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Guruvayoor Shri Krishna temple is one of the major temples of India, where Lord Krishna is the presiding deity. Shortly known as guruvayoor temple, it is located in the town of Guruvayoor in Kerala. Lots of hindus worship in this temple which is in sacred terms, known as the Holy Abode of Vishnu on earth. It is because of the idol of Lord Krishna, installed in this temple, that people name it as Unnikrishna or Balkrishna. But, amidst the fame of the temple as one of the worshiping places of Lord Krishna, by the Vaishnavites, it is not counted as one of the 108 Holy temples. Even though the idol is that of Krishna, it is considered to be a Vishnu temple. Most of the activities going on in the town of Guruvayoor are related to the temple, even though there are a few other temples which are located in the region.
Legends of many types are associated with this temple of Guruvayoor. Although no scriptures or written documents have been found in support of the existence of the temple since pre historic days, there are a number of beliefs. Earliest mentions have been seen in the 17th century, where scriptures and songs of the local clans sing praises of Unnikrishna.

Festivals and Pilgrimage

Since it is an abode of Lord Krishna, the festival of Ekadasi is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur in Guruvayoor. The one ekadasi which falls in the month of Mandala, in Suklapaksya has much significance. During the whole month before this Ekadasi, offerings start pouring in and plenty of rituals are conducted on a day to day basis during this period. Honouring the Gajarajan Kesavan is held on this day, which is one of the high points. Head of the elephants pays tribute by placing a floral wreath on the head of Kesavan in full public view. There is also an elephant procession to the Parthasarathi temple, which is held during the end of the entire festival.

An important occasion of pilgrimage is seen in Guruvayoor, when people do their pilgrimages to the Sabarimala temple in Ayappa during the Mandala month. People make it a point to visit the Guruvayoor during this trip. During this time, special abhisekham processes are done with panchagavya. The whole month has some kind of abhisekham fixed for the Lord.

Navrathri, Janamasthami, Vaisakha, Vishu, Samkramam, etc are other important festivals celebrated in this Guruvayoor temple.


Idol of the Lord Krishna is in form of a child with four arms, which carries an object such as the conch, sudarshan chakra, mace and basil. Not only does the idol look majestic with the arms and a childlike smile, but the visuals are very refreshing, as the devotees corroborate the feature. The prayers and pujas of Lord Vishnu in Guruvayoor are done according to the rituals denoted by Adi Shankara and is being followed by Cennas Nambudiris, which is the clan that does the worship in Guruvayoor temple. There is a strict routine of prayer according to which the processes are followed till today. Vedic traditions are still being followed, with head priest following each ritual very rigorously.

It is believed that the deity of Lord Krishna is very special and valuable and is carved out of a single stone called Patalanjana Stone. According to legends, it was lord Krishna himself, who offered the idol of stone to his devotee Uddava when he wanted to go to heavenly abode. Later on, the idol was installed by Vayu and Brihaspati in Kerala in the lush green region which presently is a town of Guruvayoor.
Structure of the temple is in the style of South Indian temples, where the eastern nada is the point to enter into the temple. Inside the outer enclosure, known as Chuttambalam, there is a long tower of 35 mts height, which is plated with gold and is known as Dwaja stambh. A Dipastambha of 7 mts height is also there, which has receptacles numbering 13, for the lighting of the lamp, which when lit provides a magnificent view. Sanctum sanctorum is the Srikovli, which houses the main deity. Plenty of other hindu deities are also having their shrines of smaller sizes in the temple. A Garuda statue is perched just at the point of entry into the temple gates, which is a beautiful carving.

The temple has a few ponds, which have sacred significance for people coming into the temple. There is rudrathirtham, towards the northern side, where lord Vishnu did his worship for years. It is believed that this pond was having magical lotus flowers in pre historic era and had medicinal powers.

Getting There

Guruvayoor town has the famous Guruvayoor temple, which is situated from Thrissur at about 21 kms distance. Thrissur in turn is a large town with many buses and taxis available to reach the temple.

By Road

Devotees coming to Guruvayoor do not face any difficulty due to the well connected roads to many cities in kerala and tamil nadu. People have a number of vehicles like cars, jeeps, vans, cabs, etc to reach the town, apart from the state transport buses.

By Train

While arriving by train, people can get down in Guruvayoor station itself and reach the temple easily. If direct trains are not available, then devotees from other parts of the state or country can reach the towns of Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and from Thrissur, which is the nearest largest station.

By Flights

Connectivity with flights is present to the airports in Kochi at about 75 kms distance.

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