Being considered as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur continue to assume the role with its numerous festivals, art schools and institutions those promote cultural activities.
Situated 80km from Kochi, Thrissur town is the headquarters of the district. Thrissur is built around a hillock crowned by the famed Vadakkunathan Temple. The nearest airport is Kochi at 50km towards south of the town. The town is accessible by rail and road from different places of India.
Situated on the Town Hall Road, the archaeological museum has a collection of temple models, stone relieves, Gandharan pieces and reproduction of some of the Mattancherry murals.
Zoo & Arts Museum
2km from town centre, the zoo spreads over an area of 13.5 acres. The zoo has a variety of animals and a snake park. Within the compound of the zoo is the Arts Museum that has exhibits of woodcarvings, bronzes, Kathakali figures etc.
Vadakkunatan Temple is the landmark of Thrissur. It is believed that Parasuraman, the mythological creator of Kerala built the temple. A classic example of temple architecture of Kerala, the temple has shrines of Siva, Parvathy, Shankaranarayana, Ganapathy, Rama and Krishna. The central shrine and koothambalam have exquisite vignettes of carved wood. The temple festival Pooram celebrated in the month of April-May is the grandest in Kerala.
The Sri Krishna Temple at Guruvayoor is one of the most famous temples and a popular pilgrim centre in Kerala. The temple is said to have been built in the 16th century. Non-Hindus are not permitted into the temple.
Punnathur Kotta, an old Zamorin palace, is where the elephants of the temple are kept. Visiting the palace definitely is worthwhile.
Located 21km from Thrissur on the NH47 towards Kochi, Irinjalakuda has a temple dedicated to Bharata, brother of Rama. Perhaps this is the only temple in India where Bharata is worshipped.
Cheruthuruthi is 29km from Thrissur and near the Shornur railway station. It is where Kerala Kalamandalam, the home of traditional Kerala arts is situated. Students undergo rigorous training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam, Thullal, music and drama.
The Athirapally Waterfall is situated near the entrance to the Sholayar forest range east of chalakkudi and falls from a height of 80ft. The Vazhachal Fall is 5km from Athirapally. These falls are becoming very popular tourist attractions.
This is an irrigation dam built across the River Mandi. 15km from Thrissur, it is a tourist centre. Boating facilities in the reservoir are available.
Formerly known as Muziris, Kodungallor was a major seaport on India's west coast. It was the capital of Cheraman Perumal. His famous palace Allal Perumkovilakam was near Thiruvanchkulam. It is also believed that St. Thomas, an apostle of Jesus Christ landed in Muziris in 52 AD. Cheraman Parambu, the ancient Thiruvanchikulam Temple, the Bhagavathy Temple, the Portuguese fort and the old mosque built in the lines of a Hindu temple are of tourist interest in Kodungallur.
The district lies at the foot of the Western Ghats. Much of the area is made up of plains of midlands and highlands with a few hillocks. Palakkad is the headquarters of district and can be reached by rail and road. The nearest airport is Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu about 55km away. Kochi airport is 130km south of Palakkad.
Hyder Ali, the erstwhile ruler of Mysore built this fort in 1766. The British conquered the fort in 1784 after defeating Tipu Sultan. Later for a brief period, it was in the possession of the Zamorin. But the British took it back in 1790. The fort is well preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Attappadi is an extensive mountain region with dense forests, plantations and rivulets those drain to River Bhavani. Predominantly a tribal area, Attappadi offers forests in its elemental magnificence.
The irrigation dam built across the Bharathapuzha, the longest river in Kerala, is a popular tourist centre. The town is at the base of the hills of Western Ghats. The children's amusement park, miniature zoo and the beautiful rose gardens are set for the pleasure of the children. Facilities for a boat-ride in the reservoir are also available. The famous sculpture "Yakshi" (nymph) by Kanai Kunjuraman is another attraction in the garden.
It is a forest range 75km from Palakkad. The range is a chain of ridges cut off from one another with valleys of evergreen forests. Nelliampathy is a hill station with cooler climate and can be reached by road from Palakkad.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, a continuation of the Anamalai sanctuary of Tamil Nadu, spreads over an area of 285sq.km. The wildlife includes elephant, bison, gaur, sloth bear, wild boar, sambar, chital, crocodiles and a few tigers and panthers. Thunakadavu is the headquarters of the sanctuary. The forest department has a rest house and a treetop house those are available for tourists. Boating can be arranged in the lake at Parambikulam.
Silent Valley National Park
Silent Valley is the only virgin rain forest in the Western Ghats. Spread over 90sq.km, it contains India's last stretch of substantial evergreen rain forest and many rare species of wild animals.
Trithala has ruins of a large fort and Kattil Madom Temple with domed granite structure.
Bifurcated from Palakkad and Kozhikode, Malappuram was once a centre for Vedic learning and teaching. Malappuram town is the district headquarters. Roads connect Malappuram to the other towns of Kerala. The nearest railhead is Shornur, 33km from Malappuram. The nearest airport is Kozhikode about 30km to the north.
The Jama-at Mosque
The mosque is an important religious centre for Muslims. The four-day annual festival (Nercha) is celebrated in April. Adjacent to the mosque is the mausoleum of Malappuram Shaheeds who fought bravely against the Zamorin's army.
Angadippuram is a pilgrim centre for both Hindus and Muslims. The mosque at Puthanangadi has ancient Arabic inscriptions on one of its planks. Thirumandakkunnu Durga temple is one of the three Bhagavati temples in Kerala. The Pooram celebration of the temple is an important temple festival in the Central Malabar.
Kottakkal is well known for the Arya Vydyasala that provides ayurvedic treatment for various ailments. P. S. warier, the famous Ayurvedic physician, established the vydyasala and people from different parts of the world come to Kottakkal for treatment. The township is 12km from Malappuram.
Thirunavaya is a place of historic importance. Located on the banks of the River Bharathapuzha, it is 7km from Tirur, a railhead on the Mangalore-Chennai route. In the olden days Mamangam, a gathering of the local rulers to choose the king among them, was held in Thirunavaya. The last mamangam was held in 1755.
Tirur is an important business centre in Malappuram. 3km from Tirur railways station is Trikkandiyur where Tunjan Parambu, the birthplace of Ezhuthachan who lived in the 16th century, is situated. Tunjath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan is considered as the father of Malayalam literature. On the Vijayadasami day, in Dec., people come to Thunjan Parambu with their children to initiate them to the world of letters.
At the foot of the Western Ghats, Nilambur is famous for its bamboos and teaks. Nilambur boasts the oldest teak plantation in the world. The oldest teak Kannimeri is an attraction for visitors. The teak museum is located on the Nilambur-Gudallur road, about 4km from Nilambur. The museum will educate a visitor about every aspects of teak.
Trikandiyur Shiva Temple
Located near Tirur, it is believed that Parasurama, the mythological creator of Kerala, built this temple. Devotees from far and near places visit the temple to pay homage to Lord Shiva.
Kondotty is a township near to the Kozhikode airport. The 18th century pazhayangadi mosque where the first Kondotty Thangal, believed to be a descendant of Prophet Mohamed, is buried. The Nercha is held at the tomb of the Thangal.
Tanur is situated 8km from Tirur. It is a coastal town where the Portuguese set up one of their earliest settlements. It is believed that St. Francis Xavier visited this place in 1546.
Ponnani was one of the oldest seaports in ancient Kerala. Arabs, Chinese and Europeans were trading in spices. Now Ponnani is an important fishing centre.