Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple, is the most famous temple in Kerala. It is a big temple situated in Thrissur district and is an important place of worship for the Hindus. In the below article, I have mentioned about the history of this temple, about Lord Krishna and the important festivals celebrated there.
About Guruvayoor Temple
Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple is one of the most important temple of Lord Sree Krishna. This temple is located in Thrissur district of Kerala, India. The primary deity in this temple is Sree Mahavishnu. The idol is in a standing posture with four hands. One hand with Sankhu, next with Sudarsanachakra, another with mace and the last one with Lotus. Sree Krishna is the ninth avatar of Mahavishnu. The other deities in this temple are Goddess Bhagavathi, Lord Ayyappa and Lord Ganapathi.
Guruvayoor Sreekrishna temple is approxiamtely about 5000 years old. It is believed that the statue of 'Guruvayoorappan' in Guruvayoor Sreekrishna temple was installed by Deva Guru Brihaspati and Vayu. The temple was build by Vishwakarma and is believed to be blessed by Lord Sree Mahadeva and Goddess Parvathi. This temple is also known as "Bhooloka Vaikunta".
Ashtami Rohini is the birthday of Lord Krishna. It is the Rohini star in the month of Chingam. On this day Children are been dressed up as Sree Krishna and many plays also take place in relation to this festival.
Utsavam is also known as Annual Festival. It is conducted in the month of Kumbham. This festival is celebrated for 10 days. During these days, streets are decorated by various arches, lights etc, nearby houses are also modified by painting. There is also decorates gopuras and the temple is fully lighted up. Utsavam ends by Aarattu on the 10th day.
Guruvayoor Ekadasi is one of the famous festivals in Guruvayoor Temple. It is in the month of Vrishchika, it falls in the Mandala season. The Navami (9th day) and Dasami (10th day) are also very important in this time. Ekadasi vilakku starts before a month of Ekadasi. The vilakku offering are done by different organizations, families, persons and so on. Kolady family offers Navami vilakku with ghee. On Dwadasi day, a custom by the name Dwadsi Panam (offering amount) is held at the Koothambalam for the welfare of the family.
'Chembai Sangeetholsavam' held at Guruvayoor in memory of the great musician Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar happens during this time. Gajarajan Guruvayoor Kesavan Memorial Day is also during the Ekadasi time. There is a statue of Guruvayoor Kesavan in front of Sreevalsam guest house.
In the month of Dhanu, the first Wednesday is celebrated as Kuchela Dinam. Kuchela is the friend of Lord Krishna and a great devotee as well. Kuchela is a poor guy who did not have any wealth at all. Once when he went to visit Lord Krishna, he had carried Avil (parched rice) with him, as he did not have any money or precious stones to gift his friend. Lord Krishna was impressed by this and Kuchela was blessed with property.
Vishu is celebrated in the month of Medam. The first day of Medam is considered as new among Keralites. 'Kani' is the main ritual as part of this festival. Kani means what we see first in the morning as soon as we wake up, with our naked eyes. The statue of Sree Krishna, Kanikonna flower (yellow flower), golden coins, fruits etc. is displayed. Thousands of people come to Guruvayoor to see Vishu Kani.
The Main Devotees of Lord Krishna
Kururamma: Kurur is the name of an illam in the village of Adattu of Thrissur district. After the marriage of Kururamma, she was bought to illam. Her husband died soon after her marriage. The couple didn't have any children, hence she adopted a boy, Guruvayoor Unnikrishna as her son. She played with him, lived with him and is believed to be the greatest devotee of Lord Guruvayoorappan.
Poonthanam: Poonthanam was a great devotee of Sree Krishna. After his marriage for a long time he had no children. But after many years a son was born to him. But the child died. After that he came to Guruvayoor. Once in his dream Sree Krishna came and asked him not be sad as Lord himself is his son. Thereafter Poontahanm considered Lord Krishna as his son.
Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri: Melpathur was also a great devotee of Lord Sreekrishna. He was a mathematical linguist. His famous composition was Narayaneeyam and it is still sung in Guruvayoor Temple.
Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar: Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar is an Indian Carnatic music singer from Kerala. His voice was powerful and he had a majestic style of singing. Renowned singers P.Leela, Yesudas and many others are his students. 'Chembai Sangeetholsavam' held at Guruvayoor every year is in memory of this great musician.
Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple is an ancient temple of Kerala. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located at 12km north of Kottayam district on the road to Ernakulam. It features a circular shrine, fine wood carving and one of the earliest(16th century)and most celebrated of Kerala murals.
Sree Muthappan is a well known deity who is said to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Muthappan or Mootha Appan, means Grand father in the malayalam language. In the Parassinikadavu temple which is located in Kannur, Theyyam is performed regularly as a prayer to the God, as Lord shiva, Lord Vishnu and Sree Muthappan himself.
Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple is one of the important Hindu pilgrim centre located at Thrissur district in Kerala. This historical temple under the administration of Cochin Devaswom board is famous for Bharani festival and Thalappoli festival. This historic temple is also well known
as Kurumba Bhagavathi Temple.