- Famous For: Place of worship, Festivals like Ekadasi and Utsavam, Pilgrimage Centre
- Entrance Fee: There is no entrance fee for visiting the temple. You will have to pay separately for the various offerings you wish to devote to the God.
- Visiting Time: The temple is open on all the days. Devotees can visit the temple in two time slots, which are 0300-1230 hours and 1630-2115 hours.
- Visiting Duration: The visit to the temple should not take more than 2-3 hours unless you plan on giving some special offering to the God. Then the duration of your visit will depend on the offering.
In a religious-fervor country like India, temples are centers of spiritual importance. Among the many Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple is one of the most sacred and holy pilgrimage center. The temple has a rather glorious past and has always been famed among the other temples. The temple’s main deity is Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord Krishna. Thousands of people throng here every day to get the Lord’s blessings before starting something or to just thank God for his bountiful love. The Guruvayoor temple displays the classic extravagant architecture of the temple amidst the deep devotion of the people towards their God.
- There are a lot of religious sentiments attached to this place, so visitors are requested to follow the local customs while visiting the temple.
- While visiting the temple you must definitely remove your footwear before entering.
- The temple follows a very strict and traditional dress code. The men are supposed to wear only a white dhoti or ‘Mundu’. They are allowed to cover their torsos with a piece of white cloth. The women have to wear sarees or a chudidar. Western clothing is not allowed.
- The temple is open for people of all caste and creed following Hindu religion. Unfortunately, the temple authorities do not allow non-Hindu people to enter the temple compound.
- The visitors must be careful to not disrespect the deity in any way, as people can find it very offensive here.
Things to Do
- Take part in the religious activities of the temple. There is a certain inner peace to be found in the tranquility of this place.
- Attend the religious festivities like Utsavam, Vishu and Guruvayoor Ekadasi.
- Have a look at the cultural performances at the Melpathur Auditorium.
- Observe the beautiful Kerala murals at the Institute of Mural Paintings.
- Go for a shopping spree in the quaint shops surrounding the temple. You will be surprised by the variety in traditional artifacts and handicrafts.
Availability of Guides
Guides are not required to roam around in the temple. There are plenty of posters and notice boards to educate the people about the temple. A guide can be booked from a local tourist agency.
Best Time to Visit
The temple is open all year round for visits. And the Kerala weather makes it evermore enchanting and captivating to visit. But it is suggested that you should visit the temple during a religious festival. Then you will be able to see the entire temple dazzling and buzzing with activities. The best one would be to visit during the 10-day festival of Utsavam in February-March. The exact dates can be found by contacting the temple authorities or the tourist agency.
How to Reach
Thrissur railway station is easily accessible from the major cities of Kerala. You can use buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis to commute within the city to reach the temple.
Interesting Facts and Trivia about Guruvayoor Shree Krishna Temple
- It is one of the largest and oldest temples in the country. It has risen to a lot of prominence over the last couple centuries. The temple is believed to be around 5000 years old.
- There is a very interesting legend behind the building of the temple. It is believed that Lord Vishnu had himself blessed the temple. According to legends since the deity had been installed by the combined efforts of Guru and Vayu, it was initially called Guruvayupuram. It was later shortened to Guruvayur.
- In its past history, the temple has been ransacked many times. Because of its riches, it has been plundered many a times and even burnt down. But the temple has managed to survive the tyranny of foreign rulers and looting, being rebuilt over and over again. The temple has developed really well and has stood the test of time, fueling the faith and devotion of the people.
- The temple has been constructed very beautifully and has many intricate sculpting done on it. Being one of the richest temples in India, it has many structures with gold plating and statues of deities adorned with precious stones. The halls are decorated with numerous murals and carvings.
- The place is so holy that it has also been called the “Dwaraka of South”. People come here in large numbers from all over the country for just a look at their Lord. They make all sorts of heartfelt offerings to please the God.
- The idol of the deity is made with a very unique and rare stone going by the name of Patala Anjana.
- There is no limit to the offerings made by the people in the honor of their God. The first one is Thulabharam in which the devotee makes offerings equivalent to his weight. Offerings include butter, ghee, jaggery and gold. Another form of offering is through performances of Krishnaattam which is a traditional art-form. It is performed only at the Guruvayoor temple.
- Mammiyoor Shiva Temple
- Devaswom Museum
- Institute of Mural Painting
- Punathur Elephant Camp
- Vamanamoorthy Temple
- Athirapally and Vazhachal Waterfalls
- Silent Valley National park
- Chamundeshwari Temple
Nearby Places to Eat
- Annapurna Brahmin’s Hotel
- Saravana Bhawan
- Woodlands Restaurant
- National Paradise
This temple is the heart and soul for the local people and the many Hindus in the country. It is a place that deserves a visit because of the devotion and love attached to it. You will never regret going to this place because; what it has to offer cannot be found anywhere else.