 Kms east of Thrissur. It offers boating facilities in the reservoir. One can see tuskers on the bank of this reservoir. 

Thrissur is also a spot for Eco tourism with its Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls. Athirapally is 80 feet high shimmering expanse of tranquil beauty. Five kilometers away from Athirapally is yet another waterfall called
Vazhachal.

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