Facts About Trichur
(Annual): 254 cm
Tropical humid, Cool and pleasant in the High Ranges
and the Cardamom Hills
Season: September to March
to get there:
The nearest airport is at Cochin, 78 kms away.
is an important railway station on the Southern Railway and is linked
to most major towns inside and outside Kerala.
roads connect Trichur to several important centres. Both KSRTC and
private operators run bus services. There are direct buses to Palani,
Madurai, Bangalore, Mysore, Erode and Chennai.
Local Transport: For local transport there are autorickshaws,
yellow-top and tourist taxis and buses.
- The Cultural Capital of Kerala
The name of this
town, often called the cultural capital of Kerala, derives from
'Tiru- Shiva Perur' or the town with the name of Lord Shiva. Appropriately
enough, the town is built around a hillock atop which is its most
prominent feature, the Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or temple which has
Shiva as its presiding deity. Adi Sankaraacharya is supposed to
have spent his last days in this temple.
rise as a town of importance is attributed top Raja Rama Varma,
popularly known as 'Sakthan Thampuran', who ascended the throne
of the State of Cochin in 1790. Large areas of Trichur were captured
by the latter half of the 18th century, Tripu Sultan held sway over
Trichur until the European domination began under the Portuguese,
the Dutch and the English.
ago, the vast open area around the temple was a magnificent teak
forest called Tekkinkadu. Today the forest has given way to one
of the most important examples of Kerala temple architecture which
often does away with the imposing gopurams of South Indian temples.
This temple features low, tiled roofs, an abundance of woodwork
and the famous 'kuttambalam' or theatre hall with sloping roofs
of metal plates within which is performed the old dramatic arts
from of 'chakiar koothu'. The Vadakkumnathan temple is also well
known for its murals depicting the Mahabharatha as -well- as exquisite
most spectacular festival is Pooram celebrated at the Vadakkumnathan
Temple every year during April-May. Though non- Hindus are not allowed
inside the temple, Kerala's grandest temple pageantry, which included
colourful processions of caparisoned elephants and a midnight fireworks
display, can be witnessed from the crowded streets of Trichur.
the Kerala Sahitya Academy and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy
are all situated in and around Trichur, as are the Nataka Niketan,
the Nritta Kalalayalam and the Rama Varma Research Institute. These
centres have lent the town the status of Kerala's cultural capital.
Vadakkumnathan Temple is open for worship from 0400 to 1030 hrs
and 1700 to 2030 hrs. However, non- Hindus are not allowed inside.
For a sight of mural paintings from all over Kerala, visit the Town
Hall, an imposing building with a picture gallery or 'chitralayam.'
the animal enthusiasts, Trichur boats a Zoo,
2 km from the town centre. It is open daily (except Mondays) from
0900 to 1500 hrs. Entry fee : Adults : Re 1 Children : Rs: .0.50
Camera : Rs : 2 Remember to get prior permission to shoot with a
video or movie camera. Within the 13.5 acres of the compound live
a variety of fauna like the lion-tailed macaque, sloth bear, species
of birds and deer. The snake park has a reptilian collection of
king cobras, kraits, vipers and rat snakes.
the zoo compound is the small Art Museum which has a good collection
of wood carvings, metal sculptures, Kathakali figures and ancient
jewellery. The timings are the same as for the zoo.
Chembukkavu, on the Town Hall road, is the State Archaelogical Museum
(Tel : 20556) which you can enter free daily (closed on Mondays)
between 1000 and 1700 hrs. Near the Nehru Park is the Aquarium,
open daily from 1500 to 2000 hrs, entry fee : 25 paise.
Onam (August / September) there is the annual Kandassamkadavu Boat
is a good base for a pilgrimage trip to Guruvayur,
32 km away. It is among India's most important pilgrimage centres
and is also known as the Dwaraka of the South. The Sree Krishna
Swamy Temple, which attracts thousands of pilgrims, is said to date
prior to the 16th preceptor of the Devas and Vayu, the Lord of 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. It is at this temple that Melpattur
Narayan Bhattathiri composed his well-known Sanskrit devotional
the 'chuttambalam' or outer enclosure is the 33.5 metre high gold-plated
flagpost or 'dwajathambam' and the 7 metre high pillar of lamps
('deepasthamba'). When lit, the 13 circular receptacles of the lamp
provide a truly spectacular sight.)
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 the 'thulabharam'
where a devotee is weighed aganist offerings of bananas, sugar,
jaggery or coconuts. Not surprisingly, Guruvayur is the site for
several weddings and 'annaprasanam', the first feeding ceremony
of a child.
temple opens from 0300 (for the 'nirmalayam' darshan) to 1230 hrs
and 1700 to 2100 hrs. As with most other Kerala temples, non- Hindus
are not allowed inside.
Guruvayur, 4 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. Visitors are allowed
of Trichur, 20 km away, near the Shoranur Railway Junction, is Cheruthuruthy,
home of the renowned Kerala Kalamadalm, founded by the poet Vallathol
and today the repository of the tradition of the kathakali dance
from. It is in this academy that the best of Kerala's kathakali
performers get their rigorous training. The institution also offers
training in music, drama and other dance froms including mohiniyattam,
koodiyettam and thullal.
an enchanting getaway, head for the Peechi dam, 23 km from Trichur.
An irrigation projects site, it offers boating facilities as the
Kalamandalam troupes tour all over the world with their performances.
But you don't have to wait to see one for you can visit the centre
free to watch the training sessions from 0430 to 0630 hrs, 0830
to 1200 hrs and 1530 to 1730 hrs daily. It is closed on weekend,
March 31, June 15 all public holidays. Vacations are during April
Kathakali and other
dance performances that start at 2030 hrs and go no until daybreak
are held here every year on January 26, August 15. September 18
and November 8. Entry id free. For further information, contact
the Secretary, Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruhty, Trichur - 679
you've ever wondered what the 'Gulf boom' means, visit Chavakkad,
a town in Trichur district which is perhaps Kerala's quintessential
'Gulf town'. You will find fancy, ostentatious houses built with
the remittances of Malayalee migrant labour in the Middle East countries.
And if you're luck enough to be invited into one, don't be shocked
by the Sonys and Panasonics and Echolacs!
If you're lucky, you might even spot a wild tusker or two
on the forested banks, which from part of the 125 sq km . Peechi-Vazhani
Wildlife Sanctuary. If you're more found of hills, a good picnic
spot is Vilangankunnu, 7 km from Trichur.
at the junction where the river meets the sea, 36 km south-west
of Trichur, is Kodungalloor or Cranganore, its old Anglicised name.
It is almost an island bounded on the west by the Arabian sea and
by the river mouths of Chetvai and Azhikode on the north and south
and by the backwaters in the east. Kodungalloor can also be reached
by boat from Cochin, an exhilarating 5-hour trip.
important part in ancient times, Kodungalloor was known to the Greeks
as Musiris. St. Thomas the Apostle is believed to have landed here
in 5 A.D. It was the capital of Cheraman Perumal, King of Kerala.
The place where his palace stood is today called Cheramanparambu.
Other places worth visiting are the ancient Tiruvanchikulam temple,
the Bhagwati temple, the Portuguese fort and the old mosque. This
mosque, similar in appearance to a Hindu temple, is believed to
be the first mosque in India, dating to around 643 A. D.
Rama temple at Triprayar, 25 km away, features architecture similar
to the Vadakkumnathan temple. At Irinjalakuda, 21 km from Trichur,
is a temple Bharatha, probably the only temple in India dedicated
to the brother of Lord Rama.
Among Kerala's more colourful festivals is the annual 'pooram' festival
in April/May at Arattupuzha. This is when idols from 41 temples
of the neighbouring areas are brought in procession at night to
of Chalakudy, near the entrance to the Sholayar forest ranges, are
the beautiful water falls of Athirampally and Vazhachal, 5 km apart.