Best Things To Do In Kerala's Cultural Capital: Thrissur, India

things to do in thrissur india

Thrissur city is the cultural capital of the Indian state of Kerala which is acclaimed to be God’s Own Country. This city’s name is etched in golden words in history with the works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings claiming that Thomas the Apostle had set foot in Muziris near Thrissur 2,000 years ago and the country’s first mosque, Cheraman Juma Masjid, opened here in AD 629. The city is a natural paradise with waterfalls, hills and valleys. It is famous for silk textiles and gold jewelry. Thrissur Pooram is the most colorful and spectacular temple festival in Kerala organized in the months of April-May.

The city is built around a 65-acre (26 hectare) hillock called the Thekkinkadu Maidan which seats the Vadakkumnathan Temple. There’s so much to see and explore in this city that merely words can’t do justice to its true diversity. Here are the best things to do in Thrissur, India:

1. Athirappilly Waterfalls

Athirappilly Waterfalls 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dilshad Roshan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Aptly called “The Niagara of India”, the Athirappilly Falls are the most famous waterfalls in Kerala. These are located on the Chalakudy River, which originates from the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. At the entrance to the Sholayar forest ranges, this fall is the highest waterfall in Kerala with a height of 80 feet (24.3 m).

Athirappilly Waterfalls

Address: Sholayar forest ranges, Thrissur

2. Vadakkunnathan Temple

Vadakkumnatha Kshethram - Thekke Nada
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mullookkaaran used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Vadakkunnathan Temple is an ancient Shiva temple in the city. This temple has great religious and historical significance amongst Hindus. There has been no findings claiming the exact period of construction or the age of this temple, but, there has been citations in ancient Hindu texts referring to this temple, so it is believed that the temple was constructed by the sixth Vishnu named Parashurama who lived thousands of years before the 3rd-century BCE.

The architecture of this temple has four magnificent towers and also a theatre called the Kuttambalam, which is used for staging ancient ritualistic art forms of Kerala. Mural paintings depicting various episodes from the Hindu mythological epic Mahabharata can be seen inside the temple. The temple opens daily at 3:00 am, closes at 11:00 am, reopens at 4:45 pm and closes at 8.30 pm.

Vadakkunnathan Temple

Address: Near Thekkinkadu Maidan, Kuruppam, Anchuvilakku, Thrissur, Kerala

Website: Vadakkunnathan Temple

3. Vazhachal Waterfall

Vazhachal Falls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeganam used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A 10 minute drive from Athirappilly Waterfall, this unique waterfall is also located on the Chalakudy River at the edge of the Sholayar forest ranges. This waterfall is close to dense green forests and many endangered species of flora and fauna. As inviting as they look, it is dangerous to bathe in the falls as it is simply a stream of rapidly flowing water downhill and not a usual waterfall. So, it can be very slippery and has invited a few casualties. To truly enjoy your experience here, it is best to go during monsoons (June - September), wear sturdy footwear and strictly follow the guidelines of forest officers.

Vazhachal Waterfall

Address: Athirappilly Panchayath, Thrissur, India

4. Thrissur Zoo & Museum

Thrissur Museum and zoo - Dec2011- 0215
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rameshng used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Thrissur Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the country as it was opened in 1885 in the heart of the city. Now, it compasses a natural history museum, art museum, zoological garden, botanical garden and a Mini 3D Movie Theater. There are a wide variety of animals, reptiles and birds in the zoo. Located merely 2 kms (1.2 miles) from the city center, this 13.5-acre (5.5 ha) zoo is open on all days except Mondays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Thrissur Zoo & Museum

Address: Chembukavu, Thrissur, Kerala 680020, India

Website: Thrissur Zoo & Museum

5. Bible Tower

The foundation stone of the Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours was laid in Thrissur in 1929. However, the Roman Catholic Church was blessed in 1940. The Bible Tower is in the same premises and was inaugurated recently in 2007. This tower is the tallest church tower in Asia and the entire city of Thrissur on all sides can be seen from the top. A trip to this church only adds to the interesting conflux of religious diversity in the city living in harmony for hundreds of years.

Bible Tower

Address: Latin Church Rd, Erinjeri, Thrissur, Kerala 680001, India

Website: Bible Tower

6. Vilangan Hill

Children's Park,Vilangan Hills
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Saisundar.s used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Vilangan Hill is located in Adat Panchayat at a height of 80 meters (262 feet) above sea level and gives panoramic views of the Thrissur city from the top. Just like the historical city of Thirssur, this hill holds historical significance as it served as a military base and an observation camp during World War II. This hill currently houses a medicinal garden called Asokavanam, an open air theatre, a children’s park, trekkers club and Kudumbashree canteen. The hill remains open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm every day.

Vilangan Hill

Address: Vilagan Hill Rd, Thrissur, Kerala, India

7. Shakthan Thampuran Palace

Shakthan Thampuran Palace
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Er.jjoy used under CC BY 3.0

Located near the Thrissur city center, this palace is also known as the Vadakkekara Palace. This palace was built in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by the then ruler of Cochin Dynasty, Ramavarma Thampuran. In the year 2005, the state government converted this palace into a museum reminiscent of the glory of the greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty. So, it is currently preserved by the Archaeological Society of India.

This palace is adorned with high roofs, extra thick walls, spacious rooms and Italian marble flooring which create a pleasant staying environment irrespective of the prevailing weather conditions. The palace is close to the famous Vadakkunnathan Temple and is known to have introduced the Thrissur Pooram Festival.

Shakthan Thampuran Palace

Address: Stadium Rd, Chembukkav, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Website: Shakthan Thampuran Palace

Revisit Indian history in Thrissur

This remarkable old city has such historical significance that visiting its various monuments, sacred relgious sites and natural beauty you will embark on an journey of ancient India with untouched beauty, rich cultural diversity and inspirational religious integrity. The best time to visit Thrissur is during winters from October to March. However, if possible, a visit during the months of April or May might coincide with the famous festival of Thrissur Pooram which holds a sight to behold.

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Ishita Gupta is a freelance Indian writer with a passion for travelling extensively and discovering new destinations that also reflects in her style of writing. While charting the road less...Read more

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