The name Thrissur has evolved originally from Tiru-Shiva-Peru which literally translates to the big town of Lord Shiva. Thrissur is officially known as the cultural capital of Kerala. One of the most well-known aspects of Thrissur is the Vadakkumnathan Kshetram or shrine where Lord Shiva is the presiding idol. The temple is located in the heart of the city right in the centre encircling about a round of 64 acres of land and it is also called as the Swaraj Round.
Thrissur (formerly known as Trichur) is also one of the first cities of Kerala. There is a myth that Thrissur was created by Lord Parasurama, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, soon after Kerala was created, by erecting the Shiva temple here.
The famed Thrissur Pooram Festival is one of the biggest, vibrant and eye-catching temple festivals of Kerala. This is celebrated every year in April or May. More than 50 caparisoned elephants are taken in a procession through the town, accompanied by the Panchavadyam playing people. Thrissur is also known for its Onam celebrations in August or September every year. Thrissur is also known for being one of the best shopping centres for silks and gold ornaments in Kerala.
From very early on, Thrissur has been an important centre for learning Sanskrit. The renowned Shankara Acharya, who had settled here, built a temple, had imparted Advaita teachings to many people. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of low, tiled roofs, with woodwork, and there was also the famous koothambalam, or theatre hall where the dramatic art form, Chakiar koothu was performed. The famous Kerala Kalamandiram, an art and dance school founded by the late poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, is also in Thrissur district.
The Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are located in Thrissur. The Shakthan Thampuran Palace here also known as Vadakkekara Palace is maintained by the Archaeological Department. The Archaeological and Art Museum has a good assortment of wood carvings, metal sculptures and antique jewellery. Thrissur zoo is another major attraction for children. There are a lot of animals and there is a special enclosure for snakes. The Appan Thampuran Smarakam is a cultural museum found in 1976 at Ayyanthole.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Dolores locally known as Puthen Palli, Vilangankunnu a hillock created by the tourism department is an amusement park. There are two other amusement parks, Dream World and Silver Storm, located nearby. Punnathurkotta is the famed exclusive Elephant sanctuary, located about 23 km from the city. Peechi Dam, about 20 km from the city is a very good picnic spot. Chavakkad Beach one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala, and the Bible Tower the tallest church tower in Asia can be found here. Tourists can also avail specialised Thrissur holiday packages.
Thrissur (Trichur) has a train station and is connected to most major cities in India. To reach Thrissur, tourists can either travel by bus, train or hire cabs. The best time to visit Thrissur is between October and February.
Hotel options in Thrissur range from budget hotels to luxury staying options. Many hotels are located within the heart of the city. However, tourists can also choose to stay in resorts located in the outskirts of Thrissur.