Monday, October 18, 2010

Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple and Mammiyur temple

Guruvayur is called as the Bhooloka Vaikuntam as here resides Vishnu as Guruvayurappan,  an idol believed to have been worshipped by Lord Krishna Himself.   Lord Guruvayurapan ,thus got His name as the idol here was installed by Guru (Jupiter) and Vayu (the God of wind) .Inside the temple right in front of the sanctum  is the dwajasthambham .  There is no electrical illumination inside the sanctum and the   divine idol of Lord can be viewed only with the bright glow of  oil lamps and the effulgence emanating from the sanctum cannot be expressed in words.
 

A certain dress code is followed in this temple and it is mandatory for men to wear dhoti and for women sari or salwar. Pilgrims queue up patiently for a darshan of their dear God, chanting Lord's name 'Om Namo Narayanaya' which itself is a great experience and the  atmosphere gets charged with devotion and totally transports one to a realm of  inner  peace and harmony .

There are  sub shrines for  Ganapathi, Ayyapa, Edatharigathu Bhagavathy. There is a  magnificent idol of Vishnu reclining on his serpent Aadisesha with consort  Lakshmi. There are wonderful paintings on the walls of the sanctum and all the pillars have beautifully sculpted scenes from Krishnavatara .

The temple owns quite a lot of elephants and many are offerings from the devotees to their dear God as Guruvayurappan is believed to be a lover of elephants . There are Seevelis (Procession carrying idol on top of elepahnt) both in the morning and late in the night just before the temple closes.  I  was fortunate enough to witness the kazhcha Seeveli in the evening and there were four caparisoned elephants for   the same.The procession was regal with colorful parasols, aalavatom ,venchamaram and panchavadayam ( percussion instruments), Every year the temple conducts  an elephants' race and the elephant which wins the race  gets the right  to carry the idol of Lord for Seeveli for the rest of the year. This interesting spectacle is a huge crowd puller attracting hordes of devotees albeit a bit scary for one who is not habituated to see elephants at  such close quarters.

 Photography is prohibited  inside the temple.

 Rudra theertham and Mammiyur temple:
The water  tank outside the temple  is  very divine and it is believed that Lord Siva performed  penance here and it is known as Rudra theertham. When  Guru and Vayu were searching for  an ideal place for the consecration of Vishnu's idol, Lord Siva allowed them to install it on the banks of Rudra teertham and He himself moved to a place where we see the present Mammiyur  Mahadeva temple which is just a  kilometre from the Guruvayur temple.  It is believed that a trip to Guruvayur is not complete , if one does not visit Mammiyur temple.This temple  has Lord Siva as the main deity and there are shrines for Parvati and Vishnu ,  Ganapati, Muruga and Ayyapa.

 Guruvayur Temple timings 3 am - 1 Pm. 4 Pm- 8.30 pm.

How to reach- This temple town is 34 Kms from the cultural capital of  Kerala , Trichur . There are excellent accommodation facilities in Guruvayur itself both set up by the temple  and  Government. There are many private hotels too. We stayed in  hotel Nandini Tourist Home on Eastern side of the temple as it was just walkable distance from the temple. 
Private as well as State transport buses ply to this small  town.
Nedumbassery is the nearest airport and Trichur is the nearest rail head. There is a railway station in Guruvayur itself.

56 comments:

  1. Thanks Chitra, for this post. Guruvayur is of course one of the most important shrines of Kerala.

    I was under the impression that women could wear only saris or long skirts with top and dupatta (i.e., Lehengas with top and dupatta) and salwar-kurta was not allowed there.

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  2. Archana,
    Salwar suits were allowed recently which is a great blessing for many. I was there just two weeks back and could see lot women in salwar kameez.

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  3. lovely post, i had been to guruvayur when i was very young...brought back many memories...

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  4. It must be such an honour to win the elephant race and carry the idol for the rest of the year.

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  5. wowww me a krsna devotee..hence loved this post more...thanks for sharing ya:)

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  6. Thanks Chitra. As usual wonderful post with excellent pictures and well articulated description.

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  7. lovely post
    good that temple is owner of elephants.

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  8. Chitra,

    Do many international visitors attend? If so, do they arrive dressed appropriately? It is my dream to spend time in India visiting some of these beautiful temples. It seems that I would need to acquire some appropriate dress.

    I also hope to see some of these beautiful elephants up close!

    My best to you, my constant friend,
    Traci

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  9. Nice account Chitra...
    Photography is prohibited inside the temple. How far can u carry the camera?. Or is carrying the camera allowed inside?

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  10. Nice one. Been to Guruvayoor Temple many many times. But never been to Mammiyur Temple. It will be difficult for international visitors. I will let you answer Star Traci. Even singer Yesudeas is not allowed inside the temple.

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  11. Sushma,
    thanks for the comment.

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  12. A,
    Very happy you liked my description. I can keep writing on my favourite subject but there are various sites which provide lot of information on the temple. What I write is usually what and how I see.

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  13. sm
    This temple has more than 50 elephants and it is a sanctuary for these elephants where they are taken care of very well. It is very near to the temple and one can visit this too along with the temple tour. I had planned one on my recent visit but could not make it. There's always a next time.:)

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  14. Lovely photographs. Well explained too,thanks Chitra.

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  15. PW,
    Elephants race is conducted just before the annual festival here and I have seen it only on television.

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  16. Ramesh,
    Krshina your favourite, mine too.I think Lord Krishna ( Kutti Krishna or Unni Kannan) is a darling to all.

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  17. Traci,
    I wish you would visit India and see for yourself the rich culture of our country where you would have first hand experience. There are many temples in India where International tourists are allowed inside the temple and I would give you a list of same when you come here.

    But this particular temple does not permit non- hindus inside. You may be able to view the elephants race as it happens outside and you would be allowed to visit the elephants sanctuary. I am happy you are showing so much interest .

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  18. Sridharan,
    No camera, no mobile. The are very strict about it or may be you may need to take special permission from authorities which I do not have any information about. You will have to leave all these at the special counter or in your room. They frisk thoroughly when devotees go inside. We can shoot pictures only from a distance like I have done.

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  19. SG,
    Thanks for providing that answer to Traci.The temple steeped in traditional values has its own rules and regulations and one needs to respect the same.
    Mammiyur is very close by, you can walk along the temple tank path. When you circumambulate at the Edatharigathu bhagavathy shrine you would see a small board mentioning about Mammiyurappan and you can offer your prayers from there itself. Next time try to visit Mammiyur too.

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  20. Ms. Chitchat. Thanks for the visit and the comment.

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  21. However many times you hear or see about Guruvayur and the Presiding diety Sri Guruvayurappan it never stales.The slide show is very nice.May be a pic of the Lord would hv embellished the post

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  22. KP,
    Thanks for the comment. I welcome your suggestion. If possible I would try to upload one.

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  23. As usual the post and the pix are awesome, brought back many memories too.
    Long back when I was very small, had been to Guruvayur. My sis was wearing Salwar and so was not allowed inside, My father too refused to go inside as his daughter was not allowed in. SO the joy of visiting such a lovely temple was diminished.
    Good that now they allow women in salwars

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  24. Wonderful. I have been to the temple once as a kid. I still recall much details. The elephants; the neat temple premises. Have to visit soon.

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  25. Great post. Yes, now they let the women wear salwars. My wife always visits the temple whenever she goes to Kerala, and this time, my four year old son was so thrilled to be there and to see the festive spirit all around.

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  26. I have been to Guruvayoor twice, but have never been to the mammiuyr temple! Have heard about it, but never seen it !! and i actually like the idea of dress codes for temples in kerala... we have a dress code for everything... no one would turn up in a salwar kameez for a party! so why not have a dress code for temples????

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  27. Bhaghyareema,
    Many are caught unawares when they do not know about dress codes which still exist in temples like Andapadmanabha temple in Trivandrum.

    It is sad your sister could not go inside.But we have no other go but to accept certain things.

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  28. Insignia,
    I am happy you have visited this temple and also have plans to visit again.

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  29. Sanand,
    Visiting Guruvayur temple gives an out of world experience and there is always a festive mood around.

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  30. Anu,
    On your next trip do not miss Mammiyur.It is also an ancient temple even older than Guruvayur. Take Samhith to the elephant sanctuary which is close by . I am sure he is going to enjoy the experience.

    Regarding dress code, rules are rules and we have to follow it.

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  31. This is a wonderful post, I have heard so much about guruvayur temple but never had a chance to visit it.. And the second temple, I never heard about it!! Beautifully described:)

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  32. Arti, Thanks so much. happy I read a nice comment before I hit the bed. G.nite.

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  33. Must be a great experience to attend darshan there in tha temple - make the most of your time chitra!

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  34. Ramesh,welcome:)))

    Martina, Thanks dear friend.

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  35. Through your blog, I am getting to know a lot more about the temples and shrines in South India. Thanks for sharing chitra.

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  36. Nice description of Guruvayoor and Mummiyur temples.I have not visited Mummiyur temple so far I shall do it next time we visit Guruvayoor.

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  37. Hi Chitra,
    The temple is so beautifull , there is so much beauty of travel in south india which i am realize more as i read ur posts..

    I have included a link to your blog in a new section for travel ... hope you dont mind

    http://superyummyrecipes.blogspot.com/p/incredible-india.html

    Satya
    http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

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  38. Prabbaka,
    Many are unaware of the link between Guruvayurappan and Mammiyurrappan . But a board displays the same things in the temple.

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  39. Satya, Very happy you have included the link in your blog. Thanks a lot.

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  40. We love Mammiyur...early morning it affords a peaceful and almost calm spot... very different from the commercial feel in guruvayur.....

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  41. ?
    Mammiyur is exactly opposite of Guruvayur. No crowd and the tranquility is really charming.

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  42. You satisfied my longing to go there..atleast for the time being...Lovely write up Chitramma. Im yet to pay my visit this yr to Gvyr.

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  43. Oh you took me years back. I visited the temple when I was a teenager.

    I wish I could go to Guruvayoor during my next visit. What you feel when you come out of praying is priceless. thank you Chitra...

    I was not aware of Mammiyoor history. Next time we should visit both temples.

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  44. Poorni, I am happy you liked this post. Hope Lord Guruvayurappan would give you an opportunity soon.

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  45. Stranger,
    Thanks . Plan your visit next time and get that priceless feeling once again.

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  46. Dear Chitra,
    Good Evening!
    I am so happy to see your post o Guruvayoor Temple and Mamiyoor Temple.Many devotees don't know that the darshan is incomplete without having darshan of Lord Siva,Mammiyoor.One does not have to wait in queue to have drshan of Lord Siva.Now Annadanam has been started twice a week at Mamiyoor Temple.
    There are nearly 65 elephants at Punnathur Kotta,where the elephants of Kannan are taken care of.Those who want to get more details,may read my new post-HATHI MERA SATHI[ELEPHANT,MY FRIEND].
    I love elephants.We used to walk to Guruvayoor Temple from home.I am born and brought up in a village near Guruvayoor.
    My MOTHER is a respectable teacher[retd]Of Sree Krishna High School Of Guruvayoor.My Achan and all family members are ardent devotees of Lord Krishna.
    There are three shevelis.
    I strongly recoomend THE HEAVEN ON EARTH written by Pepitha Seth.
    A visual treat!
    Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Sasneham,
    Anu

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  47. ende guruvayurappa..let my dear friend chitra get the best in life for all the good work:)

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  48. nanri Ramesh. let Guruvayurappa bless you and your family too :)

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  49. always enjoy stories and pics

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  50. Anupama
    Thanks for providing more information about Guruvayur.I have read Papitha's article and your's too. They are very interesting ones.God bless you dear.

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  51. i have visited guruvayoor on 6/2/2011.....that was really a great experience

    February 7, 2011 8:

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  52. I really love to visit Guruvayoor. The feeling after worship there is ecstatic.. bliss. You have a great blog with a unique theme on temples:)

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  53. Hope Lord Guruvayurappan would give you all fortune

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