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Reema Bhalla Apr 01 2014

Which are the places to visit around Thrissur?

Reet Cheema Apr 01 2014
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Given below are the list of various places to visit around Thrissur.

Guruvayur (32 km)

The Shree Krishna Temple in Guruvayur, north-west of Thrissur, is believed to be one of the richest temples in India. Its child-size idol is said to have been rescued from the floods that submerged Dwarka and was brought here by the planetary god Guru and Vayu (the Wind God). In the 16th century, the famous poet Narayana Bhattathiri sat at the base of one of the temple’s pillars to compose the Narayaneeyam. It is one of the most visited places and the hotels in Guruvayur are mostly filled with devotees coming to visit this popular temple.

Photo of Shree Krishna Temple (by Vinayaraj)

The massive granite pillars in the porch were installed after a fire damaged the original wooden pillars. Two of the old pillars have been retained for historical reasons: the eastern pillar of the southern porch, under which Narayana Bhattathiri wrote his hymn, and the corresponding one on the northern side. There are delightful paintings on the temple walls depicting the life of Lord Krishna and scenes from the Puranas. These are currently being restored. The ceiling of the eastern gate is also painted.

Evenings are lively at the temple. At twilight, thousands of oil lamps are lit in the courtyard. Every night at 9.30, Krishnattam is performed in the northern part of the courtyard. But the busiest time is during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season (December-January), though the temple celebrates its festival in the tradtional month of Meenam (February-March). The festival includes an aana ottam or elephant race. The race used to be much larger in time past but now only five elephants run up to the flagstaff — the winner is the one who touches the flagstaff first — and the outcome is fixed. Nevertheless, the sight of elephants racing is a magnificent sight to behold.

The temple elephants, numbering over 60, are lodged in the palace grounds of Punnathoorkotta (2 km from the temple). Today, the palace is in ruins.

A short distance away from the Shree Krishna Temple is the Mammiyoor Mahadevan Temple, which has some marvellous murals, especially the images of Mohini. The legend of this temple is closely connected with that of the Guruvayur Shree Krishna Temple. When Guru and Vayu were looking for a holy spot to install their beloved Krishna idol, they found one that had been sanctified by the meditations of Shiva, who obligingly made room for the new temple and set up base in Mammiyoor instead.
Taxi fare: Approx INR 350 from Thrissur city

Kodungalloor (36 km)

Kodungalloor, south of Thrissur, is where St Thomas formed the first Christian congregation in 52 CE. The harbour in which he landed is marked by the Marthoma Shrine (6 km from Kodungalloor). A church was built in 1953 around the time the Pope sent a relic of St Thomas. A ride from Thrissur to Kodungalloor by car takes about a mere 45 minutes.

The Cheraman Jama Masjid (11/2 km from Kodungalloor), probably the first mosque in India, was built here in 629 CE. Surprisingly, it faces east and not Mecca. The mosque, now completely rebuilt, has the conventional minarets, dome and glazed tiles. Deep within is the original structure made of wood. It houses a large oil lamp first brought in some 500 years ago to read sacred texts.

The Kurumba Bhagavati Temple remains the main attraction of Kodungalloor. The presiding deity is Kaleeswari, installed by the Chera King Senkuttuvan to honour Kannagi, the heroine of the Tamil epic Silappathikaram.

Photo of Kurumba Bhagavati Temple (by Ranjithsiji)

During the temple festival in the month of Bharani (March-April), pilgrims set out to see the goddess. They dress in red saris (even the men) and carry scythes with which they hit themselves.

An essential part of the tradition is drinking liquor and singing lewd songs. The songs were much more explicit earlier before public opinion inhibited them. It has, however, always been a solemn ritual.

Kurumba Bhagavati Temple timings: 3.30-11 am

So, while you are here, head to various places to visit around Thrissur to have a complete travel experience.

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