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Guruvayoor Temple, Trichur

About 32 kms. away from the city is Guruvayoor, one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the country. It is also known as the Dwaraka of the South. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna known here as Guruvayurappan.

The temple : The walls of the sanctum sanctorum are inlaid with exquisite mural paintings and carvings. The eastern 'nada' is the main entrance to the shrine. The square 'Sreekovil' is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. There are also the images of Ganapathy, Sree Ayyappa and Edathedathy Kavil Bhagavathy withing the temple. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
Location : About 32 kms. away from the city Punnathoorkotta, at a distance of 2 kms from Guruvayoor is home of 50 temple elephants, offers unusual spectacles of the gentle pachyderm.
Interesting : Not surprisingly it is the site for several weddings and 'Annaprasanam', the first feeding ceremony of child. Marriage halls abound in the town. There are shops here that are open 24 hours a day and flower sellers do a boom trade in garlands for the pilgrims and the marriage parties alike.
Legend : The historic temple is shrouded in mystery. The Sree Krishna Swamy Temple, which attracts thousands of pilgrims is said to date prior to the 16th century. Tradition has it that the temple was created by Guru- the preceptor of the Devas, and the Vayu- the lord of the Winds. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna known here as Guruvayurappan or the Lord of Guruvayur, and the idol is said to have been worshipped by Lord Brahma himself at Dwaraka. According to legend, when Lord Krishna left this world, his golden city Dwarka was submerged in the ocean. An icon of the Lord was saved from the drowning city of Dwarka by the Guru of the Gods and with the help of Vayu, brought to Kerala. As the sacred icon was brought here by the combined efforts of the Guru and Vayu, the Lord here is called Guruvayurappan. Melpatur Narayan Bhattathiri composed his well-known Sanskrit devotional poem 'Narayaneeyam' at this temple. This temple is renowned for its healing powers. Several offerings are made to the deity from the simple 'Archana' offering of flowers to the expensive and elaborate 'Udayastamana'pooja or 'Thulabharam' where a devotee is weighed against offering of bananas, sugar, jaggery or coconut.
Did you know? : The town and it's environs are particularly safe and one often sees men and women visiting various temples with a glittering array of jewellery. The art of the south Indian jeweller is a sight to behold. The town is also famous for its textiles and handicraft shops, apart from gold and semi-precious stone jewellery. Guruvayoor was also the hub of the 'Guruvayoor Sathyagraha’, a historic movement demanding temple entry rights for the 'so called' lower castes.

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