A serene temple town that wakes up to the call of the conch. The aroma of fresh sandalwoods, incense sticks, half-bloomed jasmines and camphor waft in the air as the Gopuram cast in crimson and bathed in a tangerine glow witnesses the sun spreading its largess into a grateful sky.
Legend has it that the temple was established by the Teacher of the Gods (Guru) and Lord of the Winds (Vayu) to honour the sacred idol of Krishna that was submerged in a flood in Dwarka and that's how the name "Guruvayur" was derived. The central icon of this temple is in the form of Vishnu as revealed to Devaki and Vasudeva at the time of Sri Krishna’s birth. This is why the deity is worshipped in the form of a baby.
The temple opens at 3.00 am in the morning for ‘Nirmalyam’ and the devotees wait to get a glimpse of Krishna, chanting sacred verses from Poonthanam’s ‘Jnanappana’, believed to be the deity’s favourite poem.
Held together by beautiful architecture, lores and legends, a tapestry of stories are woven into the corners and streets of this 14th- century temple.
The locals also mention a plethora of myths and legends about the unique installations and sights in and around this temple.
The tale of the Lucky red seeds or Manjadikuru placed outside the temple sanctum in a huge golden vessel, the story of the Garuda structure ‘Manjulal’ placed 1 km away from the temple, the tale of Mahaprabhu, a 54 feet terracotta statue near Sreevalsam and the story of Guruvayur Keshavan, the most popular temple elephant, are sure to inspire the travellers, reminding them the sheer meaning of discovery.
This sacred shrine is a perfect example of Kerala’s temple Vastuvidya and has a repletion of ancient mural paintings on all three sides depicting the erotic forms of Krishna Leela.
This temple is starkly different from the Shiva Temple in Mammiyoor which is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva. Revered as a part of the 108 renowned Shiva temples in the world, this Mahadeva Kshetram is the abode of Lord Mahavishnu, Ganapathi, Muruga, Darma Sastha, Brahmmarakshas, Serpent Gods, and Mother Bhagavati Amman. A devotee should visit Mammiyoor temple after revering the deity at Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple, so goes the staunch belief of the localites.
Some of the other temples near Guruvayur are Sree Parthasarathy Temple, Sree Chamundeswari Temple and Kodungaloor Bhagavathi Kshetram. The Chavakkad Beach and Chetuva backwaters near this town are ideal for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
The town is full of surprises. And it won’t fail to surprise your taste buds either. From the Paalpayasam and Kadhalipazham that you receive from the Guruvayur temple prasadham counter to the piping hot filter coffee and ghee roast from the nearby Coffee House, each and every flavour in Guruvayur evokes a unique taste – the taste of legends and traditions extant since time unknown.
Evening is a great time to walk around the tranquil streets of this town. Banyan trees swaying in the cool breeze, smell of local snacks fried in ghee, women tying garlands with tulsi leaves, lotuses and jasmines, shop keepers in East Nada dusting rows of neatly arranged sandalwood chains and beautiful antique brass statues, neighbours watching art forms in the Melpathoor auditorium – the sights are unending for a traveller who seeks much more than just the destination, for a traveller who seeks the joy of discovery.
Destination Type: Heritage
Destinations Nearby: Thrissur 28 km, Kochi 64 km, Calicut 60 km
Languages: Malayalam and English
Nearest Railway Station: Guruvayur
Nearest Airport: Calicut Iternational Airport 60 km
Summer: March to May. Summers are hot with temperature ranging from 25°C to 38°C.
Monsoon: June to September. Guruvayur experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon with temperature ranging from 23°C to 29°C and is less crowded.
Winter: December to February. Temperature ranges form 17°C to 30°C. Winter is the season to attend the famous festivals.
One of the picturesque beaches in God's own country, Chavakkad beach, is perfect to bask in the sun's beauty by the Arabian sea. Sterling Guruvayoor arranges vehicles and guided trips to the beach where guests can shop, have a picnic, or even enjoy local cuisine while listening to the waves' pleasant sound. The year-round activity can be booked in advance for a minimum of two people.
Take a break from Kerala's picturesque beauty to marvel at the collection of historical artifacts at the Devaswom museum. Open for visitors all year round, the museum has preserved valuable antique items gifted to the Guruvayoor temple, some for more than 5000 years! A short drive from Sterling Guruvayoor takes you to explore Kerala's culture, with an opportunity to shop souvenirs from the local shops.
True to the name,' land of elephants' houses one of the world's largest elephant sanctuaries. Drive for less than 5 minutes from Sterling Guruvayoor to experience the beauty of one of the heaviest animals on land. The lush green landscape, live elephant packs, makes Anakotta a perfect tourist spot for children and families. At Rs.250/person, we recommend this experience to guests looking for a relaxing day with mother nature.
Kerala has many historic significance. One of the most famous temples in the Guruvayur region besides the Guruvayur temple is the Harikanyaka temple. Maintained by the Indian Archaeological Department, the temple is known for its architectural carvings. Available at Rs. 300/person, a quick 15-minute drive from Sterling Guruvayur takes you to the land of deities and stories of Lord Vishnu.
Protected by UNESCO, Kudakkallu is an ancient burial ground that houses 69 'umbrella stones' stacked over the graves of the wealthy buried in earthen urns. Sterling Guruvayoor encourages guests to visit this historical tourist spot to marvel at the bygone era's traditions. This year-round activity is available at Rs.350/person for a minimum of 2 people looking to explore the hidden treasures of Kerala.
A visit to Guruvayur is incomplete without a trip to Mammiyoor. A 3-minute walk from the resort leads you to The Mammiyoor Shiva temple. Marveled at beautiful paintings and rich history, Sterling Guruvayur encourages our Hindu guests to visit the temple to soak in the beauty of the architecture and the various poojas performed during the day. Mammiyoor Shiva temple is part of Kerala's 108 Shiva temples.
Famous for intricate detailing along the walls of prehistoric temples, Kerala is also known for its renowned mural painting institute. Situated at less than a kilometer from Sterling Guruvayoor, The Institue of Mural Painting allows the visitors to explore the various dimensions of the artform through seminars, exhibitions, and training programs. For Rs. 200/person, take a companion with you to admire the sheer brilliance of these mural artists.
Palayoor church is known for many things - architectural grandeur, Renaissance-style planning, historical significance, and more. According to history, the church was established in 52AD by Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Over time, the church faced many hardships but continues its reign as one of the country's oldest churches. Sterling Guruvayur arranges a trip to the Palayoor Church at Rs. 250/person.