The Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple is one of the most famous temples in India. Popularly known as Bhooloka Vaikundam, which means the abode of Lord Vishnu on Earth. It is also called 'Dwaraka of the South'. This temple attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world.
The temple is around 1000 years old. The main deity is that of Lord Mahavishnu, which is known by different names here – Kannan, Unnikannan, Govindan, Krishnan and Guruvayurappan. The deity is considered to be 5000 years old. The idol made in sacred 'Pathala Anjana Sila' represents the enchanting form of Sree Krishna, with four arms holding the Panchajanya, the Sudarshana Chakra, the Kaumodaki and the Lotus.
Legend of Guruvayurappan
It is believed that Lord Siva worshiped MahaVishnu for years near the lake which is now situated close to the temple. As Lord Siva who is also called Rudra, worshiped here, the lake got the name of Rudratheertham.
Lord Krishna used to worship the idol at Dwaraka. During the time of Swargarohan, Krishna gave it to his disciple, Uddhava and entrusted him to give it to Brihaspathi, so that he could find a location to install it. Brihaspathi, the Guru of Devas along with Vayu, the God of winds, took the idol all over the world to find an appropriate place for a temple. At last they reached the place were Siva was performing the tapas. Siva showed them the place opposite to the bank of Mammiyoor. Thus Brihaspathi installed the idol at the place where the temple is now located. So Guruvayur got its name from Guru and Vayu.
All those who visit Guruvayur temple, visit Mammiyoor temple as well. Now the lake is confined to the Sri Krishna Temple alone.
Eminent devotees of Guruvayurappan
The stories of Poonthanam, Melpathur, Vilwamangalam and Kururamma have helped to make Kannan of Guruvayur a favourite of many devotees. Guruvayurappan is popularly known as Kannan or Unnikrishnan. These names were popularised by the devotees such as Poonthanam and Kururamma. Poonthanam, a great poet who lived between 1547 and 1640 wrote the 'Bahsakarnamritham' and 'Jnanapana' in praise of the Lord. It was Melpathur who wrote the famous 'Narayaneeyam' which is still the favorite among Krishna worshipers all over the world. Vilwamangalam is a saint who lived in the 17th century. It is he who wrote “SreeKrishna Karnaamritham”. He was blessed with God's visitation. He could see God's. Kururamma was a relative of Vilwamangalam and a childless widow. She had adopted the Lord as her child.
History of Guruvayur
The famous Guruvayur Satyagraha took place befor the temple in 1931. In 1932 the temple remained closed for twelve days due to the satyagraha. In 1946, the temple was opened to all Hindus. In 1970, a fire broke out. But the Sreekovil, the main idol and the sub shrines were unaffected. In 1971, the temple administration was taken over by the Kerala government.
Festivals of Guruvayur
Guruvayur Ekadesi, the Ekadesi which falls in the month of Vrishchika is of great importance in Guruvayur. The Temple festival or utsavam is in the month of Kumbham which falls in February or March. The Chembai Music Festival is an attraction of the festival. Other festivals include Poonthanam Day, Vishu, Thiruvonam, Ashtami Rohini, Narayaneeyam Day, Kuchela Day etc.
Offerings at Guruvayur
Common offerings at the temple include palpayasam, naipayasam, sarkarapayasam, rice nivedyam, ada, avil, thirumadhuram, butter nivedhyam, annaprasam, decoration with sandal, ghee lamp etc. Recitation of ashtapathi, geetha, bhagavatha sapthaham, narayaneeyam, udayasthamana pooja, krishnanattam, anayoottu and veda parayanam are some other offerings.
Offerings can also be made by sending a Demand Draft of the desired amount, in the name of The Administrator, Guruvayur Devaswom payable at Guruvayur. Attach a covering letter stating what kind of offering you would like to give. The prasadam would be sent to you through mail.
Location and How to reach Guruvayur
Guruvayur is located about 30 kms from Thrissur. The town is connected to other parts of the country by road and rail. Travel by air is also convenient.