State - Kerala
Location - The Guruvayoor Temple approximately 29km north-west in the Thrissur
Best Time to visit Guruvayoor Temple - The temple can be visited all through the year with special days like 'Ekadasi'. In terms of climatic conditions, December to February is great for tourists.
How to Reach Guruvayoor Temple
By Air - While Calicut airport is just 100kms away from the temple, the Kochi international airport is even closer at a distance of 80kms.
By Train - There is a railway station linked to the Madras-Mangalore line at Thrissur and when on the Mangalore side, visitors can alight at the Kuttippram station. The Thrissur station is close to Madras/Trivandrum.
By Road - Guruvayoor is located approximately 8kms away from the National highway which crosses through Kunnamkulam. There is a private bus stand that is situated to the east of the temple and if you intend taking the car, there are buses from Thrissur.
Guruvayoor in Kerala
The Guruvayoor temple gets its name from the word Guruvayoorappan. It is a well-known Krishna temple considered to be very sacred to the Hindus. Interestingly though it is known to be one of holiest one for Vaishnavites, the shrine does not feature in the 108 Divya Desams. The beautiful idol of Sree Krishna installed here reveals four arms holding the mace Kaumodaki, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the lotus and the conch Panchajanya.
The place is also known as Dwarka of the south as the idol here symbolizes the magnificent form of Vishnu that was disclosed to Vasudeva and Devaki. The idol seen is adorned with the divine Tulsi garland. What makes the idol of this temple even more alluring is the fact that it has been carved from Pathalanjana Sila, which is apparently a very holy material. The architect of this divine shrine has designed it such that on Summer equinox day, the first rays of the sun are seen washing the Lord's feet.
Maha Vishnu is the presiding deity in the sanctum-sanctorum facing towards the east. The pooja of this idol is performed as per the routines put forth by Adi Sankaracharya which were formally written in the Tantric manner by Chennas Narayanan Namboodiri. The latter are believed to be the traditional Tantris of the Guruvayoor temple. The routine involves the Melsanti or Chief Priest stepping into the Sri Kovil at around 2:30 AM and not consuming even water until the noon poojas have been completed at 12:30 PM.
The Guruvayoor Temple Tank in the temple's northern side is considered to be a sacred spot too. Apparently Lord Shiva conducted tapas while worshipping Lord Vishnu below the waters of this holy tank. The tank is hence also called as Rudra-Theertham.