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Archive for the ‘Baby Krishnan’ Category

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” 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. The temple/pooja routines are strictly followed without any compromise. The Tantri is available 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. 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.
Mahatmyam

From the time immemorial, India has been a spiritually enlightened country consecrated by Rishis and temples of worship. Holy places like Kashi and Rameswaram have magnificent Temples which, besides their spiritual significance, are noted for their antiquity and historical importance. The artistic excellence and the architectural specialities of Konark and Khajuraho are so indescribable that they always attract not only the pilgrims from within the country but also swarms of tourists from abroad. But Guruvayur is a pilgrim center which has its own glory and greatness, mainly because of the divinity enshrined in the Sanctum – Sanctorum (central shrine) of the temple and the unique charm of the idol installed in it.

The presiding deity in the Garbhagraha (central shrine) is Mahavishnu, worshipped according to the pooja routines laid down by Adi Sankaracharya and later written in to the Tantrasamuchaya by Chennas Narayanan Namboodiri (born in 1427). The Chennas Namboodiris are the hereditary Tantri of Guruvayur temple. The people at large, however, invoke the Lord as UNNIKRISHNA or BALAKRISHNA.

Legends

 

SANKARACHARYA’S FORCED LANDING
    

Once Sankaracharya was on his aerial journey to Shringeri. While above Guruvayur he smiled at the pompousness and vividity of the procession of Sreebhootha Bali (feeding celestial attendants) and tried to pass the temple without making any obeisance to the Lord. Suddenly his forward movement sped the procession there at the northwest corner. He soon recovered and saw the Lord in all his royalty. Realizing the cause of his fall, Sankaracharya prostrated before the Lord and tried to win the Lord’s favour by chanting 8 slokas in praise of Govinda, known as Govinda Ashtakam. The small opening in the roof over the North- West courtyard is in commemoration of this event. Sankaracharya is believed to have instituted the Mandala Vilakku (lighting of lamps for 41days).
   
   
MANJULAL
   
   

Once Sankaracharya was on his aerial journey to Shringeri. While above Guruvayur he smiled at the pompousness and vividity of the procession of Sreebhootha Bali (feeding celestial attendants) and tried to pass the temple without making any obeisance to the Lord. Suddenly his forward movement sped the procession there at the northwest corner. He soon recovered and saw the Lord in all his royalty. Realizing the cause of his fall, Sankaracharya prostrated before the Lord and tried to win the Lord’s favour by chanting 8 slokas in praise of Govinda, known as Govinda Ashtakam. The small opening in the roof over the North- West courtyard is in commemoration of this event. Sankaracharya is believed to have instituted the Mandala Vilakku (lighting of lamps for 41days).

She was convinced, kept the garland there and happily went home. Next day morning, the Melsanthi removed all the garlands from the idol, but one garland remained stuck on the idol. The devotees were puzzled but Poonthanam realised last night’s event. It was the garland, which Manjula had placed on the stone at the foot of the banyan tree.

Poonthanam told the story to everyone and then the garland slipped down from the idol. Devotees started chanting the name of the Lord and struggled to collect the flower from the garland. Worshipers went to the banyan tree to make their obeisance. Since then, the banyan tree came to be known as Manjulal.
   

   
DEVOTION OF NENMINI UNNI

   
   

Once a Nenmini Namboodiri was the priest at Guruvayur temple. There was only one priest on those days and had to go out on an urgent and unavoidable situation. He told his 12 year old son to offer the Nivedyam to the Lord and left. At the prescribed time he offered Nivedyam (cooked rice) to the Lord and thought in simplicity that the Lord will eat the rice, but the idol did not move. Unni went outside and brought some salted mangoes and curd from neighborhood in the belief that the Lord like food this way. He mixed the curd with rice and offered it again. But the idol again remained unmoved. He cajoled , requested, coaxed and in the end threatened , but idol still unmoved . He started crying on his failure and shouting towards the Lord that his 4 father would beat him. The Lord could not bear it any more, and suddenly the Nivedyam got disappeared. The boy left the place satisfactorily. The Nivedyam offered to the Lord was the Variyar’s prerequisite. On seeing the empty plate, he became very angry with the Unni, but Unni still could not understand and told Variyar that God ate up the rice with the curd and salted mangoes. The Unni’s innocent word made Variyar more furious. On santhi’s arrival, Variyar told the complaint that Unni himself had eaten the Nivedyam, and that he was making a false story. Though Unni told his version, father could not believe it. He raised his hands to beat him, but just then an asareeri (celestial voice) was heard saying, “I am the guilty, Unni is innocent”.
   

   
KITTAI’S COCONUTS
   
   

On Arattu day, the Utsava vigraha will be taken out and tender coconut water abhishekam (pouring of coconut water over the idol) will be done. An Ezhava family called Tampuran Patikkal brings these tender coconuts for this important rite. The legend behind this practice goes like this.Once, on the Arattu day, one Keezhsanthi went to a Kittai of Tampuran Patikkal and asked for some tender coconut to quench his thirst. Kittai was a bit slow to get the coconut and the Keezhsanthi went away in a hurry. As soon as he left, the coconuts began to fall from the trees, on their own, one after the other. The Kittai got shocked on seeing this, he took a head load full of 25 coconuts and ran to the temple. He met one of the uralars or trustees of the temple and described the whole incident. On enquiring it was found that neither of the two Keezhsanthis had gone that way. It was evident that the Keezhsanthi was none other than the Lord himself and that He wanted the fun of an abhishekam with tender coconut water. Thus started this rite of tender coconut water abhishekam on the Arattu day. The privilege of bringing the tender-coconuts was conferred on the descendants of that family.
   

   
ANAYOTTAM OR ELEPHANT RACE
   
   

Once Guruvayur was a Keezhedam (subordinate temple) of Thrikanamathilakam (Trikkunavay). The festival of Trikkunavay used to finish two days before the beginning of Guruvayur Utsavam . The elephants used to come from Trikkunavay for the Guruvayur utsavam. Once they refused to send their elephants to Guruvayur for not making payment in time. The elephants were chained but they broke the chain and ran to Guruvayur without the mahouts on that night. From that day onwards the elephants used to leave Trikkunavay on Punarvasu to reach Guruvayur in time for the festival. Trikkunavay was destroyed by the Dutch in 1755. To keep the reminiscence of this unusual event, the elephant race (aanayottam) is conducted every year and this marks the beginning of the Guruvayur Utsavam. The elephants run from Manjulal, (the banyan tree half a kilometer away from the eastern entrance to the temple) enter the temple, take 7 rounds and touch the flagstaff in the end. The first elephant to touch the flagstaff will be given special treatment inside the temple on the days of Utsavam and will get the privilege of carrying the Lord’s thidambu for the procession.
   

   
THE LORD AS ASSISTANT COOK

   
   

One day a devotee wanted a feast to be held for the Lord with a hundred measures of rice. In Guruvayur the intended offering to the Lord is to be prepared by the two Keezhsanthis. One of the Keezhsanthis was on leave due to illness. Mallisseri Namboodiri was worried and he spent a sleepless night pondering over how to make the next days’ arrangements. He could do nothing other than pray to the Lord chanting His name overnight for a solution. The next day he went to the temple, looked around, and was relieved to see the Keezhsanthi who had been on leave returned and was preparing the feast. After completion of cooking the Keezhsanthi went to Rudratheertham for a bath but not to return. He was not seen the next day also. Mallisseri sent his man to enquire about him. To his surprise he learned that the Keezhsanthi was actually bed ridden ever since he had been on leave. It was unbelievable but Mallisseri understood the whole thing. It was the Lord himself who came and helped him out of the difficulty.
   


   
THE LORD AS MANGATTACHAN

   
   

Poonthanam a devout devotee of the Lord who used to walk about 100 kilometers to take darshan of Guruvayurappan every month. Once on his way, he was attacked by some robbers. Sensing the danger he closed his eyes and cried out for Lord’s help. After some time there spread a sweet scent of Vanamala, the garland worn by Sreekrishna, and he opened his eyes to see Mangattachan (the Minister of the Zamurin Raja) standing before him with his drawn sword drenched in blood and also the dead bodies of the robbers around him. Quite relieved, Poonthanam cried out “Krishna!, Krishna!, your leelas are wonderful!”. He took the ring off his finger and presented to Mangattachan.

The Melsanthi of the Guruvayur temple, the same night, heard in a dream, an Unni Namboodiri telling him “You will find a ring on the idol. give it to Poonthanam, who will come tomorrow”. Quite miraculously, he saw a ring on the idol when he opened the Sreekovil next day. Shortly Poonthanam came for darshan and started his prayers. Melsanthi came out from Sreekovil and gave Poonthanam the ring and told him what had happened. Poonthanam was flabbergasted to see that the ring was his own, which he had presented to Mangattachan, the day before!. It was Lord Guruvayurappan himself, who came to the rescue of Poonthanam as Mangattachan.
   

   
MELPATHUR HUMBLED

   
   

The Jnanapana (means the song of wisdom) written in simple Malayalam is Poonthanam’s greatest work. Melpathurwas the most popular Sanskrit scholar of that time. Poonthanam showed the draft of his Jnanapana to Melpathur. Malayalam was not accepted in the learned circle those days and Melpathur had contempt for Malayalam, which was not considered equal to Sanskrit. He refused to see Poonthanam’s work and told him blatantly to learn Sanskrit and then start writing. This act of Melpathur hurt Poonthanam. Melpathur was composing Narayaneeyam in those days and when he came next day to offer dasaka of ten slokas (ten stanzas) before the Lord, he could not utter a single word. A small boy in his teens, never seen before presented himself and pointed out mistakes after mistakes in the slokas composed by Melpathur. After ten mistakes in ten slokas Melpathur realised the divinity of the boy. He fell at the feet of the boy but the boy disappeared and there was an asareeri (celestial voice) saying, “Poonthanam’s Bhakthi (devotion) is more pleasing to me than Melpathur’s Vibhakthi (learning or knowledge in Sanskrit grammar)”. Melpathur realised his mistake and asked Poonthanam to pardon him and amended his arrogance by reading the works of Poonthanam.
   

   
THE LORD’S PARTIALITY FOR POONTHANAM
   
   

Though Poonthanam and Melpathur were great devotees of Lord Guruvayurappan, Poonthanam, a great poet, who wrote his verses in the vernacular, was famous for his bhakthi where as Melpathur, an erudite scholar and great poet in Sanskrit was known for his vibhakthi.

The Lord was partial towards Poonthanam than Melpathur. Melpathur used to laugh at Poonthanam’s Sanskrit reading and recitation. One day Poonthanam was wrongly reciting “Padmanabho Maraprabhu”,which means Lord of trees in Malayalam. Melpathur openly laughed at Poonthanam and corrected saying, Padmanabha is not Maraprabhu (Lord of trees) but Amaraprabhu (which means Lord of immortals in Sanskrit). Immediately, there was an asareeri (celestial voice) from the inner shrine, “I am also Maraprabhu” (Lord of trees).

Now there is a statue of “Maraprabhu” in the Sreevalsam Guest house (South side of the temple) compound fully made of clay. This is the biggest idol made of clay in Asia.
   

   
VILLWAMANGALAM’S VISIONS

   
   

Villwamangalam’s devotion and dedication towards the Lord was such that he could have visions of the Lord, independent of the image. Wherever he went, he had visions. He visualised Vishnu, Siva, and in Guruvayur it was Unnikrishna and the Lord’s other disguises. Whenever he came to Guruvayur for darshan, the Lord granted him vision from the Sanctum-Sanctorum (central shrine). One day he did not get the Lord’s vision from there. He went around the temple in search of the Lord. The sound of tinkling of bells from the northern nalambalam attracted his curiosity. He peeped in and saw Unnikrishna dancing there. From that day onwards this place came to be known as Nritham ( Nrithappura or dancing hall).

On another occasion also, he could not see the Lord’s vision in the central shrine. Later he found the Lord sitting amidst the Marar boys (drummer’s boys) and sharing feast with them, as the Lord was fond of the feast given to the Marar boys. It later became an important offering with the devotees.

A third time also, he failed to have the Lord’s vision in the central shrine. It was night time and the Krishnanattam was being staged in the courtyard. The saint ultimately found him on the stage with the ‘gopikas’. Since then, Krishnanattam came to be staged in the northern bahyankana (outer courtyard) instead of the eastern bahyankana. And it begins only when the central shrine is closed after the last pooja at night.
   

   
KURURAMMA, VILLWAMANGALAM II AND THE LORD

   
   

Kururamma was a childless widow. She adopted Unnikrishna as her son and gave Him a lot of motherly love. Villwamangalam also saw the Lord in the form of Unnikrishna but the Lord always preferred Kururamma for her devotion. Once an old Brahmin with severe stomach ache approached Villwamangalam for relief. Villwamangalam could not cure him and told that the pain is the result of his past karma. Dispirited and dejected he unknowingly reached Kururamma’s house. Kururamma thought he is hungry and offered him some food. The Brahmin said that he could not eat any food because of his stomach ache, which even Villwamangalam could not cure. After listening to his grievances, she told the Brahmin to have a bath in the tank, in the name of Lord. After his bath, he was served food. He realized that his stomach ache had disappeared. He ate the food and expressed his gratitude to Kururamma.

One day Kururamma was washing her cloths. A few drops of water unintentionally fell upon Chemmangatt Amma, another lady of the locality who had finished her bath. She felt polluted and took a second plunge in water to purify. She sarcastically told Kururamma that now she was doubly clean and stated that today Villwamangalam would be coming to her illam (house of a Brahmin) for bhiksha (alms). By this she wanted to show her acquaintance with the saint Villwamangalam. Kururamma replied that saint would only come to her illam and not in Chemmangatt’s illam. Kururamma sent a member of her family to invite the saint, but he apologetically refused since he had promised Chemmangatt earlier. After his daily worship, Villwamangalam started for Chemmangatt’s house for the bhiksha. But the pilot who was to lead his way by blowing conch to announce his presence could not produce any sound from his conch (shankh). It was a bad omen and Villwamangalam was bewildered. Then he remembered his refusal to Kururamma’s offer in the morning, and decided that it is the Lord’s wish that he should go to Kururamma’s illam. On this thought itself, the conch started functioning and filled the air with its resonant sound. The saint then turned his steps towards Kururamma’s house. The Lord was always partial to Kururamma.

HISTORY
Early history

According to the legends, the idol worshipped here is more than 5000 years old. But there are no historical records to establish it. In the 14th century Tamil literature ‘Kokasandesam’, references about a place called Kuruvayur is made. As early as 16th century (50 years after the Narayaneeyam was composed) many references are seen about Kuruvayur. In ancient Dravidic, Kuruvai means sea, hence the village on the coast may be called Kuruvayur.

But according to Prof. K V Krishna Iyer (eminent historian), the Brahmins had begun to come and settle at Kodungalloor during the period of Chandra Gupta Maurya ( 321-297 BC). Trikkunavay in the Guruvayur documents is the same as Thrikkanamathilakam or Mathilakam mentioned in the Dutch and British records. And this place was in between Guruvayur and Kodungalloor. Guruvayur was Trikkunavay’s subordinate shrine since they were destroyed by the Dutch in 1755. That way Guruvayur must have come into existence before 52 AD. The story of Pandyan King building a shrine here may be a reference to the Azhavars , but they are all silent in their writing about Guruvayur.

Zamorins period

Mamankam was a very famous event at Thirunavaya, on the bank of Bharathappuzha . The war between the Zamorins and the Raja of Valluvanad of Thirunavaya in a way popularised Guruvayur temple. Due to the prolonged war people across the river bank started preferring Guruvayur. Even the Zamorin become a devotee and thus his subjects followed him completely . The central shrine which we see today is said to have been rebuilt in 1638 AD. Vishwabali was performed later to propitiate all the spirits, good and bad. By the end of 16th century Guruvayur had become most popular pilgrimage centre in Kerala.

In 1716 AD, the Dutch raided Guruvayur. They looted treasures , gold of the flag staff, and set fire to the Western Gopuram. It was later rebuilt in 1747 AD. In 1755AD ,the Dutch in war with the Zamorin destroyed Trikkunavay temple and the Brahmins fled from there. Later the Zamorin become the trustee of both Guruvayur and Trikkunavay, and also their Melkoyma (Sovereign protector).

In 1766 AD , Hyder Ali of Mysore captured Kozhikkode (Calicut) and then Guruvayur. He fined 10,000 fanams to spare the temple . This fine was paid but due to insecurity pilgrims receded , the supply of rice was stopped and the tenants stopped annual dues. On the request of the Malabar Governor, Shrnivasa Rao, Hyder Ali granted a Devadaya (free gift) and the temple was saved from extinction. Again in 1789 AD Tippu Sultan invaded Zamorin’s province. Apprehending the destruction, the idol was hidden underground and the Utsava vigraha was taken to Ambalapuzha by Mallisseri Namboodiri and Kakkad othikkan. Tippu destroyed the smaller shrines and set fire to the Temple, but it was saved due to timely rain. Tippu lost to the Zamorin and the English in 1792 AD. The idol hidden underground and the Utsava vigraha were re-installed on September 17th , 1792. But the daily poojas and routines were seriously affected.

The Ullanad Panickers rescued and looked after the temple for good 75 years ( 1825 to 1900). Like Chempakassery Namboodiri and Deshavarma Namboodiri ,the Panickers offered everything from service to property. Thus with their help daily pooja and Utsavam (annual festival ) were once again restored.

From 1859 to 1892, the Chuttambalam,the Vilakkumatam, the Koothambalam and Sastha shrine were renovated and roofed with copper sheeting. In 1900, Sri Konthi Menon , as a manager fixed the hours of worship and led the drive to keep the temple premises clean. He set up the big bell and reconstructed Pathayapura (granary). In 1928, the Zamorin once again become the administrator of Guruvayur.

In 1931-32 , Late Kelappan (known as “Kerala Gandhi” ) led the Guruvayur Satyagraha to secure the entry of lower castes in temples. The lower castes were allowed to go only up to Thiyyarambalam, more than about half kilometer from the temple. He started a fast unto death in front of the Eastern Gopuram . He broke the fast at the insistence of Mahatma Gandhi. It did not produce any immediate result but led to the entry of Dalits in various Kerala temples .

In 1947, the Guruvayur temple was also opened for the entry of all Hindus. Later, namaskara sadya (feast ),which was only for Brahmins was scrapped and was opened to everyone irrespective of caste. 

The fire and renovation

On November 30,1970,a massive fire broke out in the temple. It begin from the western chuttambalam and raged all around for five hours, but the Sreekovil , the Vigraha, sub-shrines of Ganapathy , Sastha , Bhagavathy and flag-staff remained unaffected. People from all walks of life, irrespective of age , caste, creed and religion fought the fire to set a glorious example. Later, the temple was once again built to the glory of the Lord.

This shocking incidence of fire took place on 29th November during the season of Ekadasivilakku . On this day Vilakku was celebrated on a grand scale and all the lamps in the Vilakkumatam were lighted. After the Seeveli procession, the function came to an end and the gates of Gopuram were closed. Around 1.00 am, somebody in the immediate neighborhood near the western chuttambalam saw a blaze from within the Temple. Roused by the news, the whole lot of people, irrespective of caste, colour or creed rushed to the Temple and joined in fighting the fire with water and sand. Later, the fire force units of Ponnani,Trichur and FACT arrived and started fighting the fire which seems to have started from the western Vilakkumatam. It was brought under control by 5.30 am.

Seeing the uncontrollable fire , the authorities had already removed the valuables from the Sreekovil. The Ganapathy idol, Sastha idol and the main idol of Lord Guruvayurappan were shifted to the Koothambalam and then to a more safer place, the residence of the Tantri. The fire gutted the whole of chuttambalam, the entire Vilakkumatam on the west, south and north sides. The Chuttambalam was only 3 yards off, but still the fierce fire did not touch even the dry flower garlands, which hung on the corner of the Sreekovil.

Two committees were formed to undertake the renovation work. One committee was headed by the Devaswom Minister, Govt. of Kerala and another technical committee to advice on the renovation work. It had eminent engineers, astrologers and the Tantri as the members. The committee arrived at some general decisions.

    * To attract more devotees, all possible alterations to remove inconveniences which are permitted according to tantric principles.
    * To increase the moving space for worshippers by reducing the height of Chuttambalam basement. To provide granite pillars instead of wooden.
    * To put granite wall against the Vilakkumatam.
    * To provide a passage around the Ganapathy shrine to eliminate congestion.
    * To reconstruct the Ganapathy temple in granite.
    * To put a granite engraved “Ananthasayanam” in place of the old “Ananthasayanam” (Mahavishnu lying over serpent) painting which was lost in fire.
    * To widen the gates at the north and east entrances.
    * To reduce the size of the Nivedyathara at the south of the Mandapam.

Eminent astrologers of Kerala were requested to attend the meeting and decide about the Lord’s approval for above mentioned changes. Except the widening of two doors everything else were approved. The foundation stone for the renovation was laid by His Holiness Jagatguru Kanchi Kamakoti Matadhipathy Jayendra Saraswathy Swamikal. The ten round pillars in the two Vathilmatam were magnificently carved. The eastern pillar on the southern Vathilmatam, at the foot of which Melpathur meditated and wrote the Narayaneeyam was not removed. After the great fire, the Vilakkumatam, for the first time, was lighted on the Vishu day,14th April, 1973.

UPADEVAS

Ganapathy

In almost all Kerala temples, Ganapathy will find a place among upadevas of the main installation. Here the Ganapathy shrine is situated within the Nalambalam itself, at the south-western corner. Initially this shrine was situated in such a way that the devotees could not go around. But during the renovation work done after the fire, sufficient passage has been provided around this shrine.

Sastha

At the southern side of the temple, outside the Nalambalam and just inside the pradikshinavazhy is the shrine of Sastha. This is the only shrine outside the Nalambalam. The shrine of Edatharikathu Bhagavathy is considered to be in a separate compound with a small passage separating it with the main temple. The idol made of dark granite is about a meter in height. There is a huge granite stone in front of the shrine, placed in an inclined position, for breaking coconuts, considered very dear to Sastha. A small deepasthambam is there in front of the shrine. During the mandala season, lot of devotees take darshan at this shrine. In front of the shrine arrangements are made for “malayidal” and “kettunira” for Sabarimala pilgrimage during Mandala season.

Edatharikathu Bhagavathy

The name Edatharikathu Kavu has come on account of its proximity to the main deity. The goddess here is looked upon as upadevatha (subordinate deity) of the temple. The popular belief is that the presiding deity is Vana Durga and with this belief no roof is provided for the Sreekovil. This shrine is said to be older than the main deity. This shrine is situated at the North-Eastern corner of the main temple, just outside bahyankana, on the bank of Rudratheertham. There is a pradhikshina vazhy around the shrine.

Azhal is the important offering here and like other temples of Goddess, there is a permanent oracle (Velichappad). Thalapoli is the important festival and usually unmarried girls alone will take the thalam. Two Thalapolies are celebrated here during the month of Dhanu. One by the Thalapoli sangham and the other by the Devaswom . The last ten days of Mandala season are also considered to be very holy here.

Office Ganapathy

This shrine is situated at the East nada inside the old Devaswom office compound. There is no roof for this shrine. The image here is considered to be very powerful and many people pray here to fulfill their wishes.

Unlike other Ganapathy idols, this idol has its tusk towards the left side. Daily pooja is conducted here. People break coconuts in front of the shrine as an offering. Another main offering here is ‘Ganapathy pooja’ which can be done on any day and in the month of Karkidakam, it is the most auspicious.


Temple Customs

    * Only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple.
    * The temple pond on the northern side is known as Rudratheertham. Devotees can purify themselves by taking bath here and can enter the temple preferably with wet clothes.
    * Follow the temple rules and regulations, so that all can comfortably worship the Lord.
    * Do not enter the temple wearing shirt, banyan, pyjama, lungi, chequered clothes, chapels etc. There are facilities to keep them outside the temple.
    * Do not enter the temple wearing shirt, banyan, pyjama, lungi, chequered clothes, chapels etc. There are facilities to keep them outside the temple.
    * Do not take video camera, mobile phone, radio, tape recorder etc. inside the temple wall.
    * Do not touch on the big altar stone (Balikkallu) by foot.
    * Immediately after marriage, the couples should not enter the Nalambalam.
    * Do not spit in the temple premises.
    * Do not retain babies and children for a long time within the Nalambalam.
    * The receipt for the remittance for offerings (Vazhipad) can be obtained from the booking counters on the ground floor of the oottupura. Be careful not to get deceived by fraud agents for such bookings.
    * Receipts obtained for the feeding of the poor etc. should be put inside the box for the purpose in front of the booking counter.
    * Such items as miniature human figures, replicas of hands, legs, eyes, abnormal body eruptions etc. made of gold and silver can be obtained from the temple official, who are available near the Kodimaram (Flag-staff. Put the amount you wish to offer in the Bandaram (Hundi).
    * Udayasthamana Pooja, Chuttuvilakku, Bhagavathy Chuttuvilakku, Namaskaram, Krishnanattam and offerings of the like, have to be booked in advance.
    * Ornaments and such other costly offerings can be put in the Bhandaram.
    * Enter the temple with an absolute sense of devotion.
    * Take special care of your valuables.
    * Offerings and the relevant letters should be sent to the Administrator, Guruvayur Devaswom, Guruvayur – 680101, Kerala. Complete information about offerings and full address of the person making the offerings in bold capital letters should be given on the money order coupon or covering letter of DD. If these are not given, the amount sent will be put in to the Bhandaram.
    * Bank drafts or Money orders should be sent well in advance to make the offerings on the desired date.

Location

Guruvayur, the abode of Lord Sree Guruvayurappan, is located 29 kms north west to the cultural capital of the ‘God’s own country’, Kerala. This narrow coastline strip of land on the south western edge of Indian subcontinent is one of the 10 paradises in the world. The geographical and bio diversity of Kerala with the coastline beaches and stretches of backwaters lined with the swaying coconut palms on one side and evergreen forests of the western ghats with very rich wildlife on the other side makes it a real paradise to the alien traveler.

HOW TO REACH GURUVAYUR

By road

Guruvayur is well connected with the other parts of the country by road and rail. The National highway is passing through Kunnamkulam which is just 8 kms away from Guruvayur. The private bus stand is towards the east of the temple, near Manjulal (the banyan tree). It is half an hour drive by car from Thrissur and busses ply every 5 minutes from Thrissur to Guruvayur.

Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs bus services from all major locations of the state and few inter-state services. The bus stand is 500 meters to the west of the temple. Both KSRTC and private busses offer interstate services to all major South Indian cities like Madras, Madurai, Palani, Salem, Coimbatore, Thiruchandoor, Mysore, Mangalore, Uduppi, Mookambika etc.
By rail

Guruvayur has got a railway station towards the east of the temple which is connected to the Madras-Mangalore main line at Thrissur. It has got computerised ticket booking facility and tickets can be booked to any locations from here. One from the Mangalore side can get down at the Kuttippram station. Regular buss services are available from there to Guruvayur. Those from the Madras/Trivandrum side can get down at Thrissur.

By air

Kochi international airport (Nedumbassery) is 80 kms from Guruvayur and the Calicut airport is 100 kms away. All major international flight services are operated from these airports.

May Krishna protect me,
Who shines with Rukmani,
Who destroyed Kamsa,
Who did Rasa lila with gopis,
Who taught Gita to Arjuna,
Who gave instructions to Uddhava.
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