Thrissur is the Cultural Capital of Kerala and a temple town famous for Vadakkumnathan Temple and Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple. Thrissur the name derived from 'tiru-shiva-perur' (the town with the name of Lord Siva). The town is built around a hillock. Thrissur's emergence to a town and cultural centre is attributed to Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as 'Sakthan Thampuran', who was the king of Cochin in 1790.
The colourful Thrissur Pooram festival is world renowned. Elaborately caparisoned elephants, richly decorated parasols are displayed on the backs of elephants and large peacock fans are waved all to the rhythm of hypnotic percussion and wind instrument music. This is rounded off at night by a spectacular fire works display, perhaps the biggest in the country.
The Thrissur Pooram was envisaged by Sakthan Thampuran some 200 years ago. The ceremonial `kodiyettam' (flag hoisting) by the Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi Devaswoms at separate ceremonies, heralds the beginning of Thrissur Pooram. After obtaining permission from the head of the Desam, the ceremonial flag is hoisted.
Elephants have a key role in pooram festivals. They are decorated with elaborate accoutrements, their foreheads adorned with 'nettipattams' (headware). Added to these are the colourful, embroidered mega parasols and the rhythmic waving of creamy white 'venchamarams' (yak tail bunches) against the back ground of large 'alavattams' (peacock feather fans) enhancing the divinity and beauty of the formation.
The entire forenoon of the first day is reserved for the 'mini poorams' of the eight invited deities from the minor temples in and around the town. From 6 a.m. onwards, they arrive at the maidan one by one at stipulated times, carrying idols of respective deities on single elephants.
The famous Madathil Varavu of Thiruvambadi, an event glorified by bards in immortal verse, starts from the Brahmaswom Madhom. The procession starts with three elephants, augmented to seven as it reaches the west round. The main highlight of Madathil Varavu is the masterly execution of Panchavadyam under the leadership of the best artists.
The Paramekkavu Devi starts around 1 p.m. from her abode near the eastern round in glittering procession of 15 mighty tuskers, draped with all the paraphernalia and accompanied by the pandimelam ensemble. The procession moves towards the Vadakkunnathan Temple, enters through the eastern gopuram and re-aligns in the western courtyard for the famous "Elanjithara Melom"
Just when the orchestra reaches its crescendo, the parasols are changed with an even more colourful and exquisite one. The ceremony is called, 'Kudamattom'.
Thrissur Pooram is known for its pyrotechnic display. The fire works commence (at around 3'o clock early morning) with a loud bang heralding the lighting of cracker chains, the serial explosions merging into a continuous roar punctuated with the bursting of innumerable 'gunds', dynamites and colourful 'amits' and gaining momentum minute by minute, the cracker show ends in a dazzling climax of light and sound.
On the morning of the second day the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu realign in formation comprising 15 elephants and drum orchestra at the southern and northern peripheries of the maidan and proceed towards srimoolasthanam to continue the drum concerts till 12 noon.
After Pakalpooram the two deities on elephants meet face-to-face, bid farewell, pay respects to Vadakkunnathan and leave for their respective abodes. A fascinating scene of the finale is the two elephants mutely wishing 'au revoir' through an elegant 's' gesture with their trunks.
This temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architectrue. The temple contains the sacred shrines of Paramashiva, Parvathy, Sankaranarayana, Ganapathy, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. The central shrines and Koothambalam exhibit exquisite vignettes carved in wood. Legend goes that this temple was founded by Parasurama. 'Thrissur Pooram' the grandest temple pageantry in Kerala, is celebrated here in April -May every year
The Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, which attracts thousands of pilgrims is said to date prior to the 16th centrury. Tradition has it that the temple was created by Guru - the preceptor of the Devas, and Vayu - the lord of the Winds. The temple is dedicated to Krishna known here as Guruvayurappan or the Lord of Guruvayur, and the idol is said to have been worshipped by Lord Brahma himself at Dwaraka. Thousands of devotees throng this temple each to seek the blessings of Guruvayurappan.
Near Guruvayur, 2 km away, is 'Punnathur Kotta', the place where the temple elephants (numbering over 40) are taken care of. Nowhere else can so many elephants be seen at any one time
East of Chalakudy, near the entrance to the Sholayar forest ranges, are the beautiful waterfalls of Athirapally and Vazhachal, 5 km apart. These waterfalls are a place of scenic beauty , and is of 80 feet high.
Peechi Dam, 23km fromThrissur is an irrigation project site which offers boating facilities at the reservoir. If you are lucky, you might even spot a wild tusker or two on the forested banks, which form part of the 125 sq. km Peechi Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary.
For 35 years now. Hotel Luciya palace has combined traditional charm with modern convenience. A 4 Star business class Hotel, its situated at heart of Trichur City.