Guruvayoor – Enjoy a spiritual holiday with a difference
Guruvayur Temple is one of the most famous temples of Lord Guruvayoorappan, one of the enchanting incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Located in the cultural capital of Trissur District, Guruvayur is a humming religious centre in Kerala that draws pilgrims from all over the world all round the year. Guruvayur temple, dedicated to Balagopalan, the child form of Lord Krishna is many centuries old. Legends say that Guru who found a Krishna Statue floating in a river at the start of Kaliyuga installed this idol with the help of Vayu at this spot, which derived its name Guru (Brihaspathi), Vayu (Wind God) and Oor (Land)
Guruvayur or Guruvayoor, popularly called the Dwarka of the South, is one of the most important pilgrimage centers for Hindus in India as this idol is said to have been worshipped by Lord Brahma himself. Only Hindus are allowed in this temple, which is well known for its unique customs and temple art forms that are well preserved even today.
Guruvayoor Tours will enable you to know more about the temple customs that date back to the reign of Samuthiri Kings who ruled this part of Kerala. At night various traditional temple art forms like Krishnattam Kali, Ottan thullal and harikatha are conducted in the premises of the temple. The famous Chembai music festival that is conducted every year brings some of the best exponents of Carnatic music from India and abroad to the temple town.
The ten day long annual festival is one of the busiest periods here during which the whole place gets decked up with colorful festoons and decorative arches and illumination. Elephant race is probably the most interesting feature of the festival, where the temple elephants run round the temple eleven times and people cheer them and often run with them in frenzy.
The temple is particularly popular for conducting weddings, naming ceremonies of babies and many other rituals. Guruvayur temple is not only famous for it grandeur and divinity but for its well acclaimed temple elephants, which are housed in an elephant sanctuary at Punnathoorkotta, 3 kilometers away from the temple. These elephants were offered to the temple by the ardent devotees of Lord Krishna. This elephant shelter has over 65 elephants owned by Guruvayoor Sri Krishna temple devaswom and is considered the single largest group of domesticated elephants in the world It is open to the public where they can watch these jumbos being fed and bathed.
Guruvayur travel is easy and hassle free as it is easily accessible by road and rail. The nearest airport is Cochin International airport, which is 90km away. There are many accommodation facilities around to cater to the needs of the visitors. Those who are hard pressed on time would find the package Guruvayur tours convenient. There are also many tourist attractions nearby including the fabled Chavakkad beach and the mausoleum of the lieutenant of Haider Ali of Mysore.
So, in case you are looking for a spiritual holiday with a difference, then do not look beyond Guruvayur!
Guruvayoor is 80 km away from the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery.
There are frequent buses to Guruvayoor from Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Palakkad and Trivandrum.
There are cheap and comfortable passenger trains running from Thrissur and Ernakulam to Guruvayoor. For travelers from outside Kerala, it is better to get down at Thrissur first.