Thrissur which is Kerala’s cultural capital is very famous for the temples and the main attractions include the fairs and festivals of the temples. The cultural centre of Thrissur which is Kerala Kalamandalam is a place you can visit. There are many archaeological buildings and monuments here which are must visit. The monuments including forts, palaces, museums etc are Cranganore fort, Shakthan Thampuran palace, Archaeological museum etc. The natural attractions in Thrissur are waterfalls and wildlife reserve areas. It includes Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls, Chimmini wildlife, Peechi Vazhani etc. There are 2 water theme parks in Thrissur namely Dream World and Silver Storm water theme parks. Tourists come here in large numbers to the theme parks. One out of the 2 Zoos of Kerala are in Thrissur. Another attraction here is the largest elephant park called the Punnathur kotta Elephant Sanctuary. The main places of interest in Thrissur district are given below
Cranganore Fort which is also known by the name Kodungallur Fort is in Thrissur district. Another name for this fort is Kottappuram fort. The word meaning of ‘Kottappuram’ is ‘the place around a fort’. It was constructed in the year 1523 by the Portuguese.
Shaktan Thampuran Palace
Shakthan Thampuran Palace is located in Thrissur district. This palace is now preserved by the Archaeological department. At present it is a museum. The building is two storied and is in the Nalukettu form. The roof is very high and has thick walls. The flooring is done using Italian marbles. The interiors of the palace are constructed in such a way that it provides comfort irrespective of the weather condition.
The Archaeological Museum which is situated in Thrissur is famous for its huge and rare collection of artifacts. The Archaeological museum was established by the Government of Cochin in the year 1938 as Sree Mulam Chithrasala which is a picture gallery. The exhibits at that time were the crafts work of copies of murals in Mattancherry palace and some other temples.
Athirapally waterfalls are located in the Sholayar range and are a part of the Chalakudi River. It is the largest waterfall in Kerala. This waterfall is at a height of 80 feet and lies in the forest area. The water cascades from this height and joins with the Chalakudi River.
Chimmini wildlife sanctuary is located near the Nelliampathy in Thrissur district. It was established in the year 1984 and part of this lies near to the Peechi-Vazhani wildlife sanctuary and the next part lies near the Parambikulam sanctuary. Chimmini is at a height of about 40 m to 1,116 m above sea level. The highest point here is the Punda Peak.
Peechi-Vazhani Sanctuary is located in Thrissur district. It lies in the basin of Peechi – Vazhani dam. The total area of this sanctuary is 125 sq kms and is a portion of the Nelliyampathy forest. It is the second oldest sanctuary in Kerala and was established in the year 1958. The highest peak of this area is Ponmudi peak.
Dream World Park
Dream World Park is a water theme park in Thrissur district. It is located at a distance of 24 kms from the famous Athirapalli waterfalls. On the entrance of the park huge dragons are built that attracts every one. Thousands of tourists visit this park and a unique feature of this park is that the rides are designed in a manner that tourists of all age can enter those without any difficulty.
Silver Storm water theme park is located in Vettilapara in Thrissur district. The rides here are a combination of natural wonder and manmade marvels. This park was established with the financial aid of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (KSIDC). This park was launched in 5 phases, first being in 2000 and the final phase in 2005.
Thrissur zoo was established in the year 1885 in Chembukavu in Thrissur district. It covers a total area of 13 acres of land. There are a wide variety of animals, reptiles, birds etc. Within the zoo premises lies the Zoological garden, botanical garden, art museum and a natural history museum.
Kerala Kalamandalam is located in Cheruthuruthy which is home to the Kathakali dance form. This institution was established in the year 1930 by the famous Malayalam poet Vallathol Narayana Menon. Students get trained in Kathakali from this Kalamandalam and many best Kathakali performers have studied here. Besides Kathakali, music, drama and various other dance forms are trained from here.
Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary
Punnathur Kotta is the largest elephant park in the world and there are around 60 elephants here. All the elephants found here are donated to Lord Guruvayoorappan by his devotees. Some of the main attractions here are the elephant race and the feast for the elephants. The elephants of all age group are found here and they live here in a natural habitat. The elephants are also trained to participate in the Guruvayoor temple festivals. People can go near the elephants and take a look at them.