Guruvayur temple is one of the most historical and spiritual places in the country. It is situated in the thrissur district in Kerala. People come here to worship lord Vishnu. Guruvayur is often known as the Dwaraka of southern India. Name given to lord of this temple is “guruvayurappan”. Appan in the local language means father hence the word conveys the meaning father of guruvayur.
Guruvayur is one of the most holy places in Kerala, people from all over pour into this place to get blessings from lord Vishnu. The history of the temple goes beyond centuries. It is said the temple was build about 5000 years ago, although no historical evidence is about the same but in a Tamil literature book named “ Kokasandesam” from 14th century a place named kuruvayur is made. By this we can estimate that the legacy of guruvayur goes behind at least half a millennia.
Located 29 km north-west of Thrissur District in God’s Own Kerala, Guruvayur is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of South India. Guruvayur is also called the Bhooloka vaikunta – the heaven on Earth
The square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum Sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord MahaVishnu
It is at this temple that Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri composed his well-known Sanskrit devotional poem ‘Narayaneeyam’. The temple is renowned for its healing powers. Several offerings are made to the deity here from the simple ‘Archana’ (offering of flowers) to the expensive and elaborate ‘Udayastamana’ pooja or ‘Thulabharam’ where a devotee is weighed against offering of bananas, sugar, jaggery or coconuts
Guruvayur is the site for weddings and Annaprasanam, the first feeding ceremony of a child.
Temple history – Origin of Idol
The idol of Guruvayoor temple was carved out of “Pathalanjana Sila”and is considered extremely sacred. Mahavishnu in Vaikunta once worshiped this idol of Guruvayur. Vishnu handed it over to Brahma
Legend has it that King Suthapa and his wife Prisna were childless.They worshipped Brahma devotedly for a child. Brahma then handed over this idol to them advising them to worship it ardently. Lord Vishnu appeared before them and blessed them that he himself will be born to them in three re-births, in thee different forms and in three different situations
Suthapa and Prisna gave birth to Prasnigarbhan , in their next birth, they were re-born as Kashyapa and Adithi, giving birth to Vamana. The third rebirth was as Vasudeva and Devaki. Lord Krishna was born as their eighth son. In the long run, the Lord Krishna himself installed this idol in Dwaraka and worshipped it.
Installation of the Idol
Before leaving the earth to the heavenly abode, Lord Krishna told Udhava, his foremost disciple that he had installed the image of Lord Vishnu in the temple built by him at Dwaraka and that it should be entrusted to Brihaspathi( Guru of Devas) to take it to a sacred place so that people could worship it to attain salvation in the kaliyuga
There was a deluge in Dwaraka and Brihaspathi (Guru) recovered the idol with the assistance of his disciple Vayu (Wind God). Together, they traveled all over India in search of a holy place and finally reached Kerala. Here, with the help of Parasurama, they located a holy spot. Guru and Vayu installed the idol of Lord Vishnu (Lord Krishna).
Vishwakarma, the divine architect was requested to build a Temple , which he made in such a way that on the day of Vishu (Summer equinox), the sun himself makes his obeisance . The first rays on that day fall straight on the Lord’s feet.As Guru and Vayu together founded the temple, the place came to be called ‘Guruvayupura’ in accordance with Lord Shiva’s wish. Later the name was shortened to Guruvayoor.As the idol was once worshiped by the Lord Mahavishnu himself in Vaikunta
Daily pooja timing in Guruvayur
Temple will open at around 3am and after the days pooja it closes at 10pm.
How to reach here Guruvayur is situated in Thrissur district in Kerala. The nearest international airport is the cochin international air port which is at a distance of 87 km There is a rail way station in guruvayur, you can take a passenger train from Thrissur or cochin. There are buses from Cochin and Thrissur. It is situated near the state highway 49 so there will not be any trouble for you to reach here.