Thrissur has traditionally been a centre of learning. With the decline of Buddhism and Jainism due to the growing supremacy of Brahminism during the revival of Hinduism, Thrissur became an important centre of Sanskrit learning. It is believed that the great Hindu saint, Adi Shankara, was born in answer to the prayer made by Arayambal and Sivaguru at Vadakkunnathan temple. Sankara's disciples Hastamalaka, Thotaka, Padmapada and Sudhachara established four Madoms in the city, namely the Northern Madom, the Middle Madom, the In-Between Madom and the Southern Madom, respectively. Thrissur had been visited by other religious icons like Swami Vivekananda and St. Thomas. Sree Narayana Guru, who fought against the caste system in Hindu religion, founded his first temple in Koorkanchery.
In 1790, Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran, ascended the throne of Cochin. Raja Rama Varma re-built Thrissur from destruction after attacks from Tipu Sultan's army , clearing the magnificent teak forest around the Vadukunathan Temple. Sakthan Thanpuran is hence known as the architect of Thrissur town. For a brief period, Thrissur was the capital of the Kochi kingdom and gained prominence. The Shaktan Thampuran palace was the abode of the Cochin king.
Sakthan Thampuran shifted his residence to Thrissur because of its salubrious climate and for safety from the depredations of the naval powers of the West. Sakthan Thampuran settled several Syrian Christian families in the town from their business centres in adjoining areas. Soon Thrissur was built into a flourishing centre of internal trade in Kerala.
Thrissur has played a significant part in the political history of South India. During the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1921, several people from the city took active part and courted arrest. Thrissur district can also claim the honour of having been in the forefront of the countrywide movement for temple entry and abolition of untouchability.
The city has a tropical climate; monsoons start in June and the months of April-May are rather humid. This is also one of the best times to visit the city for the famed Thrissur Pooram. The best weather is from October to February.
Historians say that Sakthan Thampuran invited Brahmins from the neighbouring Pandya Kingdom, established them at Oottupura (Mass Feeding centres) and encouraged them to do business in textiles.
Thrissur is also referred to as the gold capital of India, as Rs. 700 crore of gold jewellery is traded annually in the city. Almost every major jewellery shop in Kerala has branches in the city. It is one of the main manufacturing centres of plain gold jewellery in South India. 70% of Kerala's jewellery is manufactured in this city.
The headquarters of three major scheduled banks, South Indian Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank and Dhanalakshmi Bank Ltd are situated here. There are over 4200 chit companies around the city doing roaring business.
The other industries are diamond polishing and automobile tyre moulding.
The M.L.A of Thrissur City is Sri Therampil Ramakrishnan.
The city mayor is Professor R Bindu. The Corporation of Thrissur was established on 30th September 2000. 50 members are elected to the corporation council from 50 wards.
Thrissur, often hailed as the cultural capital of Kerala, is built around a hillock crowned by the famous Vadakkunnathan (Siva) Temple, believed to have been founded by legendary Parasurama. The temple is a classic example of Kerala style of architecture, and houses several sacred shrines. Asia's largest church (Puthenpally) Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours, (Lourdepally) Our Lady of Louedes's Metropolitan Cathedral of Syrian Catholics is noted for its imposing interior. The nain attraction is an underground shrine which is a masterpiece of architectural designing, the SACRED HEART LATIN CHURCH of Latin Catholics and the (Vellipally) Mart Mariam Big Church of Chaldean Syrians is also situated at Thrissur. It is believed that Aadhi Shankara spent his last days here.
The major cultural attraction is the Thrissur Pooram festival, celebrated during April - May. The Elephant - Umbrella Display competition is spectacular, as richly caparisoned elephants carrying ceremonial umbrellas take the deity around the main temple. The passionate drum concerts and the spectacular firework displays are all part of the Pooram celebration. Another attraction of this city is the "Puli Kali" ("Puli" = Tiger & "Kali" = Play) on the fourth day of Onam celebrations (Nalaam Onam). It is a procession of different clubs from all over the city; participants, with tiger-striped body paint captivate the onlookers with their energetic dances. The festival attracts thousands to the city. Thrissur is widely acclaimed as the land of elephant lovers.
Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and Kerala Lalithakala Akademi are headquartered at Thrissur. Kerala Sahitya Akademi was established to promote the growth of Malayalam language and literature. Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi promotes dance, music, drama and folk arts of Kerala. Kerala Lalitakala Akademi was established to promote fine arts and artistic heritage.
Jos Theater, the first theater in Kerala equipped with a movie projector, is in this city. Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi movies are shown in the eight major theatres in the city. For the last few years, the city has been hosting the International Film Festival of Thrissur (IFFT). Around 100 films from 35 countries are included in the festival. It is the second largest film festival in Kerala; the largest is in Thiruvananthapuram. In 2006, another International Film Festival started in Thrissur, namely Thrissur International Film Festival (TIFF).
Thrissur has also has had its fair share of philosophers and movements sprout from its rich collegiate environment. It can quite easily be called the cradle of Indian Communism. Famous thinkers such as Joseph Mundassery, C. Achuthamenon and many other progressive philosophists were from this city. Current Books and House of Knowledge were two prominent bookstores in the 1950s-80s of Thrissur history.
Thrissur is also the birth place of Kerala's Indian Coffee House movement. The first ICH of the state opened in Thrissur in 1959, with Advocate T.K. Krishnan and Nadakkal Parameswaran Pillai the founders.
The laid-back business culture of Thrissur is well known amongst the rest of Kerala. Known for their quick-witted repartee and accents, they still maintain a daily working schedule of 10am-7pm.
Thekkinkadu Maidan is full of card players and evening political debates take place here every day.
There are a number of well-regarded universities and training schools in Thrissur. Among them are Kerala Agricultural University, the Government Engineering College, Thrissur, the Government Medical College, Thrissur, Jubilee Mission Medical College, Amala Medical College, Government Law College, Ayurveda College, Government Fine Arts College, College of Co-operation & Banking and Management, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, College of Horticulture, College of Forestry, Maharaja's Technological Institute (Polytechnic), a number of Arts Colleges such as St. Thomas College (one of the oldest in Kerala), Sri Kerala Varma College, St. Mary's College, Vimala College, St. Aloysious College and several private engineering institutes are situated in the city. This city is considered to be the most appropriate place for entrance (Medical) coaching in Kerala.
The first newspaper published in Thrissur was Lokamanyan in 1920 and the second was Deenabandhu in 1941. Today, leading newspapers like Malayala Manorama, Express, Mathrubhumi, Deshabhimani, Kerala Kaumudi, Deepika, Madhyamam and Mangalam have Thrissur editions. Doordarshan and a number of private Malayalam channels have regional studios in the city. The Press Club of Thrissur is situated at Round North. Private FM radio stations in the city are Radio Mango 91.9 (Malayala Manorama Co Ltd), Club FM 94.3 (Mathrubhumi Printing And Publishing Co Ltd), S FM 93.5 (Sun Network) and Best FM 95.0 (Asianet Communications Ltd). All India Radio AM/MW Radio Station Thrissur (630) has been broadcasting for several decades. Telephone services are provided by various players like Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Indicom and BSNL.
Thrissur has a floodlit Football stadium, known as The Corporation Stadium. There are three more stadiums (Thope, Kerala Varma College and Agricultural University). It also has two indoor stadiums (V.K.N.Menon Indoor Stadium & Thope Stadium) and a Sports Authority of India (SAI) maintained swimming pool with international facilities.
The largest & highest temporary stadium in the world (as per the Guinness Book of World Records) was built here in 1991, with a capacity of 40,000 and a height of 70 feet. It was designed by Er. T.J. Antony. The veteran footballer I.M Vijayan (former Indian captain) & Joe Paul Anchery hail from this city.
Mannathazhath Balakrishna Menon (1893-1975) of this city organized the first International Foot Ball Tournament (Asian Foot Ball Tournament) held at Ernakulam in 1949, which had participants from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and India. H.H. Maharaja of Cochin State presented a Silver Cup for his contribution to Kerala Sports & Games.
Thrissur has contributed many national and international body building stars to India, such as T.V.Poly and V.M.Basheer.
More Than Meets the Eye ; Thrissur's Temple May Anchor the Town in Ancient Tradition, but Its Three Old Private-Sector Banks Are Squarely in the 21st Century
Dec 09, 2012; Every year in April or May, hundreds of thousands of people converge on Thrissur, Kerala, for its spectacular temple...