Guruvayurappan temple, the most popular temple of Kerala state, after Sabarimalai Ayyappa temple, is located in Guruvayur town. Guruvayur town is located at a distance of around 29 kms from Thrissur.
The divine idol of Guruvayurappan installed in the temple represents the enchanting form of Lord Vishnu with four arms holding the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and the lotus. The idol represents the majestic form of Vishnu as revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki, the parents of Lord Krishna at the time of Krishna incarnation.Even though this idol is Vishnu, since long time Guruvayurappan is referred as Krishna by the public.
The idol of Guruvayurappan, the main deity of Guruvayur temple is unique, since it is carved out of "Pathalanjana Sila", and is considered extremely sacred. As per the legend, the beautiful idol of Guruvayurappan was with Lord Vishnu. He gave the idol to Brahma. From Brahma, the idol passed through various people and at last Lord Krishna was worshipping this idol in Dwarka. Lord Krishna, before going back to Vaikunth in the form of Vishnu, ordered Udhava to instruct Brihaspati (Guru) to install this idol in a suitable site. Guru with the help from Vayu was looking for a suitable place; based on the advice from Lord Parasurama, they got permission from Lord Shiva and installed the idol in this site. Hence, the site got the name 'Guruvayur'.
Guruvayurappan temple has a tank, where Lord Shiva was believed to have performed tapas and worshiped Vishnu for years. Hence, the tank is named as Rudra Teerth. It is believed that Sri Adi Shankaracharya wrote 'Govinda Ashtakam' in Guruvayurappan temple and he was the one who started 'Mandala Vilakku' - the lighting of lamps for 41 days in the temple.
Guruvayurappan temple also enshrines the other deities such as Ganapati, Shasta and Bhagavati. The temple has a lot of mural paintings. In the corridor, there are statues of various deities and saints such as Subramanya, Avvaiyar, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Shankaracharya, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and others. The temple has a lot of elephants and runs a small elephant sanctuary near the temple.
Similar to any other Kerala temple, the devotees cannot enter the temple wearing shirt, banyan, pyjama, lungi, chequered clothes or any other modern dress. There are facilities to keep them outside the temple. Men are expected to wear dhoti and women are expected to wear Saree or churidar. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
A pilgrimage to Kerala without Guruvayurappan temple is incomplete.
Site Name: Guruvayurappan Temple
City Name: Guruvayur
One of the most popular pilgrimage/temples of Kerala state of India
Location: 29 kms from Thrissur, Kerala state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Guruvayur
Nearest Airport: Cochin (around 90 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Guruvayur
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Guruvayur
View Larger Map