Guruvayoor Temple

Guruvayur also known as the Dwaraka of the South is the one of the most popular Hindu pilgrimage spots in Kerala, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the country. The idol of the famous Sri Krishna Temple here is said to have been worshipped by Lord Brahma himself. Everyday, endless waves of men, women and children pour in for Darshan (audience) of Lord Guruvayur (Lord Krishna). Besides pilgrims and tourists, brides and grooms with hundreds of guests flock here daily to get their weddings solemnized. The temple is also renowned for the healing powers. It is situated 33km North of Thrissur, around 100km from Ernakulam. The main attraction here is the Sree Krishna temple known as 'Guruvayoor Ambalam' one of the greatest Krishna shrines in India. The structure of this historic temple is typically Kerala style with gopurams (gateways), repeated mandapas, sreekovil, subsidiary shrines around a courtyard circumambulatory.

Festivals Festivals like Ulsavam, Vishu, Ashtami Rohini, Mandalam, Ekadasi, Ashtami Rohini, Kuchela's Day, Chembai Music Festival and Narayaneeyam day are the major occasions that observe special celebrations at Guruvayur Temple. On special events, the sacred images are brought out to take in a procession in Guruvayur town. At the time of festivals, the entire is decorated with inestimable butter lamps, which truly recreates the impression of the former age.

History According to the Narada Purana, Brahma Himself was installed here. Serpents are mythically related to the famous Guruvayur temple. There is the myth that at the end of the Dwapara Yuga, the heir of the Pandavas, Parikshit, died bitten by Takshaka, the king of serpent. It was because of a curse by the son of a sage. Parakshit's son, Janamejaya, vowed to take revenge and started a sarpa yagna (snake sacrifice). Fearful of his certain death, Takshaka pleaded with Indra to save him. Indra sent Brihaspati, who requested Janamejaya to stop his yagna and Janamejaya yielded. However, he was soon afflicted by a virulent form of leprosy. Then sage Athreya asked him to take refuge in the temple of Guruvayur and worship Lord Krishna.

It is believed that King Sutapas and his wife, being childless, worshipped Lord Brahma who handed them the idol now installed at Guruvayur to worship. Eventually, Lord Vishnu appeared in His entire splendor and promised to be born as their child.

Lord Krishna was born as their son. After He left the earth for his heavenly abode, the holy port city of Dwarka was submerged. Guru, the preceptor of the gods and his disciple, Vayu, God of Winds, saved the idol. After a long quest for an appropriate site, they entered Kerala and met Parasurama, the legendary creator of Kerala. He led them to a beautiful lake full of lotuses, the present tank, Rudratirtha, beside which Shiva and Parvati waited to welcome them. The idol was duly installed by all of them. The temple and the place came to be known as Guruvayur, a reverential and semantic reference to the sponsors, Guru and Vayu.