Municipality, Pilgrimage Town
Dwarka of the South
|• Total||12.41 km2 (4.79 sq mi)|
|Elevation||11.00 m (36.09 ft)|
|• Density||1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Telephone code||91 (0)487|
|Avg. summer temperature||35 °C (95 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||20 °C (68 °F)|
Guruvayur (IPA: [guɾuʋɐːjuːr]) is a municipal temple town in Thrissur District, of Kerala State in India It is a suburban town of Thrissur city, located 28 kilometres (17 mi) from Thrissur towards the north-west. It houses the Guruvayur Shri Krishna Temple. It is located at a distance of 292 km (181 mi) from the state capital Trivandrum towards the north-west, 80 km (50 mi) from Kochi towards the north, 90 km (56 mi) from Calicut towards south.
Legends state that Lord Krishna asked two sages to take the idol from his temple in Dwarka while the city was being destroyed and establish it in Kerala. The idol of Lord Krishna was brought by Vayu deva and brhaspathi and was placed in Guruvayur. The name "guruvayur" is a merge of both their names ("guru" brahaspathi and "vayu" deva).
As of the Indian census of 2011, Guruvayur had a population of 20,510. Males constitute 47% of the population and females 53%. Guruvayur has an average literacy rate of 85%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 86%, and female literacy is 85%. In Guruvayur, 9% of the population is under 10 years of age.
Guruvayur Township was formed on 26 January 1962 with four electoral wards with an area of 6.49 square kilometres (2.51 sq mi). Later the wards were increased to 10 and in 1994 to 20 when the township was upgraded to Municipality status with an area of 29.66 km2 (11.45 sq mi). In 2010, the electoral wards were increased to 43. Guruvayur is a Grade-1 Municipality. The Municipality has a total population of 20,216 with a population density of 3,114 per square kilometre (8,070/sq mi). Guruvayur assembly constituency is part of Trichur (Lok Sabha constituency).
Ekadashi, the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight, is very auspicious to the Hindus. Of the 24 Ekadashis in a year, the Vrishchika Ekadashi (Sukla paksha) has got special significance in Guruvayur temple. A memorial honour for Gajarajan Keshavan is conducted in Guruvayur. The Karanavar or head of the elephant family places a wreath at the statue of Keshavan in front of Sreevalsam guest house and all the other elephants stand around and pay obeisance. On Ekadashi day, the Udayasthamana Pooja (dawn to dusk pooja) is conducted by the Devaswom itself . After the morning seeveli, on Ekadashi there is a grand elephant procession to the Parthasarathi temple since it is regarded as Geethopadesam Day also. On Ekadasi after night pooja, the famous Ekadashi Vilakku with elephant procession takes place and provides a fitting finale to the festival.
Chembai Sangeetholsavam is an annual Carnatic music festival held in Guruvayur by the Guruvayur Devaswom as a kind of homage to Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, one of the titans of Carnatic Classical Music. Chembai had conducted the festival in the temple town on his own for about 60 years. He used to invite all the great Carnatic Musicians to perform in the temple town and in course of time, the scale of the festival rivalled the Thyagaraja Aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru, which is recognised as one of the most important festivals of homage paid to Saint Thyagaraja.
The Guruvayur Devaswom decided to take charge after his death in 1974, and renamed it as Chembai Sangeetholsavam in his memory. About 2000-2500 musicians participate in this festival every year, and it is held for about 12–15 days culminating on the Guruvayur Ekadasi day, when all the musicians sing 5 favourite songs of Chembai and also the Pancharatna Kritis of Thyagaraja.
The Guruvayur Temple is a famous Shri Krishna temple and is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus and is often referred to as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam" which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth. The divine idol installed here represents the enchanting form of Bhagvan Vishnu endowed with the four lustrous arms carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and the lotus. Adorned with the divine Tulasi garland the idol represents the majestic form of Maha Vishnu as revealed to Vasudeva Anakadundubhi and Devaki at the time of Krishna Avatar. The presiding deity in the sanctum-sanctorum is Mahavishnu. He faces east and his idol is 4 ft tall. Even though this is not a much small idol, 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 Narayanan Namboodiri (born in 1427). The Chennas Namboodiris are the hereditary Tantris of the Guruvayur temple. The temple/pooja routines are strictly followed without any compromise. The Tantri is available full-time at the Temple to ensure this. The Melsanti (Chief Priest) enters the Shri Kovil (sanctum sanctorum) at 2:30 AM and does not drink even a glass of water up to the completion of noon poojas at 12:30 PM. The vedic traditions being followed here with absolute perfection and sincerity is the hallmark of the Guruvayur temple. It is important to note here that, even though the shrine is considered to be one of the holiest spots for Vaishnavites, the temple is not a part of the 108 Divya Desams. There are sub-shrines for Ganapathi, Ayyappan and Bhagavathi inside the complex, and also two shrines for Ganapathi and serpent deities under the temple outside the complex.
Guruvayur can be accessed from Kochi city by National Highway NH 66, which starts from Edapally in Kochi and interchange from Chavakkad. Guruvayur can be accessed from Thrissur city by state highway 49, which starts from Guruvayur and ends in state highway 69 at Choondal. Guruvayur can be accessed from Kozhikkode city by Chamravattom, interchange from Chavakkad. From city there are regular private and State-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses. There is a private and a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus stand in Guruvayur which run inter-state, inter-district and city services. There are good frequency of buses from Palakkad, Calicut also
The main rail transport system in Guruvayur is operated by the Southern Railway Zone of Indian Railways. Guruvayur Railway Station lies in the Thrissur-Guruvayur Section. It is the last station in this section. There are two passenger trains operating from Guruvayur Railway Station to Ernakulam Junction and another two passenger trains to Thrissur Railway Station every day. An overnight express train to Chennai Egmore via Ernakulam Junction, Kollam Junction, Thiruvananthapuram, Nagercoil Junction, Madurai, Trichy is also running from Guruvayur Railway Station every day. Thrissur Railway Station is the major rail head near to Guruvayur from where you can get all South Indian and North Indian trains.
Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport, which is 72 km (45 mi) from Guruvayur. All international, domestic and chartered flights are available here. Calicut International Airport at Karipur is about 100 km (62 mi) away.
|Climate data for Guruvayur, Kerala|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.3
|Average low °C (°F)||20.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||2
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- "Profile". Janasevana Kendram. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Introduction". Guruvayoor Municipality. Archived from the original on 16 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies" (PDF). Kerala. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Accessing Guruvayoor". DTPC Thrissur. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "Guruvayoor". Kerala Tourism. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- "CLIMATE: GURUVAYUR", Climate-Data.org. Web: .
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