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 poulation of this city, as per 2001 census, is 3,17,526. Males constitute 48.6% and females constitute 51.4% of the total population. Thrissur has an average literacy rate of 86.5%: male literacy rate is 87% whereas female literacy rate is 86%..
The name Thrissur is derived from 'Thiru-Shiva-Perur' (Malayalam: തൃശ്ശിവപേരൂര്) , which literally translates to "The city with the name of the Lord Siva". Thrissur was also known as "Vrishabhadripuram" and "Then Kailasam" (Kailasam of the south) in ancient days. Another interpretation is 'Tri-shiva-peroor' or the big land with 3 Shiva temples, which refers to the 3 places where Lord Shiva resides - namely Punkunnam Siva temple, Peruvanam Siva temple and Vadakkunnathan temple.
Thrissur is situated in south western India 10°31N 76°13E / 10.52°N 76.21°E / 10.52; 76.21 and is in the central part of Kerala state, India. Thrissur is at sea level and spans an area of about 66.15 km². The centre of the city is the Swaraj Round, lying around the small hillock called Thekin Kaadu Maidan on which the famous Vadakkumnathan temple is located. Once upon a time, the vast open area around the Vadakkumnatha temple was a magnificent teak forest called Thekkinkaadu.
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.
Thrissur is well connected to other cities in Kerala by both rail and road. It is located 55 km from the new Kochi International Airport and 80 km from the Kozhikode Airport. Thrissur Railway Station is on the artery of the railway line that connects the Southern part of Kerala with the rest of India. Thrissur lies on National Highways NH 47 and NH 17. It is well-connected to nearby cities and towns like Kochi, Kozhikode, Coimbatore and Palakkad. Thrissur has one KSRTC Bus Station and three private bus stands viz. the Sakthan Stand in S.T. Nagar, the Vadakke Stand (Northern Bus Stand), the Municipal Bus Stand or old Bus Stand on M.O. Road.
Thrissur, often hailed as the Cultural Capital of Kerala, is built around a hillock crowned by the famous Vadakkumnathan 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 highest church Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours (Puthan Pally), Our Lady of Lourdes'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 Marth Mariam Big Church, Indian headquarters of Chaldean/Assyrian Church of the East is also situated at Thrissur. The district also houses the headquarters of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church in Thozhiyoor. The ancient port of Muziris or Kodungaloor is the cradle of Christianity and Islam in India. This is the place where St. Thomas arrived in India who later established the first church in India at Palayur. Kodungaloor houses the first muslim mosque of the country built by Cheraman Perumaal, a hindu king who accepted Islam. It is believed that Aadi 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,Jyothi Engineering College ,Jubilee Mission Medical College, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, 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,Kerala forest research institute (K.F.R.I), Kearala engineering research institute(K.E.R.I), 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, C.Acthutha Menon Memorial Government College, Kuttanellur,St. Mary's College, Vimala College, St. Aloysious College and several private engineering institutes are situated in the city. The most famous schools are DonBosco,Bhavans, Nirmala Matha Central School and Hari Shri Vidyaniketan and Thrissur Corporation Higher Secondary School Punkunnam.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 Mathrubhumi, Express,Thejas, Manorama, 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 Club FM 94.3 (Mathrubhumi Co Ltd), S FM 93.5 (Sun Network), Best FM 95.0 (Asianet Communications Ltd) and Radio Mango 91.9 (Manorama Printing And Publishing Co Ltd). All India Radio AM/MW Radio Station Thrissur (630) has been broadcasting for several decades. Telephone services are provided by various players like BSNL, Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Indicom and Virgin Mobile.
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 footballers and former Indian captains C. V. Pappachan, I. M. Vijayan, and Jo Paul Ancheri hail from this city.
Thrissur has contributed many national and international body building stars to India, such as T. V. Poly and V. M. Basheer.
Thrissur Thaikat Mooss Pazhanellippurathu Thaikat Mooss family is one of the most famous Ashtavaidya families and said to be the Royal physicians of King Zamoorin of Ancient Malabar, Kerala. They have migrated to the Ancient Cochin Province for expansion of service to Humanity, and well supported by the King of Cochin named Sankthan Thampuran. Then they named after the place as Thrissur Thaikat Mooss and the physicians of the family reached their exalted name by healing. Ashtavaidyan Thrissur Thaikat Unni Mooss made his own platform at younger age itself and as a man of vision founded the stone for the SNA Oushadhasala (www.thaikatmooss.com) at 1920.
Shakthan Thampuran Palace Named as Vadakkekara Palace, was reconstructed in Kerala-Dutch style in 1795 by Sri. Ramavarma Thampuran of the erstwhile Princely State of Cochin, well as Sakthan Thampuran(Greatest ruler of the Cochin dynasty) is preserved by Archaeological Department.
Archeological & Art Museum It has a good collection of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewels.
Thrissur Zoo It is a major attraction for children and students, and holds a variety of animals.
Kerala Sahitya Academy Kerala Sahitya Academy was established on August 15, 1956. It aims at the development of Malayalam Language and Literature and works in co-operation with the Kendra Sahitya Academy in New Delhi. There is a good library attached to the Academy consisting of two sections, the General Section and the Research Section.
Kerala Lalitakala Academy This was established in 1962. The aim of the Academy is to promote sculpture, painting and visual arts.
Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy It is also located in the city and was established on April 12, 1938. Its aim is to foster and develop Kerala Dance, Drama and Music and to promote the cultural unity of Kerala. It works in close collaboration with the Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy in New Delhi, for the enrichment of Indian culture. A regional theatre has been constructed in Thrissur with all modern facilities.
Appan Thampuran Smarakam Established in 1976 at Ayyanthole, where Sri. Ramavarma Appan thampuran lived in the Kumarapuram Palace. This is also a cultural Museum.
Vilangan Kunnu This hillock has been converted by the tourism department as an amusement park. While grownups relish the scenic splendor from the hill top, children can relax and play to their hearts' content.
Brahmaswam Madhom (Rigvedic school)
East Fort Eastern side entrance to Thrissur Round
West Fort Western side entrance to Thrissur Round
Vadakkechira This is one of the largest pond located north.
Puzhakkal This is one of the most beautiful places in Thrissur