Kodungallur, also known as Cranganore, has a history dating back to the pre-historic times. It is equally mentioned in ancient Indian literature and Roman travelogues. Kodungallur was an important port on the west coast and it was known to the Greeks as Musris. The place had regular trade links with Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt and several other important nations of the time. The chief item of export was pepper, known as ‘yavana priya’ (meaning loved by Romans). Kodungallur was the capital of
kingdom and it was called ‘Vanji’. Kodungallur is referred by several names throughout history.
The trade contacts with Roman Empire, China, and the Arab world also sowed the seeds for religious and cultural contacts. Thus in 52 AD, the first Christian Church in India was constructed here by St Thomas. Similarly, the fist mosque
Cheraman Juma Masjid
was also constructed here in 629 AD. The glory of Kodungallur came to an end with the great floods of 1341 and today its fame rests on its temples.
Kodungallur Bhagavathy temple
(also known as Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple) attracts millions of devotees. Thiruvanchikulam, Thrikulasekharapuram, Thiruvallur and Raviswarapuram are nearby places with important shrines. Kottapuram Church and Cheraman Masjid (a new mosque on the site of the old mosque) are the other major interests.
The Bharani festival is a major religous festival at Kodungallur.
Kodungallur is 36 km south-west of Thrissur
. The town is surrounded by the Arabian Sea
and the Periyar River