Thrissur district is at sea level and spans an area of about 3032 km². It is bounded on the north by Palakkad district, on the east by Palakkad district and Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, on the south by Ernakulam district, and on the west by the Arabian Sea (54 km). Descending from the heights of the Western Ghats in the east, the land slopes towards the west forming three distinct natural divisions – the highlands, the plains and the sea board
The Periyar, the Chalakudy, the Karuvannur, the Kurumali River (main tributary of the Karuvannur river) and the Ponnani (Bharatha Puzha) are the main river systems in the district. They take their origin from the mountains on the east, and flow westward and discharge into the Arabian Sea. There are a number of tributaries also joining these main rivers. the famous Athirappilly Waterfalls is located in this district.
The sylvan beauty of Northern Kerala begins here, with tiny, tranquil hamlets by the sides of tediously flowing rivers.
Thrissur, with its rich history, cultural heritage and archaeological wealth, is called as cultural capital of Kerala. The city is famous for its Pooram festival.
An ancient cultural center, Thrissur houses the Kerala Kalamandalam, the Kerala Sahitya Academy, the Kerala Lalitakala Academy and the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy.
The Thrissur city the headquarters of the district,is built around a hillock, crowned by the famous Vadakkumnathan (Siva) Temple. The temple is a classical example of Kerala style of architecture and houses several sacred shrines.Vadakkunnathan temple is one of the oldest in South India. According to legends, it was founded by Lord Parasurama and enshrines Lord Shiva as the principal deity.Vadakkunnathan Temple, also known as Thenkailasam and Vrishabhachalam, is one of the largest and ancient Shiva temples in Kerala and India. It is located in the heart of Thrissur city. This temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture with beautiful murals delineating graphically, various episodes from the Mahabharata.
Malik Bin Deenar and 20 others who were the followers Muhammad, the founder of Islam, first landed in Kodungallur in Thrissur district when they came to India. Islam received royal patronage in some places here, and later spread to other parts of India. He built the mosque Cheraman Juma Masjid there in the shape of a Hindu temple. It is generally considered to be the second mosque in the world after the one at Medina.
Thrissur also has added to its name The Church of Our Lady of Dolors, popularly known as the New Church. It is the biggest church in South Asia. The first church of India is also situated in Thrissur, the St. Thomas church at Palayoor. The Metropolitan of the Chaldean Syrian Church (the name used for the Church of the East in India) is also headquartered in Thrissur. The largest Christian pilgrim center in the district, St.Joseph’s Shrine is situated at Pavaratty. Saint Thomas is believed to have landed in Kodungalloor (Muziris) in 52 AD. The Saint Thomas Church established by him houses many ancient relics.
Guruvayur, famous for the Sree Krishna Temple, is situated 25 km to the North of the city. It is a sacred place not only for Keralites but for Hindus all over the world as well. The adjacent towns of Chavakkad and Kunnamkulam are important centers of Muslims and Christians respectively. The Temple at Thriprayar is another important place of worship. This ancient temple is one of the few Temples dedicated to Lord Srirama in Kerala. Incidentally, two other temples dedicated to Lord Rama, viz., the Thiruvilwamala Temple and the Kadavallur Temple fall in Thrissur district.
Sri Rama temple at TriprayarKodungallur, the capital of the erstwhile Chera Empire, is a region of great archeological and historical significance. The famous Bhagavathi Temple here attracts thousands of devotees from all over Kerala. The Cheraman Juma Masjid, believed to be the oldest Mosque in India is situated here. Irinjalakkuda, where the only Bharatha Temple in India is located, is another place of importance. The Unnayi Warrier Smaraka Kalanilayam which is located near the Koodalmanickyam Temple is an important center of Kathakali Learning. Since ancient times Thrissur has been the most important center of Vedic Learning in Kerala. Yagas are still conducted in her soil with the same fervour as they used to be. The only centre of traditional Vedic Learning left in Kerala is situated at the heart of Thrissur Town.