Thrissur ( Kerala , South India)
Earlier called as Trichur, Thrissur is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of Kerala. Once the capital of the old Cochin state, Thrissur changed hand from the Zamorin of Cochin to Tippu Sultan of Mysore in the 18th century. Thrissur, having highest percentage of literacy in India and centre of literature and music academies, was called in olden days as Tiru Shiva Perur or the Tower with the name of Lord Shiva.
Thrissur is famous as a pilgrim centre as it has one of the famous Siva temple and two other shrines. This place can from as the base for tourists who desire to visit some of the interior places around.
VADAKKUNATHAN SHIVA TEMPLE : Situated on a hillock right in the centre of the city is the Vadakunathan Kshetram dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is surrounded by high walls, as it is said that many years ago, the place was a dense forest called Tekkinkadu. Parasurama is said to have founded this temple in the ancient days. Tradition says that Aryamba, the mother of the great teacher Adi Shankaracharya was a great devotee of this deity. The temple is built according to traditional Kerala style of architecture having celestially decorated gables. The shrine is in a circular form and the tower has only one tier. To the left of the entrance is the hall called Kuttambalamwhere the ancient dramatic art is narrating stories from the epics used to be performed by the Chakkiyars. Within the main shrine is installed the Maha Lingam of Vadakkunatha, which is a three meter high mound of ghee offering accumulated over several decades. Miraculously, the ghee remains intact without melting even in the warm tropical climate in Kerala, or with the heat of the hundreds of oil lamps constantly burning nearby it. A visitor or devotee is offered a small piece of scraped solid ghee as "prasadam" which is believed to have medicinal and curative properties. There are other popular temples including Paramekkavu Kshetram at the bottom of the hillock. Behind it is the Bhagavati shrine or goddess Durga. In the heart of the tower, a little away is the famous Krishna temple.
A grand Pooram Festival (during April - May), at Vadakkunathan is held during April-May every year which attracts a large number of visitors. A procession of richly caparisoned elephant and magnified display of fire work mark the occasion elephant and magnificent display of fire work mark the allowed to enter the temple only with white dhoti and without any shift or upper garment.
ARATTUPUZHA : This village is famous for the greatest Deva Mala of Kerala and the Pooram festival celebrated annually. In the olden days, this village was the meeting pales of many deities of Kerala for the celebration of Pooram festivities. The greatest show present more than seventy elephant richly caparisoned and supported with glittering headgear and multicolored umbrellas.
GURUVAYUR : This famous pilgrim centre has the Sri Krishna temple which is as famous as the Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh. Known as the Dwaraka of the South, Guruvayur temple has very interesting traditions around it. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati asked Brihaspathi, the gure of the gods and Vayu, the god of winds to install the idols of Krishna brought from Dwaraka at this place. He named it as Guruvayupura. Thus, the name Guruvayur and Guruvayurappan become popular. As the temple standard today, it appears to belong to the 17th century. The deity of Sri Krishna is known for its healing power and devotees make several offerings. A number of functions such as Annaprashana (first feeding of the child) and marriage and celebrate at this temple in the presence of Lord Krishna. Besides the Krishna temple, there are a few other temple in the town. The temple for Shiva, Parthasarathy and venkateshwara are the important shrines which are popularly among the devotees.
Guruvayur is very well connected which almost all the parts of south India, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka by an excellent net work of bus service. A number of choultries, guest house and lodgings provide accommodations to the visitors.