Guruvayur Temple Kerala
is one of the most important and holiest pilgrim centres in
Kerala, South India, attracting thousands of pilgrims from
all over India. The major attraction is the temple of Lord
Sree Krishna who is also called 'Guruvayurappan'.
Lord Krishna was born as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki in
the dwapara yuga. He was not an ordinary boy! He performed
wonderful deeds and everyone was convinced that the boy was
none other than Lord Vishnu in human form, an avatar of Vishnu
or the perfect manifestation of the supreme power. Before
leaving the earth to the heavenly abode, Lord Krishna told
Udhava, his foremost disciple that he had installed the image
of Lord Vishnu in the temple built by him at Dwaraka. Later
Dwaraka was submerged in the sea and Brihaspathi (Guru) recovered
the idol and with the assistance of Vayu (Wind God). Together,
they traveled all over India in search of a holy place and
finally reached Kerala. Here, with the help of Parasurama,
they located a holy spot. Guru and Vayu installed the image
of Lord Vishnu (Lord Krishna) in the temple built by Viswakarma,
the architect of the Gods. As Guru and Vayu together founded
the temple, the place came to be called ‘Guruvayupura’ in
accordance with Lord Shiva’s wish. Later the name was shortened
In Kerala, this is probably the only temple that hosts the
maximum number of marriages and rice feeding ceremonies (the
ritual first meal for infants). It was also the hub of the
'Guruvayoor Sathyagraha' , a historic movement demanding temple
entry rights for the 'so called' lower castes.The historic
temple is shrouded in mystery. According to local belief,
the temple was created by 'Guru', the 'preceptor of the gods'
and 'Vayu', the 'god of winds'. The eastern 'nada' is the
main entrance to the shrine. In the 'Chuttambalam' (outer
enclosure) is a 33.5-m tall gold-plated 'Dwajastambham' (flagpost).
There is also a 7 m high 'Deepastambham' (pillar of lamps),
whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly brillant
spectacle, when lit. The square 'Sreekovil' is the sacred
sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within
the temple, there are also the images of Ganapathy, Sree Ayyappa
and Edathedathy Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed
inside the temple. Punnathoorkotta, which is at a distance
of 2 kms from Guruvayoor is home of 50 temple elephants, offers
unusual spectacles of the gentle pachyderm.
Places To Visit
(Town Hall Road): Open from 1000 - 1700 hrs on all days except
Mondays and national holidays.
Zoo(2 km from Thrissur town): Open from 0900 - 1700 hrs on
all days except Mondays.
Located in the Zoo compound, the art museum displays collections
of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery.
(Open 1000 - 17 00 hrs on all days except Mondays)
Houses the Picture Gallery where mural paintings from all
parts of Kerala are on display.
This is near Nehru Park (open 15:00 - 20:00 hrs).
(7 km from Thrissur): This is a beautiful hill which is a
good picnic spot.
This village is known for the annual Pooram festival at the
temple in April/May. The uniqueness of this festival is the
ceremonial processions carrying the images of the deities
of 41 neighbouring temples to this village.
(20 km east of Thrissur): This picnic spot offers boating
facilities. There are frequent private buses from Thrissur
to Peechi dam.
One of the oldest temples in the State, the Vadakkumnathan
temple is a classical example of the Kerala style of architecture
and has many decorative murals and pieces of art. This is
the venue of the world famous Pooram festival celebrated annually
in April-May. The fireworks at the Pooram are a spectacular
sight. Non Hindus are not allowed entry into the temple.
Christian Divine Retreat Centres:
They are located at Muringoor and Potta near Chalakudi, on
the Kochi - Thrissur route.
Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam temple:
(21 km from Thrissur): Situated 10 km away from Irinjalakuda
railway station, this ancient temple is dedicated to Lord
Bharatha, the brother of Sri Rama. It is perhaps the only
temple in India with Bharatha as the deity. The colourful
eleven day annual festival with a pageant of thirteen caparisoned
elephants is held in April/May. The festival in this temple
marks the end of the Hindu temple festival season in Kerala.
(32 km north of Thrissur): Cheruthuruthy is the seat of the
Kerala Kalamandalam, renowned the world over for its Kathakali
training centre. The music and dance academy was founded by
the famous poet, Vallathol Narayana Menon. Training in Kathakali,
Mohiniyattom, Thullal and other art forms of Kerala is imparted
Ariyannoor temple, Kandanisserry:
This temple has a carved entrance gable which has been compared
to the wooden sculptures of American artist Louise Nevelson.
The Siva temple at Thiruvanchikulam as well as the Sri Krishna
temple at Thirukulashekharapuram are believed to be monuments
from the 9th century.
(63 km from Thrissur): At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges,
this 80 foot high waterfall is a popular picnic spot.
(68 km from Thrissur): Just a short drive from Athirapally,
this picturesque waterfall is close to dense green forests
and is a part of the Chalakudy river. Athirapally and Vazhachal
are the most famous waterfalls of Kerala and favourite destinations
Shakthan Thampuran Palace:
Also known as Palace Thoppu, the campus covers an area of
6 acres. Here you can see 3 shavakudeerams (tombs) including
that of the renowned Shakthan Thampuran.
Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungalloor:
Located 2 km from Kodungalloor town, this mosque resembles
a Hindu temple in appearance. Built in 629 AD, this is the
first mosque in India and the second in the world where Juma
prayers were started. Other places of interest nearby include
Cheramanparambu, the ancient Thiruvanchikulam Temple, the
Bhagavathi Temple and the Portuguese fort.
Saint Thomas Memorial, Kodungalloor:
St. Thomas is believed to have landed in Kodungalloor (formerly
called Muziris) in 52 AD. The St. Thomas Church established
by the apostle houses holy relics from the olden days.