Thrissur (earlier known as Trichur) rich in history and steeped in cultural heritage and archaeological wealth is the fourth largest city in Kerala, a south Indian state. If you are a culture and history buff, head to Thrissur. The city lies about 80 kilometres to the north of the port city of Kochi. The nearest airport is the Kochi international airport and Thrissur is well connected through rail and road networks as well. Hailed as the cultural capital of Kerala because of the beautiful coastal city’s spiritual, cultural, and religious heritage, it is home to some sacred sites and colourful festivals. The city is built around the VadakkumnathanKshethram, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Thiruvambady Temple, home to several elephants, lies to the north of the city. Other places of tourist interest include the ParamekavuBhagavathy Temple, SakthanThampuran Palace which has been converted into an archaeology museum to display ancient coins and bronze statues, and the ornate Indo-Gothic Our Lady of Dolours Basilica. The best time to visit Thrissur is during the world-renowned Pooram festival held in April or May. You can get the feel of the city’s cultural heritage through live music performances, shadow puppet shows, and the procession of elephants adorned with nettipattam (golden headgear), and fireworks. Things to do in Thrissur include the overnight houseboat ride along the backwaters and a trip to the nearby waterfalls: Vazhachal, Athirampally, and Charpa. A holiday in Kerala is never complete without a visit to Thrissur.