Guruvayur Temple- Dwaraka of the South -
Guruvayur is a thriving township in Trichur district of Kerala state in the South of India, its scenic beauty and serenity are breath taking. However, today Guruvayoor is synonymous with the Sree Krishna or Guruvayurappan Temple located there.
Guruvayoor, the abode of Lord Sree Guruvayoorappan, is located 29 kms north west to the cultural capital of the ‘God’s own country’, Kerala, and Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important pilgrimage centers of South India. Guruvayoor is also called the Bhoolokavaikunta – the heaven on Earth! Guruvayoorappan is the chief diety here – The God which hears the prayers of its pilgrims. Guruvayoorappan is adorned with the holy tulasi (Basil) garland, and pearl necklace the Lord here appears in all radiance to bless the devotees.
The main attraction at Guruvayur is the Sree Krishna Temple, considered the Dwaraka of the South. This historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor of the Gods, and Vayu, God of the winds.
The eastern nada is the main entrance to the shrine. In the Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the tall 33.5 m high gold plated Dwajasthambam (flag-post). There is also a 7 metre high Deepasthambam (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly gorgeous 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, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedathu Kavil Bhagavathy.
Renowned for its healing powers, people make an astonishing range of offerings here to the Lord. One of the most popular offerings is the Thulabharam, where devotees are weighed against bananas, sugar, jaggery and coconuts equivalent to their weight. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
The central shrine is believed to have been rebuilt in 1638 A.D. By then it had become the most famous center of pilgrimage in Kerala mainly due to the five devotees who propagated the glory – Poonthanam, Melpattur, Vilvamangalam, Kururamma and the Prince Manadevan (Zamorin).
In 1716 AD The Dutch plundered and set fire to the temple. It was rebuilt in 1747 AD.In 1766 AD Haider Ali captured Calicut and Guruvayoor, but spared the temple for a reason of 10000 Ferams which was paid by Vatakkepat Variyar.The general insecurity prevailing; the flow of pilgrims and the annual payment of tenants ceased. Haider Ali however gave a ‘Devadaya’ (free gift) to the temple in 1780 AD., on the recommendation of the Governer of Malabar, Srinivasa Rao and thus saved the temple from total extinction.
The Temple opens at 3:00 AM and the temple will be closed between 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM and reopens at 4:30 PM, and the temple closed by 09:15 PM
Follow the below temple rules and regulations, so that all can comfortably worship the Lord :
Only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple.
Do not enter the temple wearing shirt, banyan, pyjama, lungi, chequered clothes, chapels etc. There are facilities to keep them outside the temple.
Do not take video camera, mobile phone, radio, tape recorder etc. inside the temple wall.
Do not touch on the big altar stone (Balikkallu) by foot.
Nearest bus station is Thrissur & the nearest railway station is Guruvayoor. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, about 87 km.