“Guruvayur – A Popular Temple Town”

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Guruvayur is a town in Thrissur District, of Kerala in India. It houses the famous Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple, the fourth biggest temple in India in terms of the number of devotees per day. Tourists can also visit a popular elephant sanctuary and the Mammiyoor temple. The Guruvayur Temple is a renowned Krishna temple and is one of the most sacred places of worship for Hindus. It is also referred to as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam" which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth. The divine idol displayed here represents the enchanting form of Sree Krishna endowed with the four lustrous arms carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and the lotus. Adorned with the heavenly Tulasi garland the idol represents the grand form of Maha Vishnu as revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki at the time of Krishna Avatar. The presiding deity in the sanctum-sanctorum is Mahavishnu. The four feet idol of Mahavishnu faces east. Devotees consider him as Little Krishna. He has 4 hands: The upper right hand holding chakra, lower right hand holding lotus, upper left hand holding shankha and lower left hand holding gada.

He is worshipped according to the pooja routines laid down by Adi Sankaracharya and later written formally in the Tantric way by Chennas. The Vedic traditions are followed here with perfection and sincerity. The tradition has become the hallmark of the Guruvayur temple. The Mammiyoor temple is a Shiva temple near Guruvayoor temple. According to the ritual this temple must be visited while visit in Guruvayur temple. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple premises. The temple is a part of the 108 Famous Shiva Temples in Kerala and one among the five Shiva Temples around Guruvayoor, the others being Chowwallur, Perunthatta, Perakam and Parambanthali. They are believed to be the five faces of Shiva. The Punnathurkotta Elephat Sanctuary is on the palace grounds of the ancient palace of Punnathurkuuta. The elephants here belong to Guruvayoor temple.It has been renamed Anakkotta (meaning "Elephant Fort"). Currently there are about sixty six elephants.

The elephants are ritual offerings made by the devotees of Lord Guruvayurappa. This facility is also used to train the elephants to serve Lord Krishna as well as participate in many festivals that occur throughout the year. The oldest elephant is around 82 years of age and is called 'Ramachandran'. The visiting hours are 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM. The entry fee is Rs 5 per adult. An extra Rs 25 is charged for to use a camera inside the complex. Guruvayur is also popular for the festival of Ekadasi held here on the lunar fortnight. The festival is sacred for Hindus. A Carnatic music festival, Chembai Sangeetholsavam is held annually. Guruvayur is well connected by roads, air and rail.

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Flin Martyn has 561 articles online

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“Guruvayur – A Popular Temple Town”

This article was published on 2012/02/17