THE SACREDNESS OF GURUVAYUR

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19
Feb

The serenity of temples wrapped in the beautiful and enormous greenery is a perfect fit for its definition ‘Blessed place’ in true sense. The God’s own land, Guruvayur, welcomes you with open, warm arms. Guruvayur, a small town in Thrissur district of Kerela is famous for India’s fourth largest temple, The Shree Krishna Temple is well known for the number of devotees and amount of offerings received each day.

DID YOU KNOW?

               One of the most commendable and proudest reasons of having Guruvayur in India is: It has male literacy rate at 86%, and female literacy at 85%. In Guruvayur, 10% of the population is under 10 years of age. For Hindus, the most important place to visit in Guruvayur is the Shree Krishna Temple.

SUCCINCT HISTORY

 It is believed that Guru and Vayu installed the image in this temple, built by Viswakarma--the architect of God. As Guru and Vayu together founded the temple, the place came to be known as Guruvayurpura in accordance with Lord Shiva's wish. The name was later shortened to Guruvayur. The shrine in the temple is believed to be re-built in 1638 A.D., and the deity of Guruvayur is more than 5,000 years old.

DARSHAN TIMINGS AND PATHWAYS

The temple opens doors for devotees at 3:00 a.m. and closes at around 9:15 p.m. The temple has two pathways for devotees. One way is for those who do not wish to go inside the temple and stand in the queue. This is the best and the fastest way to get 'Darshan' or else you can opt for the second way, which makes you to stand in the endless queue, for at least an hour and a half, before you are allowed to enter the temple. 

RULES AND MANNERISMS OF THE TEMPLE

You are expected to obey certain rules and etiquette of the temple before you get mesmerised with Shree Krishna Temple. Wearing shirts, trousers, vests, pyjamas, lungis (printed dhotis), churidars, footwear etc. is forbidden. Hence ladies can wear saris, blouses, and skirts; while the men can wear plain white or cream dhoti. Possessions like cameras, video cameras, radios, tape-recorders etc. cannot be taken into the 'Chuttambalam' - the place surrounding the 'sanctum Sanctorum'. One should be careful not to spit or vomit in the temple.  Very small children should not be taken inside. Those who dirty the temple have to pay for the 'Punyaha' or purification ceremony.  Begging inside the temple is forbidden. Newly married couples are not allowed inside the Chuttambalam also known as Nalambalam, soon after the marriage ceremony. So the next time you decide to visit this temple, make sure to adhere to these rules, or else get ready to be stopped by security guards.

DONT MISS OTHER ATTRACTIONS

                      There are 11 temples in and around Guruvayur which comes under Guruvayur Devaswom traditionally known as Keezhedams. Along with other tourist attractions in Kerela, the pilgrim centres such as Sabarimala, Guruvayur, Jewish Synagogue, Madurai, Thanjavoor, and the eminent backwaters--a network of canals, rivers, lagoons, big lakes and the deltas of 44 rivers--are an integral part of a well-heeled heritage of Kerala. If you forget buying spices from Kerela, it is something worth regretting later. Foreign tourists visit this place mainly to buy spices to trade in their home country. Other fascinating spot is Punnathur Kotta Elephant sanctuary--the only one of its kind in the world, with close to 51 elephants, donated to Lord by His devotees.

HOW TO REACH GURUVAYUR

By road

Guruvayur is well connected with other parts of the country by road and rail. The National highway passing through Kunnamkulam is just 8 kms. away from Guruvayur. The private bus stand is on east side of the temple, near Manjulal (the banyan tree). It is half an hour drive by car from Thrissur and buses ply every five minutes from Thrissur to Guruvayur.

The other bus stand is 500 meters to west of temple. Both KSRTC (Kerala Road Transport Corporation) and private buses offer interstate services to all major South Indian cities like Madras, Madurai, Palani, Salem, Coimbatore, Thiruchandoor, Mysore, Mangalore, Uduppi, and Mookambika.

By rail

Guruvayur has a railway station to the east of temple which is connected to the Madras-Mangalore main line at Thrissur. It has computerised ticket booking facility and tickets can be booked to any location from there. Someone coming from Mangalore side can get off at Kuttippram station. Regular bus services are available from there to Guruvayur. Those arriving from 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. 

By Hemisha Raigaga
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