October 21, 2011

Guruvayur- Abode of Lord Krishna...!!

Guruvayur is definitely the most visited destination (If I may call so) and temple by the Nomad. However, each time I visit this beautiful temple, am spell bound by its ambiance, the dhoti clad devotees, the numerous paraphernalia, the dressed up pachyderms, the fragrance of sandal and camphor, the sound of percussion and the unending long queues to have a glimpse of Lord Krishna.

Situated in the district of Thrissur in Central Kerala, this Krishna temple attracts large number of  devotees every day. People from all over the country visit this famous temple which also happens to be one of the richest in the country. Various ceremonies and rituals ( vaakacharthu, uchapooja, ushapooja, sheeveli ) are conducted inside the temple throughout the day. Devotees give various forms of offerings and prayers ( thulabharam, chuttuvilakku, shayanapradhakshinam) to please the almighty. Long queues from outside the temple take you inside and then further into the inner sanctum. Even though it is hot and humid always, devotees have always been happy to undergo all the troubles to take the Almighty's blessings. The temple looks astonishingly beautiful in the evening as the place is lit up with numerous lights and various processions and rituals take center stage.

As the temple closes with the elephant procession, which is supposedly the last ritual of the day, people get ready to enjoy Krishnanattom, a play which is conducted on most days inside the temple. Though it is similar to Kathakali, this play emphasises on the various mythological stories related to Krishna. Krishnanattom goes on till wee hours of the morning and as you walk out of the temple after the play, devotees would have already queued up for the the day's first ceremony at 3 a.m.

Guruvayur also has its special days of the year ( Sreekrishna Jayanthi, Thalapoli, Aanayottam, Guruvayur ekadashi, uthradasandhya) when devotees throng into the temple and create a miniature Kumbh mela. The temple is also known to conduct numerous marriages everyday. The numbers can be quite staggering and go up to more than 100 on certain days. The Melpathur auditorium outside the temple has seen many renowned artists perform various dance forms. There are  large number of shops outside the temple and they lure people with eateries, toys, paraphernalia, books, music and clothing. After the long struggle to take the blessings from the lord, most devotees end up window shopping through the alleys. This is indeed a peculiar experience that takes me down the memory lane to my childhood visits to the temple.

During my last visit to Guruvayur I also happened to visit the other near by temples, namely, Mammiyoor Shiva temple, Parthsarathy temple and Venkatachalapathy temple. I also ventured into the famous Punnathoor Kota, a few kilometers away from Guruvayur. This place is famous for elephant camps. All elephants that belong to the temple come here for their daily wash and rejuvenation. The place also has many elephants suffering from various ailments and a few that were offered to the temple by various celebrities and politicians.

Along with Mathura, Dwaraka, Udupi and many more, Guruvayur is one of the famous Krishna temples in the country where the devotees offer their prayers and take the Lord's blessings. There is strict prohibition on mobiles and cameras being taken inside the temple. Male devotees must be bare chested and should wear dhoti to enter the temple premises.

Signing Note: Undoubtedly my favourite pilgrimage centre.

Route- Cochin- Kodungallur- Chavakkad- Guruvayur
Distnace- 90 kms


  1. Excellent coverage...Very helpful to understand different cultures and customs.

  2. Yet to visit this place . Nice pics .

  3. This is truly HEAVEN on earth. I can look at these images and instantly feel the divinity of the temple. Wonderful photos, Niran.

  4. Loved the description Niran...U ve described every possible aspect of the temple and the visit. A first-time visitor would find it particularly very useful..elephant pics r my most fav in this ! :)

  5. Wonderful details and beautiful shots of the place.

  6. wonderful description and pictures!
    the figures mentioned are mind boggling!

  7. Nice writeup and great pics.Have been to Guruvayoor many times - every time it a new experience.You come out energized.My last visit was around 2 years ago.Time for me to plan another trip soon ! The Ana Thavalam or elephant camp is a wonderful place too. Please see my blog on Guruvayoor posted in 2007


  8. Thank you. Shall definitely go through your post.

  9. glad u shared..
    well written

    Nice read !!

  10. It was pouring cats and dogs when i visited this place 4 years ago, we were blessed

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  12. Though I had visited Guruvayoor temple many times, never got a chance to visit Punnathoor Kotta. Should do it next time. Thanks for sharing it here. :)

  13. Thank you. Its definitely worth a visit.

  14. I dont know how many times Ive gone here. I even got married here. Now Im taking my baby there for her "chor oonu" :)
    The devotion I get here, I get it nowhere else.

    1. Me too.. been there numerous times and is my favourite pilgrim centre.

  15. The temples look grand through your lens.

  16. Great post..will definitely visit some day. The pics are beautiful.

  17. nice write up..though am not much of a temple person..might visit here with my in-laws who love to go on religious tours with us!!


  18. thats a wonderful post :) just got married in the temple last year :D so this brings back memories of the day :D also i like how informative you have made it and also love the pics you have added.

  19. Thanks for the post Niranjan..
    My house is near Guruvayoor Temple and I have been there many times since my childhood. But even now you feel refreshed after visiting the temple.



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