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Kerala: Places to see near Thrissur: Irinjalakuda, Cheruthuruthy and Guruvayur
The tiny city, Thrissur has a huge value as far as history, archeology and cultures are concerned. Thrissur was also known as Trichur and Brishabhadrapuram in earlier times.
Thrissur is popularly known for the Vadakkummathan Shiva temple, covering 65 acres of straggling territory. The holy and largest temple of Kerala was built in 12th century and is located in the middle of Nilgiri and Palani hills on small hilly tila. The deity, Dancing Shiva, resides on the throne of the awe- inspiring temple with the pagoda type roof top. The walls of the temple depict excellent architectural style and finesse. Besides Ganesha and Rama (in the form of Vishnu), 12 other deities reside in the temple. The stories of the epic Mahabharata are portrayed surprisingly on the walls of the temple using oil paintings.
The 4 days long Vipul Puram festival, organized during the month of Baisakh (8th May), attracts people from far and wide places. A colorful procession moves around the neighboring area during the fascinating festival. A number of well dressed elephants walk with the procession. Firecrackers brighten up the surrounding environment. The adjoining Koothambalam theatre organizes numerous cultural events and programs during the festive season. Plenty of people gather in the theatre hall to watch and participate in the celebration.
Only people who belong to the faith Hinduism can enter into the temple. Moreover, men have to wear dhoti to go inside. Even though the temple is situated in Kerala but it doesn’t follow all the norms and rules like other South Indian temples. The temple doesn’t have any tall Gopuram which is quite common in all the South Indian temples. It is believed that Vadakkummathan was a Jain temple earlier. But, the ancient Jain temple had converted into the Hindu temple way back in 18th century when king Tipu Sultan attacked Thrissur.
Besides Vadakkummathan temple, Bhagavathi temple, Krishna temple, Sankaranarayanan temple, and Vrishabha temple are few other interesting destinations for the temple lovers.
Royal palace, fort, art museum in town hall, and state museum are the other coveted enticements for the tourists. The wonderful and atypical collection of dolls in the “Natural History museum” encourages little kids to visit the same museum once again. Tourists who love to watch various rare and unusual assortments, they should visit the archeological museum at least once. The zoo, located adjacent to the Art museum, deserves a visit. The zoo has huge numbers of snakes and is the best zoo in India if the numbers and species of the snakes are concerned.
Tourists, especially Christians would enjoy the sight of the sanctified Syrian Catholic Kourdes Cathedral and Martha Mariam Big Church.
Handicrafts, manufactured by the skillful and dexterous creators of Thrissur, are famous in India. Holiday makers who want to purchase something from Thrissur to recall the tour, they can buy Handicrafts from Thrissur. For any information you can visit Tourist office, built at the opposite side of the palace, at the roadside of the palace road.
Tourists can stay at Tourists’ Guest House of KTDC in Thrissur.
Irinjalakuda: The best suitable way to visit Irinjalakuda is to avail a bus from Thrissur. Take a bus to Irinjalakuda, about 20 km towards the southern side of Thrissur, instead of availing a train.
Lies 10 km off the Irinjalakuda railway station, the temple of Bharat (brother of Shri Rama), is the only temple of such kind in India. The astounding temple is a crowd puller for its impressive artistic works and architectural grandeur. This fascinating temple can only be enjoyed by the Hindus though. Men devotees have to wear dhoti to get into the holy temple.
Cheruthuruthy: Lies at a distance of 29 km towards the north of Thrissur, Cheruthuruthy, is famous for Kerala Kalamandalam, built in 1927, the deemed university for art and culture.
Besides the vibrant Kathakali dance form, Mohiniyattam, Ottyam, Thullal, and many more South Indian dance forms are taught in the Kathakali Center, formed by Vallathol Narayana Menon. Research on some prominent and popular dance forms and music are also conducted by the Kathakali Center. Interested tourists can watch the style of learning and research in the Kathakali Center. The Kalamandalam is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, 31st March, 15th June, National Holidays and in the month of April and May.
If you like to take a close look at the old culture and traditional dance forms along with the music of Kerala then you have to stay at the Government Rest House or PWD Rest house on the banks of the largest River of Kerala, Bharathapuzha.
Guruvayur: Guruvayur, about 32 km towards north-west side of Thrissur, is primarily known for Sri krishna temple.
The deities in Pawan dev temple and Sri Krishna temple are worshipped regularly by the city dwellers with lot of devotion. People believe in their divine powers and also believe that the deities have the power to fulfill all of their worldly wishes. Almost 100 millions of rupees are dedicated to the almighty by the devotees every year. The holy Srikrishna temple of Guruvayur, one of the biggest enticements for the spiritual throng of Kerala, is also the richest of all the temples of Kerala and is ranked second in pulling most number of devotees. Various stories, related to the sacred deity, Sri Krishna, are portrayed in mural pictures. 33 ½ meters tall flag stand, placed on the sanctified temple premise, is wrapped up wonderfully in expensive gold. A 7 ½ meters tall diya stand is also placed adjacent to the flag stand. The temple Gopuram was built long back in 1747. Even though the present pagoda like structure of the temple, spreading across 200 acres of sprawling topography, was built in 19th century but the history of this hallowed Sri Krishna temple is dated back to 3000 years.
Besides the divine Sri Krishna, Guru and Bayu are the other deities who also reside alongside on the consecrated thrones. Festivals have almost become a mundane custom in the vicinity. 24 festivals are celebrated all through the year. Ekadashi Mahotsav in November/December, Festival of Vishnu in August/September, 10 days long utsavam and Puram in February/March are few of the famous festivals of Guruvayur. The well bejeweled procession that comes out from the holy premise of the temple moves around the entire city and the colorfully dressed men and women in the procession look marvelous when firecrackers are burned during their journey. It is believed that the devotees who can watch the holy façade of the deity would of course get a place in heaven. Plenty of adroit artists show their special talents while performing Krishnattam dance which is showcased at 9:30 pm every day at the northern side of the temple. However, only people who belong to the Hindu communities are allowed to watch the divinity. Interested men have to wear a dhoti if they want to get into the temple.
Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, located at a distance of 2 km from the temple, is another nearby famous place. Tourists can watch plenty of ambling elephants in the middle of the beautiful sanctuary compound. 64 elephants move in and around the captivating manor.
The temple city, Guruvayur, also houses Shiva, Vishnu, Parthasarathy and Tirupati Nath temples.
Guruvayur can be accessed from Thrissur and Kochi by bus whereas frequent train services are available to Guruvayur from Chennai Egmore, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Ernakulum.
Hotel Nandanam, Hotel Mangalya, Hotel Elite, Amrutha T H, Nandini T H, R V K Residency, Mayura Residency, R Vee’s Hotel, Ardhana T HGovindam Residency and Madhav Inn are few noteworthy hotels and guest houses where tourists can stay overnight.
How to reach: Thrissur is very well connected to various parts of South India. Regular bus services are available to Thrissur from Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Mysore and many more cities. Interested tourists who prefer trains can visit Thrissur by availing trains from Ernakulum, Thriruvananthapuram, Kannur, Aluva, Chennai and Kochi.
Where to stay: Yatrinivas of KTDC, Motel Aaram, Casino Hotel, Hotel Sidhartha Regency, Central Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Hotel Luciya Palace, Hotel Palace Tower and Cheruthuruthy River Resort.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.