Facts About Thrissur

Before you travel to Thrissur, you need to know basic facts and history of Thrissur.

Thrissur, the Cultural Capital of Kerala state, India is synonymous with the world for its famous and extravagant Pooram Festival. The city which is rich in its cultural heritage is also the house to several cultural centers including Kerala Kalamandalam, Sahitya Academy and Sangeetha Nataka Academy. Here is more useful information about Thrissur to make your visit exotic.


History of Thrissur has played a prominent role in carving the district as it is today. It derived its name from “Thiru-Shiva-Perur” which when translated means “ The City of Sacred Siva”. The region is built around a hillock, crowned by famous Vadakkunathan (Siva) temple which is believed to be founded by the legend Parasurama, who is said to have reclaimed Kerala from the sea by throwing an axe.
The place has played an important role in shaping the political and social perspectives of the region. Thrissur had witnessed the rise and fall of various dynasties that include the Chera and Kulasekaharas in the 12th century , Zamorins in the 14th and 15th century followed by the Mughals (Tippu Sultan), Portugese, Dutch and British.

The history of Thrissur is interlinked with the Cheras of the Sangam age, who ruled over vast portions of Kerala with their capital at Vanchi. From the 9th to the 12th century Kulasekharas of Mahodayapuram took over the rule and from the 12th century onwards the history was of Perumpadappu Swarupam. The Perumpadappu Swarupam had its headquarters at Mahodayapuram. Central Kerala was the control of the Perumpadappu Moopil, known as the 'Kerala Chakravarthi'.

In the 14th and 15th centuries the Zamorins of Calicut managed to occupy a large part of the present Thrissur district. Kodungalloor, the old harbour of India, attracted European powers to Kerala for trading spices and other commodities.
In the consequent centuries the European powers dominated the scene. In the start of 15th century, the Portuguese came and by the beginning of the 17th century the Dutch and the English appeared on the panorama and challenged the Portuguese. Internal conflict in the Perumpadappu Swarupam helped the Dutch to establish their domination in Kerala coast. Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan figured very prominent in the northern part of Kerala during that period.
In the medieval age, the region prospered in culture and became home to communities including Jews, Christians and Muslims. The world’s second oldest mosque namely, Cheraman Juma Masjid which is believed to be built in 628AD, seven years after the Prophet's migration to Medina is located at Methala in Kodungalloor in Thrissur.
Moreover, Thrissur is also the house of India’ oldest Church, St. Thomas Church Palayur. The Church is believed to be built in AD 52 by the renowned Christian missionary, St. Thomas who spread Christianity in India.

Thrissur is also the home town to the great Hindu Saint, Adi Shankara. It is believed that Adi Shanakara was born in answer to the prayer made by his mother in Vadakkunnathan Temple. His disciples have established four Madhoms (mutts) in the city, namely the Northern Madhom, the Middle Madhom, the In-Between Madhom and Southern Madhom. Adi Shanakara after travelling several places spreading his teachings came back to Thrissur and spent his last days here.
Thrissur also gave birth to the renowned mathematician and astronomist, Aryabhata. He is believed to be born in Kodungallor of Thrissur district.
With he decline of Jainism and Buddhism as a result of growing Brahminism, Thrissur became an important center of Sanskrit learning and house for several sacred shrines.
The architecture of modern Thrissur is Raja Rama Varma , the enlightened ruler of Cochin who ascended the throne in 1790. Shaktan Thampuran, as he is popularly known, revived the cultural heritage of the region and built it up as the main commercial center of Kerala.
Thrissur for years hosts the famous pooram “Thrissur Pooram” (Grand Assembly of Gods and Goddess from various villages and towns) which is known as the mother of all poorams. It is a festival that continues non-stop for 36 hrs with over 100 elephants till the final fireworks marks an end. UNESCO has adjudged Thrissur Pooram as “the most spectacular festival event on the planet”.