Guruvayoor temple in Kerala is also known as ‘Bhoolokavaikunta’ or ‘Paradise on Earth’. It is one of the most visited and famous holy places in South India. In terms of devotees every day, it is the fourth biggest shrine in India. Guruvayoor temple is an amalgamation of two words- ‘Guru (teacher of the God’s) and ‘Vayu’ (God of winds). Lord Krishna, also known as Bal Gopalan is the main deity of the shrine. It is said that just a mere sight of Lord’s statue in its magnificence is enough to make an individual hallowed and pure.
Guruvayoor Pilgrimage - History
According to myths, the sanctified edifice is approximately 5,000 years old. The hallowed place was constructed by divine architect Vishwakarma. According to mythology, when the shrine of Dwarka was immersed under the sea, Guru and Vayu were given the responsibility to find out a similar new place for a spanking new temple. Eventually, they discovered a new place that came to be popular with the name of Guruvayoor temple and the God Guruvayurappan.
The oldest story of temple is noticeable in ‘Kokasandesam’, a 14th century Tamil work. In this scripture, it is described as Kuruvayur. The holy place actually got famed with Melpathur’s ‘Narayaniyam’. At this home of Lord, utmost number of marriages is executed every year.
The architecture of holy place is worth-visiting. The temple was designed by architect, Viswakarma and built in such a way that Sun God (Surya) himself pays respect to Lord Vishnu on Vishnu day. At this stage, the first rays of sun going down directly at Lord Vishnu’s feet. From the main entryway, one can view the captivating statue of Lord.
One can see the “Chuttambalam”, a gold plated flag-mast that expands to the height of 33.5 meters. The pillar lamps or “dipastambham” is another piece of attraction that looks enthralling when in evening time. The main doors that lead to inner sanctum are carved with beautiful designs. One can also have a glance over ten marvelously carved pillars on the sides of passage. This is the place where the golden shlokas of ‘Narayaniyam’ were written.
n addition to all this, the statue of Lord Vishnu with four arms, carrying a discus, conch, a mace and a lotus is well-bedecked with Tulsi leaves, pearl necklaces and rose garlands. The walls of this divine place are decorated with marvelous paintings that illustrate the story of Lord Krishna. The main doors and the roof of shrine are covered with gold.
Rules And Regulations :
The temple opens at 3:00 am in the morning. Non-Hindus are not allowed to visit this consecrated place. Offerings can be made whole day. In order to visit temple, there are some rules, which are compulsory for every individual. Neither women nor men are allowed to wear trouser, men may wear dhoti while women can wear sari or skirt and blouse. Rudratheerta is a water tank, in which devotees are supposed to take a dip before stepping inside the shrine.
Fairs And Festivals :
Ulsavam is the most prominent festival in Guruvayoor temple. It is a 10 day festival that and celebrated in the month of February and March. The carnival starts with the flag hosting and an elephant race. Apart from Ulsavam, Chembai music festival, Kuchel’s day, Ashtami Rohini, Mandalam, Ekadasi and Narayaneeyam day are celebrated with full zeal and zest.
Chamundeswari Temple : Chamundeswari Temple is nestled in close propinquity of Guruvayoor temple. Sri Chamundeswari Devi is the main Goddess of the shrine who is another form of Lord Durga. The idol of deity is placed on a simple stone slab. The consecrated place is believed to be centuries old and flocks many tourists whole year.
Harikanyaka Temple : Harikanyaka temple is situated at Ariyanoor that is a neighboring village of Guruvayur. Hrikanyaka is the main God of the place of worship that means “a virgin form of Lord Vishnu”. The shrine celebrates a 15 days grand carnival in the months of March-April.
Nava Mukunda Temple : Another temple that is located nearby Guruvayoor temple. It is an ancient shrine that is settled on the banks of Bharatapuzha River and tagged as Kerala’s culture cradle. People come to this pristine temple to offer last rituals to their loved ones.
Venkatachalapathy Temple : Venkatachalapathy temple is settled nearby Parthasarathy temple in Guruvayur. Lord Venkatachalapathy, a form of Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity of this place of pilgrimage. It is said that visiting the temple brings prosperity and happiness in life. Lush green surroundings and serene location adds beauty to this divine place.
Mammiyur Mahadevan Temple : It is another well-known shrine that is positioned as a close distance of Guruvayoor temple. It is said that the sacred tour to Guruvayoor is incomplete without paying a visit to Mammiyur Mahadevan temple. The hallowed place preserves Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathy inside the temple complex.
How To Reach Guruvayoor Temple
By Air - Cochin International Airport is the closest airport that is positioned at a distance of 80 kms from Guruvayoor and Calicut airport is situated at a distance of 100 kms. One can board major flights from both the airports.
By Rail - Guruvayoor has its own railway station that is only few kms away from the shrine. Also, one can reach to temple from Thrissur railway station that is just an hour’s drive from this place.
By Road - Guruvayoor oil finely interconnected through extensive networks of roads to all prominent cities of Kerala.
A Quick Glance Over Some Important Facts
- Location- Thrissur District, Kerala
- Devoted to- Lord Krishna
- Timings- 3:00 am to 12:30 pm, 4:30 pm to 9:15 pm daily
- Best time to visit- October to March
- Weather: Summer 23°C to 37°C, Winter 17°C to 25°C
Guruvayoor temple has appeared as one of the most prominent worship place in South India. The grand temple receives a good flow of devotes all over year.