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Trip to Guruvayur Temple
Lord Srikrishna Temple, Guruvayur
Sri Guruvayurappan temple is located in a small holy town called Guruvayur, which is about 27 kms from Thrissur city. I am a regular visitor to Guruvayur Srikrishna Temple. At least once a year I will make it a point to visit there. From Bangalore it takes about 10-11 hours by train and 9-10 hours by bus. If it is by car you can choose Bangalore-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Mettur-Coimbatore-Palakkad-Thrissur route, and it will take only about 8 hours. I have travelled to Guruvayur by all the above three routes.
Importance of Guruvayur Temple
The presiding deity in Sri Guruvayurappan temple is Mahavishnu, and it is one of the most visited temples of Hindus, especially in South India. Guruvayur temple is known as "Dwaraka of South", and Bhooloka Vaikunta (Heaven on earth), and is one of the greatest Krishna shrines of India. According to the legends, the deity of Sree Guruvayurappan is more than 5000 years old, and the central shrine is believed to have been constructed in 1638 A.D. The idol in this temple was worshipped by Lord Brahma himself at Dwaraka and gifted to Vishnu in his Krishnavataram.
It is believed that after the departure of Lord Krishna from the earth for His heavenly abode, the holy city of Dwaraka was to be submerged. Guru (the preceptor of the Devas) and Vayu (Lord of the winds) were asked to find an appropriate holy spot to install the idol. After a thorough search, they reached Kerala where they met Parasurama, who lead them to a beautiful lake called Rudratheertham, where Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi were waiting for him. The idol was installed next to the lake and this holy place came to know as Guruvayur, and the deity was called Lord Guruvayurappan. The main entrance to the temple is kizhakkenada (Eastern Gopuram).
Devotees from all over the world come here to have a glimpse of Lord Guruvayurappan, who is seen here with four arms carrying the conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus, garlanded with the holy Tulsi leaves, and adorned with pearl necklaces made of a particular stone called 'patala anjanam', and get His blessings. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. To enter the temple, men wear mundu and women wear sari or salwar. Photography is not allowed inside.
We spend sometime in the evening to watch Kathakali and other dances performed there.
The worship protocol at the temple said to have been established by Sri Adi Sankaracharya, the great religious leader of India. Usually we reach there in the morning and take rest in the hotel room and get refreshed, and attend the afternoon puja (uchcha puja). Then we will come out and have our lunch and go back to the room. Again we will come back for the evening puja (Deeparadhana) to see the elaborately bedecked idol glowing in the warm light of the temple lamps, taken on the elephant, in the customary way. Then we will go and collect the prasadams.
- Guruvayur Temple
Guruvayur Temple Information
There is a belief that a visit to Guruvayurappan temple is not complete without visiting Mammiyur temple, where Lord Shiva is worshipped with Goddess Parvathi. It is believed that after showing the insallation of l Lord Krishna's idol they went to Mammiyur temple to be seated. Hence most of the people also visit here during their Guruvayur pilgrimage. This place is very close to Sri Krishna temple, just walkable distance.
During our pilgrimage, we also visit Chowvalloor temple, also known as Mahadeva Temple, which is about 3 kms away from there, by taking a taxi or sometimes autorikshaw. This is an ancient temple and very calm and serene. It is believed to be one of the 108 abodes of Lord Shiva in Kerala that were consecrated by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu and the legendary founder of Kerala.The main festival here is Mahashivaratri. A unique feature of this temple is that in the sanctum sanctorum, the idol of Lord Shiva is facing west and His consort Goddess Parvathi facing east, which symbolizes the blessings of the couple upon the whole world .
Timing: 4:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
There is an image of Thiruvambadi Krishna in the shrine just at the entrance of the temple, which is a great place to spend in solitude and meditation.