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Guruvayoor Temple Kerala

Temple Guruvayoor KeralaGuruvayur Temple Kerala is one of the most important and holiest pilgrim centres in Kerala, South India, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all over India. The major attraction is the temple of Lord Sree Krishna who is also called 'Guruvayurappan'.

History
Lord Krishna was born as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki in the dwapara yuga. He was not an ordinary boy! He performed wonderful deeds and everyone was convinced that the boy was none other than Lord Vishnu in human form, an avatar of Vishnu or the perfect manifestation of the supreme power. 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. Later Dwaraka was submerged in the sea and Brihaspathi (Guru) recovered the idol and with the assistance of 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 image of Lord Vishnu (Lord Krishna) in the temple built by Viswakarma, the architect of the Gods. 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.

The Specialties
In Kerala, this is probably the only temple that hosts the maximum number of marriages and rice feeding ceremonies (the ritual first meal for infants). It was also the hub of the 'Guruvayoor Sathyagraha' , a historic movement demanding temple entry rights for the 'so called' lower castes.The historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to local belief, the temple was created by 'Guru', the 'preceptor of the gods' and 'Vayu', the 'god of winds'. The eastern 'nada' is the main entrance to the shrine. In the 'Chuttambalam' (outer enclosure) is a 33.5-m tall gold-plated 'Dwajastambham' (flagpost). There is also a 7 m high 'Deepastambham' (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly brillant spectacle, when lit. The square 'Sreekovil' is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple, there are also the images of Ganapathy, Sree Ayyappa and Edathedathy Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. Punnathoorkotta, which is at a distance of 2 kms from Guruvayoor is home of 50 temple elephants, offers unusual spectacles of the gentle pachyderm.

Guruvayoor Temple KeralaPlaces To Visit
Archaeological Museum

(Town Hall Road): Open from 1000 - 1700 hrs on all days except Mondays and national holidays.
Zoo(2 km from Thrissur town): Open from 0900 - 1700 hrs on all days except Mondays.

Art Museum:
Located in the Zoo compound, the art museum displays collections of wood carvings, metal sculptures and ancient jewellery. (Open 1000 - 17 00 hrs on all days except Mondays)

Town Hall:
Houses the Picture Gallery where mural paintings from all parts of Kerala are on display.

Aquarium:
This is near Nehru Park (open 15:00 - 20:00 hrs).

Vilangankunnu
(7 km from Thrissur): This is a beautiful hill which is a good picnic spot.

Arattupuzha:
This village is known for the annual Pooram festival at the temple in April/May. The uniqueness of this festival is the ceremonial processions carrying the images of the deities of 41 neighbouring temples to this village.

Peechidam:
(20 km east of Thrissur): This picnic spot offers boating facilities. There are frequent private buses from Thrissur to Peechi dam.

Vadakkumnathan Temple:
One of the oldest temples in the State, the Vadakkumnathan temple is a classical example of the Kerala style of architecture and has many decorative murals and pieces of art. This is the venue of the world famous Pooram festival celebrated annually in April-May. The fireworks at the Pooram are a spectacular sight. Non Hindus are not allowed entry into the temple.

Christian Divine Retreat Centres:
They are located at Muringoor and Potta near Chalakudi, on the Kochi - Thrissur route.

Irinjalakuda Koodal Manikyam temple:
(21 km from Thrissur): Situated 10 km away from Irinjalakuda railway station, this ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Bharatha, the brother of Sri Rama. It is perhaps the only temple in India with Bharatha as the deity. The colourful eleven day annual festival with a pageant of thirteen caparisoned elephants is held in April/May. The festival in this temple marks the end of the Hindu temple festival season in Kerala.

Cheruthuruthy

(32 km north of Thrissur): Cheruthuruthy is the seat of the Kerala Kalamandalam, renowned the world over for its Kathakali training centre. The music and dance academy was founded by the famous poet, Vallathol Narayana Menon. Training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Thullal and other art forms of Kerala is imparted here.

Ariyannoor temple, Kandanisserry:
This temple has a carved entrance gable which has been compared to the wooden sculptures of American artist Louise Nevelson. The Siva temple at Thiruvanchikulam as well as the Sri Krishna temple at Thirukulashekharapuram are believed to be monuments from the 9th century.

Athirapally
:
(63 km from Thrissur): At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges, this 80 foot high waterfall is a popular picnic spot.

Vazhachal:
(68 km from Thrissur): Just a short drive from Athirapally, this picturesque waterfall is close to dense green forests and is a part of the Chalakudy river. Athirapally and Vazhachal are the most famous waterfalls of Kerala and favourite destinations of tourists.

Shakthan Thampuran Palace
:
Also known as Palace Thoppu, the campus covers an area of 6 acres. Here you can see 3 shavakudeerams (tombs) including that of the renowned Shakthan Thampuran.

Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungalloor
:
Located 2 km from Kodungalloor town, this mosque resembles a Hindu temple in appearance. Built in 629 AD, this is the first mosque in India and the second in the world where Juma prayers were started. Other places of interest nearby include Cheramanparambu, the ancient Thiruvanchikulam Temple, the Bhagavathi Temple and the Portuguese fort.

Saint Thomas Memorial, Kodungalloor
:
St. Thomas is believed to have landed in Kodungalloor (formerly called Muziris) in 52 AD. The St. Thomas Church established by the apostle houses holy relics from the olden days.

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