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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What all things should one keep in mind while visiting the Guruvayur Temple (Sri Krishna Temple)?

Vineet Sharma DEC 10 2012
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The sacred town of Guruvayur derives its religious and cultural credentials chiefly from the Guruvayur Temple, also called Sri Krishna Temple or Bhooloka Vaikuntam, and is one of the oldest and most visited temple of South India. Here are some of the basic facts and norms of the temple that you must know when you go seeking the blessings of Lord Vishnu here.

  • The presiding deity in the temple is Lord Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
    Legend has it that the original temple was just the sanctum sanatorium, that was installed on the instructions of Lord Krishna by
    Deva Guru Brihaspati (Heavenly Saint) and Vayu Deva (Wind God). It was then properly constructed by Lord Parasurama (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) on the request of the gods.
  • Today, the temple is under the trusteeship of Guruvayur Devasom, a semi-constitutional temple trustee body, with the Government of Kerala handling the overall management. Interestingly, the temple attracts more than 5 million devotees every year.

  • The sanctum sanatorium, built by Lord Parasurama himself, has 3 layers inside of it, with the original idol of Lord Vishnu residing in the third layer. The idol is illuminated by a 100 golden lamps.
  • Yellow bananas (Kadali variety), butter, ghee, sugar, Paal Payasam, sandal balls, etc are some of the main offerings made here as per the body weight of the offerer measured on a special scale called Thulabharam.
  • An art-form unique to this temple is the dance called Krishnaattam, which is performed daily in the evenings throughout the year except in the monsoon month of July. Unless they have been booked individually, the performances are open to the public outside the temple.
  • Interestingly, several rituals like marriage ceremonies and Choroonu (first meals to a child) are specially performed at this temple. On certain auspicious days, the temple priests may end up performing as many as 300 marriage ceremonies in a day.
  • The temple remains closed to darshan-seekers from 2 pm to 4 pm and from 9 pm to 3 am in the morning.
    Also the temple provides all the three meals in the day free to its devotees.
  • It must be noted that non-Hindus are prohibited to enter the temple. Wearing other religious symbols like crosses or the Muslim namaz mark will lead to you  being expelled from the temple complex by the guards. Only those foreigners who have converted to Hinduism can be allowed inside. To prove so, they need to produce the conversion certificate endorsed by Arya Samaj,Kozhikode. 
    Yet, religions like
     Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism are considered as part of Hindu culture and therefore, followers of these faiths are allowed inside, provided the Sikhs have removed their turban.
  • There is a strict dress code for both men and women. Men must remain topless with Kerala Mundu (only white/saffron) while women are supposed to wear sarees or pyjamas and kurtas.
  • Mobile phones or any other sort of electronic devices are strictly banned inside the complex. However, wallets or ladies handbags are allowed. Rest of your stuff must be deposited at the cloak room.
  • There are no special darshan-tickets for those wishing to pay extra in order to skip the long queues. However, senior citizens and VIPs having genuine security concerns may be given some exceptional treatment.

Now, aren’t you already quite confident of your knowledge of this very ancient mythological temple? Well, then wait no further to explore it even more closely.

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