Peechi, a small, rustic town situated about 20 km east of Thrissur shot to fame with the construction of the Peechi Dam across the river Manali. Primarily an irrigation project, this 3200-acre spread of serene greenland is now a fascinating picnic spot. The Monsoons provide an excellent opportunity to bask in the magnificent sight of the fully filled reservoir with open shutters. Be it a cruise along the flowing river, the beauty of its botanical gardens or the exuberance of its rippling fountains, Peechi Dam is the unanimous choice to escape from the complexities of city life.
Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
Formed around the twin basins of the Peechi and Vazhni dams, the Peechi-Vazhni Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1958. Spread over an area of 125 sq. km., the sanctuary shelters many mammals, carnivores, birds, snakes, and a variety of orchids, medicinal plants, and trees. A venture into the forest area may unravel spotted deer, barking deer, elephants, and bison. A boat ride at the Lake as well as a visit to the Kerala Research Centre is an added attraction.
Located about 2 km from Guruvayoor, Punnathur Kotta was once the palace of a local ruler. The palace grounds now house over 60 elephants. The only one of its kind, Punnathur kotta is the official stable of the temple elephants that have been donated by devotees to the Guruvayur temple. These jumbos participate in many festivals that are held in the district.
Timings: 9 a.m to 6 p.m : Ph: 0487-2556004.
Cheruthuruty is a small village situated about 32 kms north of Thrissur. Here, the renowned cultural renaissance poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, founded the Kerala Kalamandalam to rescue the performing arts from a steady decline. Standing stylishing on the banks of the river Bharatapuzha, the Kalamandalam is well famed for its Kathakali Training Centre. Other stylized art forms like Mohiniyattom, Thullal and Koodiyattom are also taught here.
Founded by St. Thomas who is believed to have reached Kerala in 52 AD, the Palayur church is claimed to be the oldest church in India. Granite statues at the entrance highlight the illustrious life of St. Thomas. The church premise has Thalyakulam, a pond where St. Thomas baptized the local people and is known for its divine healing powers. A historical museum and a replica of the Little Mount where he died in Chennai are also seen there.
Cheraman Juma Masjid
Situated at the northern end of the Periyar river, the Cheraman Juma Masjid is located about 2 kms. from Kodungalloor town. Considered to be the oldest mosque in India and the second oldest in the world to offer Juma prayers, this mosque attracts visitors of all castes and creed. Built in 629 AD, the Cheraman Juma Masjid looks similar to a Hindu temple and unlike other mosques in Kerala, faces eastwards.
Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1984, Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Varandarapilly Village, 37 kms from Thrissur. Encircled by hills, its dense rain forests are the perfect haven for a variety of animals, birds, insects and plants. Trekking trails penetrating the depths of these forests initiated the Forest Department into organizing trekking programmes. An artificial lake has been formed here by of the erection of the Chimmini Dam across the Chimmini river. And the mother of all excursions is the Moonlight Sonata, which is the mystical experience of rafting at night in the sensuous light of the Full Moon.