Kodungallur is a small municipality that comes under Thrissur District of the state of Kerala. It is situated close to the ancient seaport of Muziris, at the mouth of Periyar River. This small city was once the capital of Kulasekhara dynasty, which was ruled by Shinkli or Mahodayapuram. These kingdoms ruled the state of Kerala and some parts of Tamil Nadu from 9th century to 12th century.
It is popularly believed that the name Kodungallur comes from Kodi-linga-puram which essentially means 10 million Shiva lingas. Kodungallur was once ruled by Kudaku, who was the ruler of Kodanad, which is the land covering the region between Ponnani River and Periyar River. This city was the main revenue collection centre of Kudaku and was named as Kudakonallur, which eventually became Kodungallur.
This city was also the capital of Cheraman Perumals, during the 7th century. During the rule of the Chera dynasty, Kodungallur was a major trade link in the entire district of Thrissur. It had direct trade links with countries like Egypt, Syria and the Middle East countries. The city used to export a large quantity of spices, like pepper, to different countries.
Muziris is a well-known port city in Kodungallur, which was once a part of the trade route between the Chera dynasty and the Roman Empire. In 1341, this port city was destroyed by the heavy flood caused by the Periyar River. This place is also called as Cranganore, where Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus landed and spread Christianity. It is also an important place where first Christian church in India was established.
The Cheraman Juma Masjid, which is the first Islamic religious place in India, was also established in Kodungallur in 629 AD. Kodungallur is now very famous for its ancient Bhagavathi Temple situated in the heart of the city. This Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple is popularly known as Kodungallur Bhagavathi Temple. It has an idol of Goddess Bhadrakali with eight hands that are holding the head of a demon, sword, Chelambu, bell and various other things.
This temple is famous for Kodungallur Bharani and Thalappoli festivals that are key attractions of the destination. Other major attractions of the region are Mar Thoma Shrine, Thiruvanchikulam Mahadeva Temple, Kaddipuram Beach and Sringapuram Shiva Temple. It is located at around 29 km from the main city of Kochi and over 38 km from Thrissur.
Kochi Airport, namely the Nedumbassery International Airport, is the nearest airport from Kodungallur which is just 35 km away from the city. Besides, Thrissur Railway Station and Ernakulam Junction Railway Station are the two nearest railheads. State transport buses, taxis and auto rickshaws are available from the airport and railway stations to travel to Kodungallur. Moreover, December through February is considered to be the ideal time for visiting temples and other places in Kodungallur.