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Thrissur, with its rich history, cultural heritage and archaeological wealth is called the cultural capital of Kerala. From ancient times, this district has played a significant role in the political history of South India. Many rulers and dynasties beginning with the Zamorins of Kozhikode, Tipu Sultan of Mysore and Europeans including the Dutch and the British have had a hand in moulding the destiny of this region. Raja Rama Varma, popularly known as Sakthan Thampuran, was the architect of the present Thrissur town. Today, Thrissur is world famous for its Pooram festival. A cultural centre, the Kerala Kala Mandalam, the Kerala Sahitya Academy and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy are located here. Thrissur or Thiru-Shiva-Perur is a great pilgrimage centre.


Guruvayur is a very important pilgrimage centre, also known as the Dwarka of the South. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Krishna.

The legend goes like this: The temple dedicated to Lord Krishna was destroyed when the holy city of Dwaraka was submerged under the sea. Guru, the preceptor of the Gods, and his disciple Vayu, God of Winds were entrusted with the job of finding an equally holy spot for a new temple, to install the idol. At the end of a long pursuit, they reached Kerala and met Parasurama, legendary creator of Kerala. He led them to a beautiful lake full of lotuses, the present temple tank, Rudratirtha. The idol was duly placed at this spot and called Guruvayurappan, or the Lord of Guruvayur.

In the 'chuttambalam' or outer enclosure of the temple, is the tall 33.5 m high gold-plated 'dhwajastambham' or flag-post. The 7 m high 'dipastambham' or pillar of lamps is a splendid spectacle when lit.

Wonderful craftsmanship can be seen on the ten pillars that are just near the entrance. Bhattatiri, the devoted 'Bhakta' of Guruvayurappan, is believed to have sat here, composing the famous Narayaniyam, the great Sanskrit poetical work of 1036 slokas, singing the praise of the Lord.

The square, two-storeyed, 'srikoil' is the sacred sanctorum of of the temple, housing the main deity. This idol of Krishna, with four arms carrying the conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus, and adorned with a thulasi garland and pearl necklaces, is made of a particular stone called 'patala anjanam'.

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