This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to journalist and host of Madraswallah podcast, Arjun Narayanan!
Today's destination: Thrissur, Kerala!
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, COK
Nearest Railway Station: Thrissur Railway station, TCR
Prerequisites - n/a
Packing - Pack according to the weather if you are traveling in the summer.
Time of the year - April-May
Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days
- Arjun talks about the rich history of Thrissur and the important rulers over the years, calling out Raja Rama Varma or Sakthan Thanpuran - the ruler of the Kingdom of Kochi.
- Thrissur is referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala for the rich heritage, religious places, art forms as well as festivals.
- The most important of the temples is the Vadakkumnathan temple, situated in central Thrissur. The temple is said to be over 1000 years old and is also home to the Koothambalam performing art. The temple has daily shows of the koothambalam performed at the temple premises. The main deity of the temple is Shiva. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture and is also the location of the famous Thrissur Pooram.
- Apart from the Vadakkumnathan Temple, other popular temples in the town include Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple, Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple,
- Thrissur is also home to the oldest mosque in India and Asia, the Cheraman Juma Mosque in Kodungalloor that is said to have been built during the time of Prophet Mohammed.
- Popular churches in Thrissur include Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica (Puthan Pally), believed to be one of the tallest churches in Asia.
- Another important point of interest in Thrissur is the Kerala Kalamandalam, home to many of Kerala's performing arts, most prominent of them being Kathakali, Kudiyattam and Mohiniyattam. The Kalamandalam is believed to be key in preserving Kathakali when it was on the verge of extinction during the British rule.
- Other places of interest include the Thrissur Zoo, Sakthan Tampuran palace, Athirapally waterfalls, Vilangan hills among others.
- The most important festivity in Thrissur is the Thrissur Pooram and is one of the largest congregations in the world with 6-7 lakh people believed to come together for this festival. The Pooram takes place around the end of April or early May and is attended by devotees and visitors from all over India and abroad.
- Two groups of temples, one led by Paramekkavu Bagavathi Temple and the other by Thiruvambadi Sri Krishna Temple come together in an elaborate face off of elephants, artists and a variety of paraphernalia. The main events of the Pooram include Flag Hoisting, Poora Vilambharam (Door opening by elephant), Display of fireworks, Display of caparisons, Main pooram (Display of Fans, music by more than 200 artists, with instruments such as thimila, madhalam, trumpet, cymbal and edakka), Final fireworks.
Link to Madraswallah podcast - https://madraswallah.com/category/podcasts-2/
Link to Simply Stories Chennai - https://www.facebook.com/simplystorie/
Thrissur Pooram video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOoIF2XPMqs
Image credits - Arjun Narayanan
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