The Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple is a famous Krishna temple located in the town of Guruvayur in the Thrissur district of Kerala. It is often referred to as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam" which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth.
Shri Krishna is popularly known here by different names such as Kannan, Unni-Kannan (Baby Krishnan), Unni-Krishnan, Balakrishnan, and Guruvayoorappan।
The presiding deity is in the traditionally orthodox form of Mahavishnu, with all the compliments - four arms, out of which upper left hand holding sankh (conch), upper right hand holding chakra(wheel), lower left hand holding gadha (club) and lower right hand holding padmam (lotus). He faces east (the direction of the rising sun) and his idol is 4 ft tall. The Moolavigraha (main idol) is made of Pathalanjana Shila and is considered extremely sacred. There are two more idols one of silver and the other of gold of which the silver idol is more older. These are used for the seeveli and other processions. Generally the gold idol is used and the silver idol which is more older is taken out only for Arattu and on a few special occasions.
There is a repletion of traditional mural paintings on all the three sides, depicting sequences from puranic tales and Krishnaleela.
The vedic traditions being followed here with absolute perfection and sincerity is the hallmark of the Guruvayur temple.
Divinity of the location
Lord Siva (Rudra) performed tapas and worshipped Maha Vishnu for years under the waters of the sacred tank located on the northern side of the present day temple and hence this body of water got the name of Rudra-Theertham।
Story of the Deity
The Deity of the Guruvayur temple is unique, since it is carved out of a material called Pathalanjana Sila, and is considered extremely sacred. This idol was once worshipped by Lord Vishnu in Vaikunta and Vishnu handed it over to Brahma. King Suthapas and his wife worshipped Brahma for a child and being gratified with their devotion, they received this idol from him and advised them to start worshipping it.
Being pleased with their worship, Lord Vishnu appeared before them and blessed them with the boon that he himself will be born as their child in their three re-births in three different forms and in three different situations, with the idol.Thus they got the good fortune to worship the same deity in all three rebirths. In the third rebirth as Vasudeva and Devaki, the Lord was born as their eighth son Krishna. In the long run, Lord Krishna himself installed this idol in Dwaraka and worshipped it
At the time of Lord Krishna's Swargarohana (ascension to Vaikunta, The Lord the gavethis idol to his foremost disciple and devotee Uddhava and instructed him to entrust Brihaspathi(the Guru of the Devas) with the task of taking the idol to a suitable location. A deluge had closed in on Dwaraka, but Guru salvaged the idol floating in the water, with the help of his prime disciple Vayu. Guru and Vayu went around the world in search of an ideal place. At last they entered Kerala, they met Parasurama who was going to Dwaraka in search of the very idol they were bringing. Parashurama led Guru and Vayu to a lush green spot with a beautiful lotus lake where they felt the presence of Lord Siva. Lord Siva along with Parvathy welcomed them and permitted Guru and Vayu to perform the consecration rites and blessed them that henceforth this place would be known as Guruvayur (since the installation was done by Guru and Vayu). Siva with Parvathy then left to the opposite bank to Mammiyur.It is in memory of this incident that a pilgrimage to Guruvayur is said to be complete only with a worship of Mammiyur Siva also.
Vishwakarma, the divine architect built this temple. He made it in such a way that on the day of Vishu (Summer equinox) the first rays of the sun fall straight on to the Lord's feet. The deity was installed in the solar month of Kumbha(February - March) .
According to the legends, the idol worshipped here is more than 5000 years old। But there are no historical records to establish it। In the 14th century Tamil literature 'Kokasandesam', references about a place called Kuruvayur is made। As early as 16th century (50 years after the Narayaneeyam was composed) many references are seen about Kuruvayur। In ancient Dravidic, Kuruvai means sea, hence the village on the coast may be called Kuruvayur
Guruvayur Utsavam lasts for ten days. Beginning on the day of Pushya (the 8th asterism) in the month of Kumbham ( February-March), it ends after the Aarattu on the 10th day. Brahmakalasam is preceded by the Utsavam. It is aimed at the purification and energisation of the powers of the deity. It is the last of the long series of rituals of kalasam and at the end, the flag will be hoisted heralding the Utsavam.Culturally, it consists of various processions, illumination and modest fire-works (this is a specialty of Guruvayur Utsavam that no explosives are used, unlike most of the other Kerala Temples.
There are around 55 Krishna’s elephants in Punnathur Kotta। Punnathur Kotta is about 5 Km south of Guruvayoor temple।