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The cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is synonymous with the world famous and spectacular Pooram Festival. The abode of several prominent cultural centres, including the Kerala Kalamandalam, Sahitya Academy and Sangeetha Nataka Academy, Thrissur has an extraordinarily rich past as well as a vibrant present. From ancient times, this district, with its cultural heritage and archaeological wealth, 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, is the architect of the present Thrissur town. The term Thrissur is the abbreviated anglicized form of the Malayalam word "Thrissivaperur" which means the town of the "Sacred Siva". The town is built on an elevated ground, at the apex of which is the famous "Vadakkumnathan" temple. A place of great antiquity, Thrissur was also known as "Vrishabhadripuram" and "Ten Kailasam" in ancient days.