|Location||25 km to the northwest of Thrissur city|
|Temperature||Max 35°C, Min 25°C|
|Best Time To Visit||November to March|
|Main Attractions||Guruvayur Temple|
Guruvayur (also written Guruvayur) is a small town in Thrissur district of Kerala. It lies twenty five kilometres to the North West of Thrissur city. Guruvayur is considered to be one of the state's renowned pilgrimages. It is often called as 'Dwarka of the South', being associated with its temple.
The name Guruvayur is linked with a particular episode of the longest Indian epic, Mahabharata. The statue of Lord Krishna on his flute was recovered from Dwarka prior to the great flood which would have submerged it. This great act was performed by Guru, the teacher of Gods, in association with Vayu, the God of winds and was instated in a large reservoir. This was how the place got its name as Guruvayur.
Guruvayur is also the place where the renowned poet Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri composed his Sanskrit devotional poem Narayaneeyam. According to the legend Lord Brahma himself worshipped the idol of Guruvayur at this place.
Guruvayur Kshethram Temple
The Guruvayur temple was initially known as "Bhooloka Vaikuntha" and is believed to be at least 5,000 years old. The main idol is believed to have been installed by Brihaspati and Vayu, and to have been blessed by Parvati and Shiva. The temple is believed to be built by Vishwakarman, the divine architect. Over the years, Guruvayur has increased in popularity, especially after the 16th century when it became one of the most popular pilgrimage centres in Kerala.
The presiding deity is Maha Vishnu, in the standing posture with four hands, which carry a Sankhu (conch), Sudarshana chakram (a serrated disk), lotus and mace. He is worshipped as Balakrishna, the full avatar (Purnaavatara) of Maha Vishnu. The idol is made of a rare stone known as Patala Anjana.
It is the most venerated and sacred pilgrimage centre of Hindus in Kerala. The place witnesses thousands of visitors from India and abroad. The main temple in the town is dedicated to Lord Krishna known as 'Guruvayurappan'. A large number of young couples come to the town to get married and the busiest business in the area is conducted by the flower and garland sellers. One could witness the special processions of the images taken out on the elephants of the temple. During festivals, the temple is decorated with thousands of earthen lamps. Near Guruvayur, at Punnathur Kotta, the 44 temple elephants at their home are also witnessed.
Guruvayur offers a host of accommodation options to suit the different budgets and tastes of various tourists. From luxurious to budget hotels, all are available here.
How To Reach
By Air: Kochi is the nearest airport located at a distance of 90 km from Guruvayur. Regular flights link it with the main cities of India.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is located in Thrissur at a distance of 52 km from Guruvayur.
By Road: Guruvayur is easily accessible from the main cities of Kerala by road.
A variety of handicrafts of Kerala are available in Guruvayur.