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Guruvayoor, according to the legends may be 5,000 years old as the Guruvayoor temple idol is. There are no historical records to establish it. In the 14th century, Tamil literature 'Kokasandesam', references about a place called Kuruvayur is made. As early as 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 (321-297 BC).

Tourist Attractions in Guruvayur

Guruvayoor (29 km west of Thrissur):
Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important pilgrim centres of Kerala. Its main attraction is the Sree Krishna Temple. This historic temple is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor of the Gods, and Vayu, the God of winds. The eastern nada is the main entrance to the shrine. In the Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the tall 33.5 m high gold plated Dwajasthambam (flag-post). There is also a 7 Mtr. high Dipastambham (pillar of lamps), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The square Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple there are also the images of Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedattu Kavil Bhagavathy. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.

Punnathoorkotta - Elephant Training Camp (2 km from Guruvayoor):
This home of 50 temple elephants offers unusual spectacles of the gentle pachyderm.

Vadakkumnathan Temple:
One of the oldest temples in the State, the Vadakkumnathan Temple is a classic example of the Kerala style of architecture and has many decorative murals and pieces of art. This is the venue of the world famous Pooram festival celebrated annually in April-May. The fireworks at the Pooram are a spectacular sight. Non Hindus are not allowed entry into the temple. (Open: 04:00 - 10:30 am & 05:00 - 08:30 pm)

How to Reach Guruvayur

Air:
The nearest international airport: Nedumbassery (87 km).

Rail:
Guruvayoor Railway Station or Thrissur Railway Station.

Road:
Guruvayoor is connected by road with several important cities of India.