The Guruvayur Shri Krishna Temple
is one of the most important and sacred pilgrim centres
of Kerala. Located in the Guruvayur town of Trissur
district in Kerala ,India it is easily accessible by
road and rail. The presiding deity is MahaVishnu, in
standing posture with four hands carrying Sankhu, Sudarshana
chakram ,lotus and mace. He is worshipped as Balakrishna,
the full avatar (Purnaavatara) of Mahavishnu . The idol
is made of a rare stone known as Patala Anjana.
A temple, famous all over India as a pilgrim centre,
dedicated to Lord Krishna popularly known as Guruvayoorappan.
The Sreekrishna idol of this temple is believed to have
been worshipped by Vasudevar and Devaki at Dwaraka.
This shrine popularly known as ‘Dakshina Dwaraka’
(Dwaraka of south) is in the form of a rectangle. There
are a lot of mural paintings around the ‘Shrikovil’
Guruvayoor, where the famous Sree Krishna Temple is
situated, is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim
centres of kerala. The walls of the sanctum sanctorum
are inlaid with exquisite mural paintings and carvings.
In Kerala, this is probably the only temple that
hosts the maximum number of marriages and rice
feeding ceremonies (the ritual first meal for
infants). It was also the hub of the 'Guruvayoor
Sathyagraha' , a historic movement demanding temple
entry rights for the 'so called' lower castes.
The historic temple is shrouded in mystery.
According to local belief, the temple was created
by 'Guru', the 'preceptor of the gods' and 'Vayu',
the 'god of winds'. The eastern 'nada' is the
main entrance to the shrine.
In the 'Chuttambalam' (outer enclosure) is a 33.5-m
tall gold-plated 'Dwajastambham' (flagpost). There is
also a 7 m high 'Deepastambham' (pillar of lamps), whose
thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly brillant
spectacle, when lit. The square 'Sreekovil' is the sacred
sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity.
Within the temple, there are also the images of Ganapathy,
Sree Ayyappa and Edathedathy Kavil Bhagavathy. Only
Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
Punnathoorkotta, which is at a distance of 2 kms from
Guruvayoor is home of 50 temple elephants, offers unusual
spectacles of the gentle pachyderm.