Guruvayur also written as Guruvayoor, is a municipal temple town in Thrissur District, of Kerala State in India. It houses the Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, the fourth largest temple in India in terms of the number of devotees visiting per day.

The Guruvayur Temple is a famous Sri Krishna temple and is one of the 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 Bhagwan Vishnu endowed with the four lustrous arms carrying the conch ‘Panchajanya’, the discus ‘Sudarshana Chakra’, the club ‘Gada’ and the lotus. Adorned with the divine Tulasi garland the idol represents the majestic 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. He faces east and his idol is 4 ft tall. He is considered as little Krishna by the devotees here. He has 4 hands: The upper right hand holding chakra, lower right hand holding lotus, upper left hand holding conch 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 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.

Legend and History: Guruvayur, according to the legends may be 5,000 years old as the Guruvayur temple idol is. There are no historical records to establish it. It is also believed that Lord Krishna, asked 2 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 Brihaspathi and was placed in Guruvayur. The name Guruvayur is a merge of both their names (“guru” Brihaspati and “Vayu” deva.

In the 14th century, Tamil literature ‘Kokasandesam’, references about a place called Kuruvayur is made. As early as the 16th century, many references are seen about Kuruvayur. In ancient Dravidic, Kuruvai means sea, hence the village on the coast may be called Kuruvayur. According to eminent historian Professor K. V. Krishna Iyer, the Brahmins had begun to come and settle at Kodungallur during the period of Chandra Gupta Maurya. Guruvayur was a subordinate shrine of Trikkunavay Shiva temple before the latter was destroyed by the Dutch in 1755. Trikkunavay in the Guruvayur documents is the same as Thrikkanamathilakam or Mathilakam mentioned in the Dutch and British records. And this place was in between Guruvayur and Kodungallur. There is no well-documented record on the Guruvayur temple.

(*All the above information are from Wikipedia.)


Airport: Kochi International Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of 87 km from Guruvayur.

Rail: Thrissur Railway Station is the major railhead near to Guruvayur which is well connected to major cities across India. There are two passenger trains operating from Guruvayur Railway Station to Ernakulam Junction and another two passenger trains to Thrissur Railway Station every day.

Road: Guruvayur can be accessed from Kochi city by National Highway NH 66. Guruvayur can be accessed from Thrissur city by state highway 49, which starts from Guruvayur and ends in state highway 69 at Choondal. State-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses and many private operators operate buses from Guruvayur to the major cities around.

Local: Local Buses, auto Rickshaws and other vehicles for hire are available for transportation within the city.

Tourist Interest: The major places of interest in Guruvayur is the Guruvayur temple, the Elephant Stable of the temple, Mammiyoor Temple and the Thiruvenkatachalapathy Temple.

Tour Planner: All the places of interest can be covered in two days.

Hotels: There are many hotels with the facility of online booking. Spot booking is also available in most of the hotels.

Read my experience in Guruvayur.