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Best Time: Oct-Feb Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Nearest Airport: Kochi Check Flights

"Lord Krishna's home in God's own country"

Guruvayur Tourism

A small town in the district of Thrissur, Guruvayoor is most famous for the Guruvayoor Temple- India's third largest temple housing Lord Krishna.

Krishna Guruvayoorappa!' You hear these words quite often in Kerala. Guruvayoorappan has a distinct place in every heart and every household. This temple is believed to be one of the 108 most divine Vishnu temples in the world. A kilometre away is the Shiva temple at Mammiyur. However, Non-Hindus are strictly barred from entering the temple complex. Guruvayoor has emerged as one of the most important places of worship in Southern India along the likes of Tirupati and Sabarimala. Chavakkad Beach, a good place to spend your evenings is located just five km from Guruvayur. Alternatively, in the evenings, you can watch fishermen bring in their catch lay it on display on the beach itself. The annual Guruvayur Festival held during February-March kickstarts with an Elephant race; and is a must watch. 3 km away from the temple premises is the Guruvayur Devaswom elephant sanctuary -one of the largest elephant sanitarium in the world, also known as Punnathurkotta.

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The Guruvayur Temple

Guruvayoor temple and its grounds are one of a kind. There are two entrances called Nadas, the East Nada and the West Nada. Each Nada leads to the temple. The walk from the entrance to the temple is lined with shops that sell all the things that characterise Kerala. You'll be able to find the Kerala saree, the famous brass lamps, kathakali show pieces etc. in these shops. The turmeric and papad sold in these shops are also of good quality. The temple ground also has a stage facing the temple where musical and dance performances are held. It is a considered a matter of high fortune and honour to be able to perform there. Prominent artists of Kerala like Yesudas and Manju Warrier have performed here.

The queue to enter the temple starts outside the temple itself. On the least crowded day, it'll take you an hour to reach in front of the deity. There are times, very rare though when you can enter and exit in half an hour. But those chances come by luck. Guruvayoor temple is very strict about maintaining the sanctity of the temple and there are few rules to be followed. There's a checking done at the main entrance and if you're breaking any of the rules, you'll be asked to leave the queue, rectify the mistake and join at the end of the queue again. There are different kinds of poojas and archanas done from dawn to dusk. They keep changing the clothes of the deity from morning till evening to depict Lord Krishna growing in age as the day progresses. So, in the morning you'll see the deity in the form Bal Krishna and in the evening, the deity will be dressed as a King.

History of Guruvayur

The historic town of Guruvayur is known for enthralling allure, rich religious culture and 5,000 years old legendary temple of Guruvayur idol. According to local legends, Lord Krishna requested sages to remove his idol from the temple in Dwarka as the city was on the verge of destruction and establish it in Kerala. Two sages named Vayu Deva and Guru Brihaspati were the ones who were responsible for this act, and the merger of their titles resulted in the present day name of this place ‘Guru’ Brihaspati and ‘Vayu’ Deva. In the scripts of Dravic language and Tamil literature, mentions of ‘Karuvayur’ were found. As Brahmins started building settlements in Kodungallur, the place got famed for its ancient relics and the temple which is the major attraction for tourists and travellers nowadays.

Chembai Sangeetholsavam

Every year over 3,000 musicians come together in the temple town for the annual Chembai Sangeetholsavam which is a Carnatic musical fest organized by Guruvayur Devaswom. The entire festival is dedicated to Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar who was an ardent devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan and a Carnatic musician himself. The celebrations continue for 12 to 15 days which culminates to the Guruvayur Ekadasi day when all the singers perform top five songs of Chembai to commemorate the occasion.

Restaurants and Local Food in Guruvayur

Local cuisine is Guruvayur is purely vegetarian. Most restaurants serve good Ghee roast dosa along with the other popular vegetarian aspects of Keralan cuisine. Non-vegetarian food stall or bar, although not banned but are rare and might be difficult to find.
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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Guruvayur by noon. Have delicious vegetarian Kerala sadhya. Take some rest. Set out for the temple at around 4 p.m. Your darshan will be complete by 6 p.m. You can watch the musical or dance performances being conducted in front of the temple for a little while. After the sunset, you can see the whole temple lit by oil lamps. You can also indulge in shopping for original Kerala silk sarees and other famous artefacts of Kerala from the shops around the temple. After that, you can have an early dinner and retire to your hotel room.
Day 2: Wake up early by 4 a.m. and go to the temple to get a glimpse of the Bal Krishna form of the deity. Have delicious south-Indian breakfast at any of the restaurants near the temple. Then you can set out to visit the Anakotta - The Guruvayur Elephant Sanctuary to watch 60-80 elephants living together in a 10-acre land and going about their lives. After that, you can have lunch and depart from Guruvayor having had a beautiful spiritual experience.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Guruvayur is a known for being one of the most famous pilgrimage sites amongst Hindus. It ranks fourth in India in terms of the number of people who visit the temple every year.

What's Not So Great?

Long queues throughout the year. Not much to see other than the temple.

For Whom?

Guruvayur is a place for those who are devoted to the Hindu religion or want to visit one of the most popular temples of Kerala.

How To Reach Guruvayur

Gurvayoor town has its own railway station with few inter-city passenger and one inter state train. The Gurvayur Railway Station is just 1 km away from the temple. Alternately, one can take up a train till Thrissur and then take a taxi to Gurvayoor.

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Q. Places to visit near Guruvayoor?

Rohit Shroff 4 months ago
Thrissur, Kochi, Ponnani, Kozikhode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Nelliyampathy are some of the main places that are near Guruvayoor.

Guruvayur Reviews

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Devyani Chandra 1 year ago
- All needy devotees visiting the temple are offered free meals twice a day. A popular destination for weddings, sometimes more than 300 weddings take place on a day. It is also famous for Choroonu (first time meals to child).
Rohith Cs 11 months ago
There are 48 elephants when i visited there. They gives us a wonderful experience for me as i am an elephant fan. Must visited place. Ticket charge is only Rs. 10/-
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