One of the oldest temples in the State, the Vadakkumnathan Temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture and has many decorative murals and pieces of art. This is the venue of the world famous Pooram festival celebrated annually in April-May. The fireworks at the Pooram are a spectacular sight. Non Hindus are not allowed entry into the temple. (Open: 04:00 - 10:30 am & 05:00 - 08:30 pm)
Archaeological Museum (Town Hall Road):
Open from 1000 - 1700 hrs on all days except Mondays and national holidays.
Located in the Zoo compound, the art museum displays collections of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery. (Open 1000 - 17 00 hrs on all days except Mondays)
Houses the Picture Gallery where mural paintings from all parts of Kerala are on display.
This village is known for the annual Pooram festival at the temple in April/May. The uniqueness of this festival is the ceremonial processions carrying the images of the deities of 41 neighbouring temples to this village.
Christian Divine Retreat Centres:
They are located at Muringoor and Potta near Chalakudi, on the Kochi - Thrissur route.
St. Mary's Forane Church, Koratty (15 km from Cochin International Airport):
Also known as the Church of Koratty Muthy, this was established in 1381. The annual feast falls on the Saturday and Sunday following the 10th of October, during which the statue of Koratty Muthy is taken out in a procession from the church. An important offering here is the poovankula (bunch of plantain).
Guruvayoor (29 km west of Thrissur):
Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala. Its main attraction is the Sree Krishna Temple. This historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor of the Gods, and Vayu, the God of winds. The eastern nada is the main entrance to the shrine. In the Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the tall 33.5 m high gold plated Dwajasthambam (flag-post). There is also a 7 m high Dipastambham (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple there are also the images of Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedattu Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam Temple (21 km from Thrissur):
Situated 10 km away from Irinjalakuda railway station, this ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Bharatha, the brother of Sri
Rama. It is perhaps the only temple in India with Bharatha as the deity. The colourful eleven day annual festival with a pageant of thirteen caparisoned elephants is held in April/May. The festival in this temple marks the end of the Hindu temple festival season in Kerala. (Open: 03:30 - 11:30 am & 05:00 - 08:30 pm).
Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy (32 km north of Thrissur):
Cheruthuruthy is the seat of the Kerala Kalamandalam, renowned the world over for its Kathakali training centre. The music and dance academy was founded by the famous poet, Vallathol Narayana Menon. Training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Thullal and other art forms of Kerala is imparted here. Cultural programmes are also arranged.
Ariyannoor Temple, Kandanisserry:
This temple has a carved entrance gable which has been compared to the wooden sculptures of American artist Louise Nevelson. The Siva temple at Thiruvanchikulam as well as the Sri Krishna temple at Thirukulashekharapuram are believed to be monuments from the 9th century.
Pooram Festival (April/May)
Thaipooya Mahotsavam at Sree Maheswara Temple:
Highlights: Kavadiyattam, Elephant procession, Karakattam, Mayilattam (January)
Utsavam at Sreekrishna Temple, Guruvayoor:
Highlights: Rituals, Elephant race, Cultural programmes, Krishnanattam (March)
Machattu Mamangam at Machattu Thiruvanikavu Temple:
Highlights: Kuthirakolams (motifs of horses) given as offering, Chendamelam, Pageantries, Cultural programmes (December)
Uthralikavu Pooram at Sree Ruthira Mahakalikavu:
Highlights: Elephant processions, Temple and folk arts, Panchavadyam, Pandimelam, All night Pooram on the concluding day (February)
Pulikali (Tiger dance) at the Swaraj Ground is part of the Onam celebrations (September)
Arattupuzha Festival (March)
Kandassamkadavu Boat Races (August/September)