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Guruvayur is the most revered and sacred pilgrimage center of Hindus in Kerala. On any given day, the place witnesses thousands of visitors from India and abroad. Guruvayoor, according to legend, came into existence when an idol of Lord Krishna was saved by the Guru of the Gods with the help of Vayu, the God of wind, and brought to Kerala. The two gave their names to Guruvayur >>> more


The Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple is a famous Krishna temple located in the town of Guruvayur in the Thrissur district Of Kerala. It is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus and is often referred to as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam"[2] which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth. The divine idol installed here represents the


enchanting form of Sree Krishna endowed with the four lustrous arms carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and the lotus. Adorned with the divine Tulasi garland the idol represents the majestic form of Maha Vishnu as revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki at the time of Krishna avatar; Hence it is also known as Dwaraka of the south (of India). Shri Krishna is popularly known here by different names such as Kannan, Unni-Kannan (Baby Krishnan), Unni-Krishnan, Balakrishnan, and Guruvayoorappan. The presiding deity in the sanctum-sanctorum is Mahavishnu. He is worshipped according to the pooja routines laid down by Adi Sankaracharya and later written formally in the Tantric way by Chennas Narayanan Namboodiri (born in 1427). The Chennas Namboodiris are the hereditary Tantris of the Guruvayur temple[3]. The temple/pooja routines are strictly followed without any compromise. The Tantri is available to full time at the Temple to ensure this. The Melsanti (Chief Priest) enters the Sri Kovil (sanctum sanctorum) at 2:30 AM and does not drink even a glass of water up to the completion of noon poojas at 12:30 PM[4]. The Vedic traditions being followed here with absolute perfection and sincerity is the hallmark of the Guruvayur temple. It is important to note here that, even though the shrine is considered to be one of the holiest spots for Vaishnavites, the temple is NOT a part of the 108 Divya Desams.



History of Guruvayoor Temple is said to date back to Dwaparayuga

when Krishna is supposed to have told his foremost disciple Udhava to reinstall the idol of Lord Vishnu which he had installed at Dwaraka. The place was to be chosen by Guru Brihaspathi. Krishna promised Udhava that a true devotee can feel his presence in the idol. Collecting the idol from the submerged Dwaraka Brahaspathi and Vayu traveled all over India and with the help of Parasuram located a lake full of lotus flowers in Kerala. The lake was the abode of Lord Siva and Parvathi who moved to Mammiyoor for making a place for Vishnu. As Guru and Vayu together installed and founded the temple, the place came to be known as Guruvayupuram. The lord is supposed to have chosen the image of little Krishna (Unnikrishnan) at the temple of Guruvayoor. The sub deities worshiped are Ganapathi, Sastha, and Bhagavathi. The four-armed idol carrying Conch (Sanka), Discuss (Chakra), Mace (Gadha), Lotus niched out of a stone called "Pathala Anjanam" stand gracefully at the Sanctum Sanctorum as a manifestation of Almighty himself ever so merciful to ignorant multitudes.

The history of the idol is said to be as follows. At the beginning of the first Kalpam named Brahmakalpam, Mahavishnu gave Brahma an idol and the first book of Bhagavatham. Brahma later gave this idol to the Prajapathi Suthapassu and his wife Prishni and Lord Maha Vishnu took incarnation as their son. This couple in their next birth was known as Kashyapa and Aditi. They got possession of this idol in that birth also, and Lord Maha Vishnu was again born as their child, the Vamana. The next birth of this couple was as Vasudeva-Devaki and the story repeats. This time the incarnation of Lord Maha Vishu was as Lord Krishna, the most complete man. Lord Krishna, when he built the city of Dwaraka, built a temple for this idol. Before his death, Lord Krishna entrusted Udhava with this idol and asked him to meet Brihaspathy, the Guru of gods.

The Guru along with his disciple Vayudeva (god of air), found a place which was recommended by Lord Paramashiva. Thus the Guru and Vayu installed this deity and Paramashiva named the place as Guruvayoor. And the deity is now known as Guruvayoorappan. The idol is carved out a stone called 'Pathala Anjana Sila' and is utmostly sacred. The place selected for the installation was suitably sacred by the presence of Lord Shiva. The place was already sacred owing to the presence of Lord Paramashiva. He was worshiping Lord Maha Vishnu under the waters of the 'Rudratheertham' (the sacred pond near the temple). Later, Lord Shiva emerged out of the waters when the Prachethas, son of King Pracheenabarhis came in search of a place to worship Lord Maha Vishnu. He then revealed the hymn 'Rudra Geetha' to Prachethas And then the Prachethas worshiped Lord Maha Vishnu for another ten thousand years staying in the 'Rudratheertham' After the installation of the idol of Mahavishnu by Guru and Vayu, Lord Shiva moved to the nearby Mammiyoor temple.

According to the stories, Shri Aadi Shankara who is believed to have extraordinary powers was once traveling by air from Kalady to Shringeri. Even he, who never believed in the worshiping of idols, was forced to come down while crossing Guruvayoor. To appease Guruvayoorappan he worshiped the deity by eight 'Shloka' (four lines of poetry). This is now known as the 'Govindashtakam'. He then spent 41 days worshiping Guruvayoorappan. The daily rituals of worship during the Mandalam period were conceived by Shri Adi Sankara at that time.

Near past history is as follows. The temple was renovated by a Pandya king somewhere around 500 years ago. In 1970, in a fire accident, almost all the temple except the Shreekovil was destroyed and the temple was reinstated in its shape in 1971. The temple is not very big compared to some other well-known temples. The Gopuram on the eastern side is 33 feet and that on the western side is 27 feet tall.