Guruvayoorappan Temple, devoted to Lord Sri Krishna
, is a unique pilgrimage center of South India. It is located at Guruvayoor
, renowned as the ‘Dwaraka of the South’, 33 km north of Thrissur District
and 100 km from Ernakulam
. The structure of the deity resembles the Lord’s majestic form in 'Vaikuntha,' his heavenly abode, and the temple is called `Bhooloka Vaikuntha'. Since the installation of the deity was done by ‘Guru’, Brihaspathi
, and ‘Vayu’
, the place got the name Gurvayupura and later, Guruvayoor. The deity of Guruvayoor is called Guruvayoorappan, the Lord (Appan) of Guruvayoor. Separate shrines for Durga
, Lord Ganesh
and Lord Ayyappa
are also part of the temple. Koothambalam
and Oottupura are attached to the main temple. Rudratheertha is the holy pond.
‘Tulabharam’ with bananas, sugar, jaggery, coconuts and coins is the important offering. The 10 day festival falls in February – March with the famous ‘Anayottam' (elephant race). Other important festivals are Vishu, Ashtami Rohini and Ekadasi of 30 days(November-December). During Ekadasi, 11 day Chembai Sangeetha Mela (music concert), in honour of Shri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar is conducted. The temple is also famous for hosting marriages and 'annaprasanam' (first feeding of infants).
The architecture of the temple highly exemplifies Kerala's temple Vastuvidya (ancient treatises on architecture). The temple is administrated by the Guruvayoor Devaswom Committee nominated by the Government of Kerala. Punnathur Kotta Elephant Sanctuary, 3 km north of Guruvayoor, is owned by the temple.
The temple is open from 03:00 to 13:00 hrs and 16:30 to 20:30 hrs. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.