|Location||Guruvayur, 30 km west of Trissur and 80 km from Ernakulam in the state of Kerala|
|Dedicated To||Lord Sri Krishna|
|Significance||Richest Temple in south India|
|Also Known as||Guruvayurappan Temple|
The Sri Krishna Temple is one of the most important and the richest temple in the whole of South India. Dedicated to Lord Krishna , the temple is also known by the name of Guruvayurappan. It signifies the name of the deity meaning the lord of Guru and Vayu. The deity of Lord Krishna is said to forgive the sins of his devotees who come to worship him in the temple. The Deity placed in the temple is over 5000 years old.
The deity of Lord Krishna is seen with the rare stone patala anjamam having four arms carrying a coonch, disc, mace and a lotus adorned with a tulsi garland and pearl necklace. The ritual of Tulabharam is a common sight here where devotees donate quantity of materials that equals the weight of their body. Devotees are seen being weighed against banana,sugar, jaggery or coconuts. The worship of the temple is done by the Nambudri Brahmins who live within the precinct of the temple.
According to the Puranas, the deity was worshiped by Lord Brahma in the beginning and given to Vaaudeva, the father of Lord Krishna. Later on the deity was worshiped by Lord Krishna himself in Dwarka. As the sea began to submerged the deity was transferred to its present location by Guru and Vayu.
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The attraction of this temple is the magnificent deity of Lord Sri Krishna. The temple comparatively small in size than the other south Indian temple is entered through the east direction. The eastern gateway is known as the Bholoka Vaikuntham and is the main entrance to the temple. The other enclosures contains a 110 ft high gold plated dwajastambam or flag ship. To the either side of the flag post are the pillars of lamp providing a spectacular view at night with its circular receptacles.
In the middle of the temple is located the central shrine called the Shikoli. The Shikoli holds the sanctum santorum where the main deity of Lord Krishna is placed. The wall depicts the early life and past times of the Lord. The Nalambalam, encircles the inner sanctum having the altar. It is the particular place where devotees view the deities.
The southern part contains the mystery cell believed to hold the jewels and ornaments well protected by the serpents Panchanagas. The courtyard is termed as Matilakan and the temple tank is called the Rudra titha. Next to the tank lies the shrine in the name of the goddess Edatharikathu kavil bhagavati.
Daily Chores in the Temple
The deity can be viewed from 3 am to 12.30pm and 4.30 to 10 pm. There are two entrances open, one from the east where the main bus stand is placed and the other to the west. Separate lines are there for men and women. There is a processing every evening of the deity at 7 pm. The deity is seen in elephant backs seated on his golden throne. A variety of classical dance such as Bharatnatyam are performed for the public.
The Ekadasi festival is celebrated in the months of November and December during the mangalam season. One can see the festival of lights called Vilakku. The las three days attracts a lot of devotees in Navami, Dasami and Ekadasi. As a part of the Ekadasi there is held the 11 days Chembur festival. The ten days long Utsavam Festival is another important occassion that includes an elephant race.
How to reach
By Air: The nearest airport is in kochi or cochin 90 km away from the pilgrim site of Guruvayur.
By Train: The nearest rail head is located in Trissur or at Kuttipuram from where Guruvayur is just 52
By Road: There are buses available to the place from Thrissur, Mysore and other important places on a daily basis, about five buses runs every hour from Trissur.