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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 culture 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.