Renowned as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is the best place to know about the cultural, spiritual, and religious leanings of Kerala. It is primarily known for the spectacular festival of Thrissur Pooram conducted annually. The festival is the biggest gathering of people in Kerala. The prominent institutes of literature, music, and art, namely Kerala Sahitya Academy, Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, College of Fine arts, and Kerala Lalita Kala Academy, are located in Thrissur.

History lovers can find many monuments in Thrissur dating back to the Sangham period. Rock cut caves at Porkulam, Eyyal and Kakkad were found to be dolmens used as burial sites by the ancient people. The land also houses some of the famous religious centers like Vadakkumnathan Temple, Lourde Matha Cathedral, Chaldean Syrian Church of the East, Kalathodu Mosque, and so on. Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica enjoys the position of the tallest church in Asia.

Tourist Places in Thrissur

  1. Thrissur

    Kerala Kalamandalam

    Conceived by the great Malayalam poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, the Kerala Kalamandalam is the best institute to learn traditional performing arts. It was built in 1930 on the banks of the Bharathapuzha River. The institution helped to revive three major performing arts of Kerala — Kathakali, Kudiyattam, and Mohiniyattam. Apart from the three, other art forms in Kerala like Thullal, Kuchipudi, Bharathanatyam, Nangiar Koothu, and so on are taught here. Training is also given on traditional percussion instruments. Hence Kerala Kalamandalam is the best place for those who want to know about the culture and heritage of Kerala.

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    Athirapally Waterfalls

    Athirapally is the most famous and largest waterfall in Kerala. Falling from a height of 80 feet and spanning 330 feet, the cascade is an awe-inspiring sight. Its size and beauty earned it the name Niagra Falls of India. The place is exceptionally beautiful during the rainy season. Located amid a forest region, the drive up to the falls is quite exciting. Bird lovers can spot many varieties of birds in this region including endangered Hornbill species. The marvelous location is hence great for picnicking.

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    Vadakkumnathan Temple

    Vadakkumnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu shrine located at Thrissur. It is the main venue of the famous Thrissur Pooram. The architectural marvel proclaims the brilliance of the traditional Kerala architects. It is hence visited by many tourists interested in the traditional style of Kerala. On each of the four sides, there is a monumental tower. The mural paintings inside the temple depict various scenes from Mahabharata. The inner walls of the shrine, as well as the Kuttambalam, is decorated with marvelous wood carvings. There are regular performances of ritualistic art forms in the temple theater.

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    Shakthan Thampuran Palace

    Popularly known as Vadakkekara Palace, the monument is a historic palace that was converted to a museum by the government of Kerala. Constructed in 1795, the building is a blend of Kerala and Dutch-style architecture. It has a traditional Kerala style Nalukettu. The high roofs and thick walls and Italian marbles on the floor allude to the Dutch style of construction. With several artifacts and statues from the 12th and 18th centuries, the museum is a storehouse of wonders. Many ancient artifacts are displayed in different sections like the sculpture gallery, Numismatics Gallery, Megalithic gallery, and gallery for epigraphy displays. The 5th century BC Roman gold coins, 9th-century granite statues, and the remains from the stone age will enthrall history lovers. Hence the palace is considered one of the best tourist places to visit in Kerala.

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    Thrissur Zoo

    Spanning over an area of 13.5 acres, Thrissur zoo is a wonderful place to visit in Kerala. It is located in the heart of Thrissur City and has a diverse collection of animals, birds, and reptiles. Opened in 1885, the place is also famed as one of the oldest zoos in the country. Animals like tiger, lion, monkey, hippopotamus, camel, lion-tailed macaques, and a variety of reptiles like krait, cobra, viper, rat snake, and so on amuse the visitors. Peacock, pelican, and hornbill are the colorful birds that are highly acclaimed. The compound also consists of a history museum and art museum that showcase the cultural heritage of Kerala. There are plans for the expansion of the zoo to 306 acres.

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    Thriprayar Temple

    Thriprayar Sree Ramaswami Temple is a Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. Located in the banks of the river Theevra, the place is a tranquil location suitable for meditation. According to the popular legend, the idol here was worshipped by Lord Krishna. The temple is one of the four shrines dedicated to the four sons of King Dasharatha. Devotees believe that visiting all the four temples on a single day will bring great prosperity. Usually, the Naalambala Darshanam — as the pilgrimage is known in the local dialect — is conducted during the Malayalam month of Karkadakam. The Thriprayar temple is the perfect place for those searching for tranquility in Kerala.

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    Peechi dam

    Commissioned in 1958, the Peechi Dam is one of the oldest dams in Kerala. It is part of an irrigation project for the surrounding villages. At the same time, the dam satisfies the drinking water needs of the people in the city of Thrissur. With a catchment area of 3200 acres, the storage is huge and is located amidst Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. It is normal to see a hoard of wild elephants on the bank drinking water. Hence tourists and nature lovers enjoy a visit to the straight gravity dam.

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    Chalakkudy river

    Chalakkudy river is the fourth-longest river in Kerala. It is one of those with clear water and abundant aqua fauna. The banks of the river are best suited for picnicking. Tourists love the calming and rejuvenating atmosphere of the river and enjoy the evergreen vegetation on its banks. Thus most of the travelers visiting Thrissur pay a visit to the magnificent Chalakudy river.

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    Thrissur Pooram

    Thrissur Pooram is the biggest cultural festival in Kerala. Thousands from different parts of Kerala and around the world attend the event. Conducted annually during the Malayalam month of Medam, it is a colorful occasion with lots of traditional and ritualistic events. The famous fireworks, percussion, Kudamattam, and so on are the highlights of the Pooram. Adding pomp to the event nearly 50 tamed elephants with decorative golden hairdressers attend it. According to the legend, the event started during the reign of the great king Shakthan Thampuran. Today it has surpassed the religious boundaries and is celebrated by the people from all sections of the society. Travelers consider it to be the best event to attend while on their visit to Kerala.

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    Thiruvilwamala is a bucolic hamlet in Thrissur. Known for its hilly terrain and temples, the town is one of the best places to capture the village life of Kerala. The Vilwadrinatha temple here is a famous pilgrim center. It is dedicated to Lord Rama and is one of the rare temples which houses lord Lakshmana with equal importance. Constructed on top of a hill in the banks of the river Bharathapuzha, the traditional architecture of the temple is awe-inspiring. The Punarjani Guha associated with many ancient legends is another attraction in Thiruvilwamala.

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    Chavakkad Beach

    Chavakkad Beach is a relatively less crowded seashore in Kerala. The white sandy beach is situated 5 kilometers from the Guruvayoor temple. The estuary, locally known as Azhimukham, is a major attraction here. Tourists visiting the place spend hours enjoying the sight of the river merging into the sea. It is the difference in salinity that causes the characteristic color difference between the water of the sea and that of the river. The crimson sunset in the background accentuates the beauty of the sight. From the nearby village fisher folk venture into the sea in their small boats. Thus the beach provides an insight into the life of the fishermen in Kerala.

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    Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours

    Known locally as Puthenpally(New Church), Our Lady of Dolours Basilica is the third tallest church in Asia. Hence it is a great place to visit in Kerala. The church was established in 1814 and was built in the current form in different phases from the year 1929. There are three towers in the shrine; the central one standing tall at 79 meters and the two front towers at 45 meters. The Indo-Gothic architecture is exuberant. From the high belfries to double story aisles to eleven altars, the interior of the church is enough to make anyone flabbergasted. The murals and images of saints are fine specimens that add to the beauty of the interiors.

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    Saint Thomas Church

    Established in 52 AD, Saint Thomas Syro Malabar Church is one of the oldest in India. It is believed to be one of the seven shrines founded by Saint Thomas, the apostle of Christ. The shrine was built in the model of a Persian church but has remnants of traditional Hindu architecture. There is a pillared outdoor hall for public rituals like a Hindu mandapa. The altar here was consecrated by Saint Thomas himself and is still retained even after several reconstructions. Another famous attraction of the church is the annual festival in which thousands of devotees participate without religious or caste distinctions. Hence Saint Thomas Syro Malabar Church is the best place to visit for those who are interested in the history of Christianity in Kerala. The tranquil atmosphere is also suited for meditation.

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    Archeological Museum

    Located on the premises of the Thrissur zoo, the Archeological Museum is a prominent tourist destination. It started as a picture gallery back in 1938 and was moved to the present building in 1975. Now the building consists of a variety of artifacts like statues to manuscripts written in dry palm leaves, Stone sculptures dating back to the 7th and 10th centuries, bronze sculptures made between the 12th and the 18th century, and so on. Another attraction is the stone age collections like urns, tools, pots. The excavated materials from the Indus Valley civilization is of amusement for the tourists. Thus the museum is the best place to understand the history and culture of Kerala.

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    In the bank of Chalakkudy river rests Thumboormuzhi, nature’s bounty. The scenic location, replete with green vegetation has many wonders in store for the tourists visiting it. The butterfly garden here is one of the biggest of its kind in Kerala and has a wide variety of beautiful creatures. They flutter around the visitors in different sizes and shades. The hanging bridge here provides access to Ezhattumugham Nature village. The small Thumboormuzhi dam, children’s park and so on add to the excitement and make the place a busy tourist destination in Kerala.

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    Koodalmanikyam Temple

    More than a millennia-old, the Koodalmanikyam temple is an ancient Hindu shrine dedicated to Bharatha— the brother of Lord Rama. In India, this is the only religious place that worships Bharatha. One of the four temples in the Naalambalam pilgrimage, the shrine has a prominent place in the Hindu tradition. The excellent architecture of the temple as well as its tranquil environment attracts tourists visiting Kerala.

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    Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum

    Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum one of a kind treasury that showcases the development of the traditional Kerala system of treatment. Opened in 2013, the museum is the best place to learn about the development and treatment systems in Ayurveda. It consists of the history of Ayurveda presented as a diorama. Other exhibits include a picture gallery, a 3-D gallery, and also a digital library. There are many rare and valuable Ayurvedic texts in the exhaustive library here. A separate section in the collection is dedicated to Susrutha — a famous proponent of Ayurveda.

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    Cheraman Juma Mosque

    Cheraman Juma Masjid is considered as the oldest mosque in the Indian subcontinent. It is believed to be established in 629 AD by Malik Deenar — the companion of Prophet Muhammad. Though the original structure was destroyed in 1504 AD, the new building was build almost in the same model and resembles Kerala style architecture. A wonderful miniature model of the old mosque is also kept here. There are many myths associated with the shrine, most of which iterates the story of the conversion to Islam of Cheraman Perumal—the ancient king in the Chera dynasty. The historic and cultural importance of the shrine earned it a respectable spot in the tourism map of Kerala.

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    Vilangan Hill

    Vilangan Hill is a scenic location in Thrissur. It is a high point from where a beautiful view of Thrissur Kole Wetlands can be enjoyed. Having a radius of 8 kilometers, the laterite hill is covered in greenery. The top point is almost flat, with an elevation of 80 meters above sea level. Because of its dense vegetation and panoramic beauty, the place is sometimes referred to as the Oxygen Jar of Thrissur city. The open-air theater here conducts different performances. A children’s park, Kudumbashree canteen, and Vilangan Trekkers club are atop the hill. Asokavanam is a medical garden in the hill where tourists can find a variety of rare medicinal plants. Thus the place is a great location to visit on Kerala tour.

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    Bible Tower

    The tallest church tower in Asia, the Bible tower is a unique monument that attracts tourists to Thrissur. The 79 meters high tower depicts the life and teachings of Jesus through various art forms. Wood carvings, stained glass, brass sculptures, frescos, and so on adorn the monument. Tourists can enjoy the exquisite view of the Thrissur town from the highest point. The red cross on the top is the only manmade structure that is visible in the skyline. The tower is hence a matter of pride for the Roman Catholics in Thrissur.

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    Merry Lodge Palace

    A historical construction in the center of the Thrissur, Merry Lodge Palace was the summer resort of Maharaja of Cochin. The palace compound spreads over an area of 22 acres. In 1925, the palace hosted a meeting between Mahatma Gandhi and Rama Varma XV. The king is one of the very few who abdicated their position. The palace was converted to Sree Kerala Varma college in 1947. Nevertheless, many tourists visit the place because of its historical significance.

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    Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral

    The shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the largest in Kerala. Dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, the church is known for its exceptionally designed interiors. The major attraction is the underground shrine, which is acclaimed as an architectural masterpiece. With an Indo-European façade, the exterior of the building is also a great attraction. Many tourists from far and wide come to the place while on their Kerala tour to visit the monument.