Guruvayur Temple in Thrissur, Kerala - Guruvayoor Krishna Temple

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Guruvayur Temple or Guruvayoor Temple is one of the most famous Lord Krishna temples in India, situated in the town of Guruvayur, in Thrissur District of Kerala. Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple enshrines Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, as the presiding deity. Shri Krishna is known here by different names such as Unnikannan (Baby Krishna), Unnikrishnan, Kannan, Balakrishna, and Guruvayoorappan. The idol was once worshiped by the Lord Mahavishnu himself in Vaikunta and hence Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is known as Bhooloka Vaikunta - The Heaven on Earth. Sri Guruvayoorappan Temple is also renowned as the Dakshina Dwaraka (Dwaraka of South).

Guruvayur Temple is said to be built by Guru (preceptor of Gods) and Vayu (God of winds), and hence the place came to be known as Guruvayurpura and later reduced as Guruvayur. Guruvayur has become the most famous pilgrimage center in Kerala mainly due to the five devotees, namely - Poonthanam, Melpattur, Vilvamangalam, Kururamma and the Prince Manadevan (Zamorin). This important and famous pilgrimage for Hindus is about 29 km north-west of Thrissur.

Guruvayur Temple Architecture

The Guruvayur Temple is a masterpiece of the typical Kerala architecture style, bearing a Koothambalam and an Aanappanthal. The whole temple is in the form of a rectangle and features exquisite mural paintings in the walls which depict episodes from the Puranas. The Sreekovil is square in shape with pyramidal roofing and abodes the idol of the Lord. Its door and roof are covered in gold. Two statues of dwarapalakas are seen on either side of the door. The Nallambalam or the Chuttambalam is a wall structure that surrounds the Sree Kovil. A small temple well called Manikkinar is located on the left side and the temple kitchen known as Madappalli is seen on the right side of the Sreekovil. To the left of the Sreekovil is the shrine of Ganapathi. Next is the Namaskara Mandapam which is seen in front of the Sreekovil. This rectangular shaped hall has pyramidal roofing.

Kodimaram or Dhwajastambham (Flagpole of the temple) is seen outside the Nallambalam, in front of the entrance. Balipeetams are also seen here. The outer wall of Nallambalam is fixed with a group of oil lamps called Vilakkumatam. The shrines of Sastha (Lord Ayyappa) and Devi (Bhagawati) are seen on the southern side and the upadevathas are seen on the northern side.

A tiled roof called Aanappandal or Nadappura covers the area between the east gopuram and the west side of the Nalambalam. Decorated with pictures and paintings, the Aanappandal affords shelter for elephants and for the pilgrims who wait for worship. Koothambalam, located at the south-east corner of the temple, is where Koothu is conducted. Pattayappura (the granary) on the south-western side and the Agrasala (the dining hall) on the northern side are of special interest. On the north side of Guruvayur temple is the sacred pond called Rudratirtham.

The Deity

The unique feature of the idol of Sree Guruvayoorappan is that it is built out of a rare stone called Patala Anjana. The Lord is seen in the standing posture with four hands (Chaturbahu) carrying the Sankhu (conch), the Sudarshana chakram (a serrated disk), the lotus and the mace. Legends say that the idol is more than 5000 years old. The idol was once worshipped by Mahavishnu and then handed it over to Brahma.

Other Special Features of Guruvayur Temple

It is here that the Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri composed his Sanskrit devotional poem called Narayaneeyam. The temple is well-known for its healing powers and is the site for Annaprasanam, the first rice-giving ceremony of a child.


Devotees conduct Tulabharam where a devotee is weighed against his choice of material. Some of the common items used for Thulabharam include banana, sugar, jaggery, coconut, or gold. Besides Tulabharam, elephants are also offered to the Lord. The feeding of these elephants is called Anayoottu. Other offerings include Prasadaootu, Alroopams, Picking up Kunnikkuru and Sayanapradakshina.

Temple Festivals
Ekadasi which falls on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight is of special significance in Guruvayur Shri Krishna Temple.

Guruvayur Utsavam or Guruvayoor Annual Festival is held for ten days. It begins on the day of Punartham Nakshatra (Pushya star - the 8th asterism) in the month of Kumbham (February - March) and ends after the Aarattu on the 10th day.

Other important festivals celebrated here are Mandalam, Poonthanam Day festival, 11 days Chembai Sangeetha Mela (Chembai Music Festival), Narayaneeyam Day, Vaishka (April - May), Ashtami Rohini (July - August) and Kuchela’s Day (held on the first Wednesday of Dhanu (December - January).

Opening & Closing Timings of Guruvayur Temple
Guruvayur Temple opens daily at 03:00 AM with Nirmalya Darshan and will be closed at 12:30 PM. The temple reopens at 4:30 PM and closed at 09:15 PM.

Please note that the Temple timings may change on certain special occasions and also if there is any Udayasthamana pooja.

Elephant Sanctuary
The elephant sanctuary at Punnathur Kotta which is 3 km from Guruvayur is worth visiting. This is the largest elephant sanctuary and the elephants were offered by the devotees of the Lord. Gajapooja and Anayoottu (elephant feeding) are conducted here.

How to reach Sree Krishna Temple, Guruvayur

Railway Station
Guruvayur Railway Station is on the east of the temple which is connected to the Chennai - Mangalore main line at Thrissur. Thrissur Railway Station is the nearest major railway station about 29 km from Guruvayoor.

By Road
Guruvayoor is well connected with other parts of the country by road transport. Both KSRTC and private bus services offers interstate bus services to almost all major cities in south India including Palani, Madurai, Mookambika, Ooty, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Salem, Mysore, Chennai, Mangalore, and Udupi. National Highway 17 (NH 17) passes through Kunnamkulam about 8 km away from Guruvayur.

Kochi International Airport (Nedumbassery Airpot) is the nearest airport, which is about 80 km from Guruvayur. Calicut International Airport (Karipur Airport) is another nearest airport around 100 km from Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple.

Guruvayur Temple Route Map

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Near By Attractions
Being an important Hindu pilgrimage center, Guruvayur is home for some of the famous temples in Kerala. Some of the famous temples located near by include Mammiyoor Temple, Parthasarathi Temple, Narayanamkulangara Bhagavati Temple, Tiruvenkatam Temple, and Sreekandapuram Vishnu Temple.


reshma M Says:
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Krishna Sharma Says:

This is one of Guruvayur Sri Krshna Temple as Hindu temple focused on god Krshna, located in the town of Guruvayur in Kerala state, India. More Read For click here

Rajesh Sahay Says:

The Guruvayur temple is a magnificent temple which is worth visiting. Presence of Lord Krishna down south is proof enough that these Gods had united India long before the British historians came to credit the British rule for this unification.

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