Kerala is also known as the God’s own country and a famous tourist destination. Thrissur is a small district in the state of Kerala in India. It is not as touristy as other places in Kerala. Thrissur is the cultural capital of Kerala and I am going to share with you a few things that makes this small district special.
Having said Thrissur as the cultural capital of Kerala, most activities in Thrissur culture based. It is the festivals that attract more people to Thrissur and so most of them are seasonal. The first one in the list of festivals is definitely Thrissur Pooram.
Thrissur pooram is a Hindu festival celebrated annually. Thrissur pooram attracts many worldwide for its different parts of celebrations. Some come for the love for elephants whereas some come for to see their favourite artists perform at “Elanjithara. Many come for only the fireworks in the early morning and some come to participate in the colourful “Kudamattam” where many elephants stand in line and two main parties of the temple compete showing of decorated umbrellas.
This is the site you can follow to get information about the dates and events: http://www.thrissurpooramfestival.com/
That being said, Thrissur pooram is a collective work of artists, temples, devotees and the government. If you are a photographer or a film maker Thrissur pooram will be a treat with all the colours, crowd and the vibe.
I personally love the fireworks that takes place at 2 am. I have never seen such a spread of colours and the effect it creates if you stand in the swaraj ground, which is the main ground for the events. I would suggest anyone to take part in it at least once, it is just spectacular!
Thrissur Pooram normally takes place normally in May and this is the first time it got cancelled due to coronavirus. Hopefully, in the coming years it would take place with all its glory. This is the official website where anyone can get the info about dates and events.
Onam is a festival celebrated across Kerala. But, the celebrations in every district varies. Thrissur has unique way of celebrating onam with Pulikali, which literally trasnalte to Tiger Play or Tiger dance. It is where thousands of people take it to the Swaraj round in tiger costumes to perform this. I had written a blog post on this last year, from the back stages of PuliKali. You can get a glimpse of the costumes from it.
Monsoon And The Waterfalls
Monsoon in Kerala is the best thing to experience in my opinion. The continuous rain makes every corner go lush green. The weather, wind and the ambiance of Thrissur in the monsoon is something that makes it very unique time of the year.
Athirappilli waterfalls is a highlight of nature in Thrissur. Many films were shot at this location for the mighty waterfalls. There are many other small waterfalls that contribute to Thrissur’s natural beauty but Athirapilli is one of the special ones in Thrissur.
There are other forests, waterfalls and natural attractions too. Some places becomes dangerous during the monsoon with the slippery rocks.
However, for someone coming to explore the place or just visiting, it may become difficult during the monsoon. The best time would be right after monsoon when the land is still green and the rain is intermittent.
Temples, Churches, Mosques and Cultural Centers
Thrissur is also known as the temple city. There are many temples in the list to visit that has great architechture. Vadakkunnathan temple which is situated in the heart of the city is one of them. There are other temples spread across the district which makes Thrissur a favourite destination for Hindu devotees.
Although there are many famous temples, what I like the most is the lamps that are lit by the small temples on the walls and on the floor for some smaller festivals. They are such a sight and gives a special.
Not just temples, there are many famous and old churches and mosques too in Thrissur. There’s a bible tower attached to the “Puthanpalli” which is the Dolours basilica. This is a old church built with gothic architecture and the bible tower is the tallest church building in India and Asia accommodating artworks from across the globe. You get a good view of Thrissur town from the top floor of this tower.
The very first mosque in India is also in Trissur. Cheraman Juma Masjid is the first mosque in India, which still has the old mosque preserved inside the mosque.
The first church in India is also in Trissur. One of the apostolates of Jesus, St. Thomas came here and it is in this church where he performed a miracle.
Even though Trissur is not a typical tourist destination, it definitely is an interesting place for those who love history. There are many palaces, academies and cultural societies that are resourceful for those who love history.
Thrissur has great food options especially the traditional ones. Sadhya, which is the spread of vegetarian dishes along with rice takes the first place. You get it all throughout Kerala but some say Thrissur has the best variety of it. That might be because of the different types of “Payasam” served, which is a sweet dessert.
One tip I would give anyone who is a foodie who loves exploring food options is to try get into a wedding. They serve great sadhya and it is not difficult to get invited for weddings (or show up at random weddings ;) )
There are many crisps and fries too which I miss when I am away from home. Plum cakes during the Christmas time and Appam and stew are also a few you don’t want to miss in Thrissur. I don’t know if everyone likes it but “Botti and Kolli”, which is beef intestines and tapioca is a street food that tastes really good.
Otherwise, get a small pack of roasted peanuts and stroll through the Swaraj round in the evening is a good time guaranteed in Thrissur.
A Few More Generals
Apart from all that, there are different attractions like dams and forests to explore. There are institutes of art, literature and culture. These institutes host international film and drama festivals. There are many jewelleries for purchasing gold ornaments. Oh, and during Christmas there’s “Buon Natale” where thousands of Santa clauses participate in a parade. It also got into the Guinness book. It is an annual festival now.
Oh wait, there's a weaver's village too. They handloom the traditional clothing like sarees and mundu. These are people who were brought to Thrissur during by the king during those times. I think it is the mix of people from different cultures that make up this diversity in here.
To me personally, it is the stories from different parts of Thrissur that's interesting. Sometimes a few historical events that made an event or a place or a building or monument that makes it special. Basically put, I will be listening to stories both superficial and historical facts if someone is ready to share it with me.
Thrissur has something to offer depending on when and where you are in the town. It is always a good time during the monsoon and spring time. It is not just one thing that makes Thrissur unique but a collection of a lot of little things which makes up the vibrant culture of Thrissur.
Even though Thrissur is my hometown, it is also the my least explored places. So, every time I am here I try to tick off a few places. It seems like this time we are here for a longer time due to coronavirus. Once it is all over, I have found this place in Thrissur called "FARMER'S SHARE" which is a permaculture farm that offers workshops and activities.