|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. Guruvayoor is a thriving township in Trichur district of Kerala
state in the South of India, its scenic beauty and serenity are breath
taking. Guruvayoorappan is the chief diety here - The God which hears
the prayers of its pilgrims. Guruvayoorappan is adorned with the holy
tulasi (Basil) garland, and pearl necklace the Lord here appears in all
radiance to bless the devotees.
The central shrine is believed to have been rebuilt in 1638 A.D. By then
it had become the most famous center of pilgrimage in Kerala mainly due
to the five devotees who propagated the glory - Poonthanam, Melpattur,
Vilvamangalam, Kururamma and the Prince Manadevan (Zamorin).
|In 1716 AD The Dutch plundered and set fire to the
temple. It was rebuilt in 1747 AD.In 1766 AD Haider Ali captured Calicut
and Guruvayur, but spared the temple for a reason of 10000 Ferams which
was paid by Vatakkepat Variyar.The general insecurity prevailing; the
flow of pilgrims and the annual payment of tenants ceased. Haider Ali
however gave a 'Devadaya' (free gift) to the temple in 1780 AD., on the
recommendation of the Governer of Malabar, Srinivasa Rao and thus saved
the temple from total extinction. In 1789, Tipu Sultan, Haider Ali's son
and successor descended on the scene to defeat the Zamorin and to
convert Hindus to Islam. Fearing destruction of the image, the
Mulavigraha (Main deity) was hidden underground and the Utsavavigraha
(processional deity) was taken to Ambalapuzha.
||Tipu set fire to and plundered the temple. But a
timely rain and an incorporeal voice averted a major catastrophe. After
the English drove out Tipu, both the vigrahas (deities) were
reinstalled. From 1875 to 1900, the Ullanad Panikars came in and offered
their free secures to the lord apart from contributing from their family
estates. [Like the earlier devotees Chempakasseri Nambudiri & Desavarma
Nambudiri who had donated everything they had, to the lord]. In 1841,
the Govt. of Madras restored the Devadaya appropriated by Tipu Sultan.
Slowly & steadily the temple became prosperous. All the portions were
rebuilt renovated and ornamented. At the turn of the 20th century
various reforms have seen in the temple under the administration of its
manager Sri Konti Menon. In 1928, the Zamorin once again became
responsible for the administration of the temple.
|In 1931-32, a Sathyagraha was launched under the
leadership of Kerala Gandhi, i.e., Kelappan, a prominent group leader of
Kerala, to secure the entry of untouchables in to the temple. All this
resulted in the Travancore Temple Entry proclamation in 1936, and
similar measures in British Malabar in 1946 & Cochin in 1947.
||Since then every Hindu is permitted to have a darshan
of the Lord outside the sanctum sanctorum (Sree kovil). Yet the offering
of Namaskara sadhya (feast) exclusively to Brahmins in the Uttupura
(dining hall) continued. Finally this custom was also sapped. From 1st
Jan 1982, the Devaswam itself feeds 500 – 1000 pilgrims, with Prasadam (Prasada
Oottu). Devotees too can make an offering of any amount for free
|On 30th November 1970, after the 6th day of the
annual Ekadasi festival, a disastrous fire broke out in the temple
Hindus, Muslims & Christians fought the fire shoulder to shoulder.
Despite 5 hours of the raging fire, the Srikovil, the vigraha of
Guruvayurappan, and the subshrines of Ganesha, Ayyappa and Devi, and the
flag staff remained intact.
||How To Reach
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.
|These are the
hotels in Guruvayoor in walkable distance to the Sree Krishna
Recommend to have a
houseboat cruise in the backwaters just 20 minutes drive from the
Have lunch on board of the houseboat.
2500 / 3 hours for the complete family (5 to 8 persons).
meals are extra.
Vegitarian lunch costs Rs 150 /
Nob veg lunch (fried fish, fish curry etc costs
Rs 250 / person.