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The Best Places to Visit in Thrissur: A Traveller's Guide

9 mins. read

Thrissur, also known as the 'cultural capital of Kerala', is a city renowned for its rich history, vibrant temple festivals, and abundance of architectural treasures. The heart of Thrissur lies in its historic Vadakkunnathan Temple, with its ornate wooden interiors and towering, brightly coloured entrance gates. Thrissur is the short form of Thiru-Shiva-Pеr-Ur which literally means “a city with thrее temples of Lord Shiva”. The city truly comes alive each year during the spectacular Thrissur Pooram festival, where massive, elaborately decorated elephants parade down the streets with booming percussive music to cheering crowds. Beyond the temples, Thrissur boasts a thriving performing arts scene, exemplified by the Kerala Kalamandalam dance academy. The city also serves as a gateway to exploring the inland waterways and verdant, picturesque countryside of Kerala. From the grand spectacle of Pooram to intimate Kathakali dance dramas, Thrissur offers visitors a palette of cultural jewels that continue to mesmerise.


As one of the oldest cities in Kerala, Thrissur is stееpеd in history and culture with so many best places to visit.  It's home to ancient Hindu temples, historic churches, museums, art galleries, and the renowned Kerala Kalamandalam Academy for Traditional Performing Arts. Further, Thrissur is known for its colourful festivals, most notably the Thrissur Pooram. This massive annual Hindu festival features elaborate elephant processions, music, and fireworks. Witnessing the Pooram festivities and public revelry is an unparalleled travel experience. If you are planning to visit Thrissur then, here are some places to visit.

List of Places to Visit in Thrissur

  • Vadakkumnathan Temple
  • Vilangan Kunnu
  • Thrissur Zoo
  • Athirappilly waterfalls
  • Chapra Falls
  • Dolours Basilica
  • Kerala Kalamandalam
  • Punnathur Kotta
  • Cheppara
  • Chimmony Dam

Vadakkumnathan Temple

Vadakkumnathan Temple is a sprawling Hindu temple complex that is both an architectural wonder as well as a vibrant spiritual centre. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this ornate temple is believed to be over a thousand years old and is a place to visit in Thrissur. While the monumental architecture itself is a visual treat, the captivating lore and legends that shroud the temple in mystique combined with the active rituals make it a living shrine. The temple almost becomes a living window into history where modern Thrissur seamlessly fuses into classical times past. If you have time, witnessing the evening deeparadhana ritual as brass lamps lighten the entire complex shifting it into an ethereal world is an experience that is sure to stay with you long after you leave Thrissur.

Vilangan Kunnu

Vilangan Kunnu offers a welcome reprieve from the faster rhythms of the city while simultaneously granting panoramic views of this ancient city and its surrounding regions. This hillock provides idyllic settings where one can drift into various facets of serenity and relaxation that all culminate in a peaceful getaway nestled in the cultural capital of Kerala. The diverse vegetation ranging from Silver Oaks to towering Rain Trees offers shaded shelters for idle picnicking while simultaneously presenting gorgeous vistas of the Thrissur cityscape. Vilangan Kunnu is another place to visit in Thrissur to relax and rejuvenate with a dash of sightseeing blended in.

Thrissur Zoo

Spread over sprawling lush grounds amidst the cultural capital of Kerala lies the vibrant Thrissur Zoo which offers visitors a delightful chance to get up close with exotic wildlife from across the globe. Housing over 200 species ranging from big cats to colourful birds, a visit here leaves you enthralled while simultaneously immersed in nature. For those interested in botanical worlds, the zoo contains an exquisite orchidarium housing indigenous and exotic orchid collections alongside other thematic gardens like lush bamboo groves and plant nurseries that reveal fascinating facets of flora. The zoo even conducts amazing safari trips where one can observe many species in expansive naturalistic habitats bringing you closer to nature.

Athirappilly waterfalls

Athirappilly waterfalls

The mesmerising Athirappilly Waterfalls present a magical natural spectacle that dazzles and calms in equal measure. Plunging 80 feet into the Chalakudy River, these majestic cascades make for an enchanting getaway where one is enveloped by the raw elemental power, sights and sounds of nature. For the more adventurous, it is one of the best places to visit Thrissur and exploring downstream on country boats is a delightful way to enjoy unique perspectives on the falls in their full glory.

Chapra Falls

Enveloped within verdant forests just north of Thrissur city lies the breathtaking Chapra Falls, cascading tranquillity into an unfinished dam and presenting visitors with a magical getaway into relatively unexplored natural beauty. For those seeking escape from touristy crowds, Chapra offers an offbeat forest destination perfect for revelling amidst unadulterated nature. During monsoons, Chapra transforms into a force of nature as swollen currents furiously gush through the rainforest terrain before erupting over sharp cliffs as curtains of white. Chapra Falls offers a magical escape into the vibrant Lapland rainforests with the sights and sounds of relatively untouched cascades revealing nature at its mystical best, making it an essential offbeat detour when visiting Thrissur.

Dolours Basilica

With its imposing Gothic spires dominating the Thrissur skyline, the iconic Our Lady of Dolours Basilica is the tallest and largest church in South India. This magnificent basilica is an architectural wonder that showcases excellent craftsmanship alongside a vibrant spiritual legacy spanning centuries. Being one of the most important Christian pilgrim sites in India, the atmosphere resonates with devotion as passionate hymns reverberate through the arched galleries during mass. Joining the devoted crowds lighting candles and praying is a glimpse into living heritage as similar rituals have continued unchanged within these very walls for over two centuries! The splendid surroundings, spiritual legacy and the sheer architectural magnificence of everything from intricate woodwork to flamboyantly painted ceilings make Dolours Basilica one of the best places to visit near Thrissur.

Kerala Kalamandalam

Referred to as the cradle of ancient art forms like Koodiyattam, Mohiniyattam and Kathakali, spending time here provides a magical immersion into classical dance dramas and musical traditions. The sights, sounds and experiences across Kerala Kalamandalam leave you with profound admiration for India’s priceless heritage as both living history and performing arts manifest simultaneously in myriad enthralling ways! With traditional dance ensembles practising in outdoor amphitheatres, heritage structures dotting sprawling gardens aside the serene river and the very air resonating with the sounds of ancient drums and cymbals, Kalamandalam seems a living portal where the past merges seamlessly into the present.  Kerala Kalamandalam is another place to visit near Thrissur, Kerala.

Punnathur Kotta

Situated close to the famed Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur lies a unique elephant rehabilitation shelter called Kerala Punnathur Kotta that offers visitors a memorable way to observe and even interact with these gentle giants in a safe environment. For those interested, options exist to even feed or bathe rescued calves under expert supervision allowing for wonderful hands-on encounters to understand elephant mannerisms. Small museums and photo galleries across the Kotta give glimpses into how prominently elephants feature in temple festivals since mediaeval eras making one appreciate their deeper cultural significance beyond mere spectacle. Punnathur Kotta is one of the best places to visit near Thrissur Kerala.


Perched at 3,500 feet above sea level, Cheppara offers an idyllic getaway into cooling highland climes amidst only the sights and sounds of dense jungles teeming with exotic life. With options ranging from easy nature trails to more isolated jungle treks, Cheppara caters to travellers across experience levels. Experienced trekkers can embark on heart-pumping uphill climbs to reach isolated peaks and be rewarded with breathtaking sunrises breaking through clouds over serpentine hills. For the adventurous, options exist for river rafting, long safari hikes and mountain biking to hidden waterfalls. Cheppra is considered best for a one-day trip from Thrissur.

The Best Time to Visit Thrissur

February-March is the peak season to visit Thrissur. The weather is hot but dry, with plenty of sunshine. It's pleasant to explore the temples, churches, performing arts centres, and museums. Crowds tend to be at their highest though. During autumn after the monsoon rains, the climate is cooler and comfortable in Thrissur. It's a wonderful time to experience places to visit in Thrissur for couples or solo travellers in all their glory or take advantage of discounted off-season rates in hotels.

These enigmatic temples stand as a testament to the opulent cultural legacy of Thrissur and are a must-visit for those intrigued by ancient history, architecture, and the thrill of exploration. So pack your bags and book South India tour packages to delve into the secrets hidden within the beautiful places in Thrissur.

December 04, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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