Guruvayur Temple History and Folklore

The Guruvayur Temple is also known as “Bhooloka Vaikunta”, which means the residence of Vishnu on earth. Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Kerala. In terms of daily devotees, it is also the fourth largest temple in India.

The Guruvayur Temple is dedicated to Lord Guruvayurappan, a kind of respected Hindu god Vishnu. Therefore, the temple is also known as Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple.

Built-in a typical Kerala building, this temple is one of Kerala’s most popular tourist destinations and a must-see pilgrimage site for Hindus. Lord Sri Krishna is in standing form with four hands carrying Sankhu, Sudarshana Chakram, Lotus, and hammer.

The deity of Guruvayur Temple

The deity of Guruvayur Temple
The deity of Guruvayur Tmple

Lord Vishnu’s Guruvayur form has four arms, one with the conch Panchajanya, the other with the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the third with the Kaumodaki mace, and the last with the holy basil Garland of lotus.

When Krishna was born to his parents Vasudeva and Devaki, Krishna’s Guruvayoorappan form happened to be the form of Vishnu. Therefore, it makes sense that Guruvayoor won the title of “South Indian Dwarka”. Dwarka is an ancient city in northern India where Krishna is believed to have been born.

What is the History of Guruvayur Tmple?

What is the History of Guruvayur Temple?
What is the History of Guruvayur Tmple?

According to the legend of Hindus, there are more than 5000 years of history. The Tamil literary work “Kokasandesam” was created in the 14th century and it refers to a place called Kuruvayur.

Fifty years after the formation of Narayaniyam, people found many references to Kuruvayur in the 16th century.

“Kuruvai” means “sea”, so this village on the Malabar coast might be called Kuruvayur in ancient Dravidian language. However, the earliest temple records date back to the 17th century.

Melpathur’s composition “Narayaneeyam” made this temple very famous. The Central Shrine was built in 1638 AD and became a famous pilgrimage site on the subcontinent. The Dutch looted the temple and set it on fire in 1716 and rebuilt it.

When conquering the area, Hyder Ali retained the temple in exchange for the 10,000 Ferams paid by Vatakkepat Variyar and provided it for the temple in 1780 Some subsidies.

In 1789, Tipu Sultan plundered and set fire to the temple. Since then, many renovations have been carried out. The current structure of the temple is the result of renovation after a major fire in 1970.

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Folklore of Guruvayur Temple

Folklore of Guruvayur Temple
Folklore of Guruvayur Temple

The idol of Guruvayrrappan, the central god of the temple, is historically eternal. Mythological history says that Lord Vishnu created the image presented to the creator Brahma before the creation began.

 Brahma passed it on to King Supapas and his wife Plani. Vishnu was happy with their dedication and gave them a gospel, saying that Vishnu will be incarnate in their family of four consecutive births.

As a result, Lord Vishnu was born in their consecutive births as Planni Baha, Vamana, Rama, and Krishna.

 In all these births, the couple worshipped idols. After Krishna was born, the couple received assistance from Vasudeva and Devaki. Krishna inherited the idol from them and worshipped it in Dwarka.

Before leaving his mortal coil, Krishna said that his friend Uddhava said that within seven days, the city of Dwarka would be engulfed by the sea, so Vishnu must be taken (Vishnu) idols are transported to a safer place.

Krishna predicted that Uddava, with the help of Guru and Vayu, brought the idol into the sea, and the seawater invaded Dwarka.

When passing the current site of the temple, they were told that a place is a holy place for exquisite natural beauty, because Lord Shiva worships Vishnu here.

They installed idols in this place and raised a temple. Afterward, the name Guruvayur was named Guru and Vayu, and the idols were transported here.

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How is the Architecture of Guruvayur Temple Designed?

How is the Architecture of Guruvayur Temple Designed?
How is the Architecture of Guruvayur Temple Designed?

Guruvayur Temple has a typical Kerala temple architectural style. The main gods can be seen from the entrance. On the day of Keralite New Year Vishu, the sun shone on Guruvayoorappan’s feet.

The temple has two entrances, one from the east and the other from the west. The image of Guruvayoorappan is very charming, with four hands holding Shankha (conch), chakra (disc), Gadha, and Padma (lotus).

It is said that the idol is made of a high-strength stone called Patala Anjanama, which has various healing and magical effects.

The other gods found in the temple are Ganapati, Ayyappa, and Bhagavati. The temple of Guruvayur was declared Bhuloka Vaikuntam, the residence of Vishnu on earth.

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Does Guruvayur Temple have some Strict Dress Code?

Does Guruvayur Temple have some Strict Dress Code?
Does Guruvayur Temple have some Strict Dress Code?

Guruvayur has strict dress codes for entering the temple. Men can only wear mundu (tied to the waist) or shorts. Except for a small cloth called veshti, it is forbidden to wear anything on them.

Until recently, when the regulations were slightly relaxed, women were allowed to wear saris, which also made salwar kameez acceptable.

This temple has a chief pastor named Mesanti who can pray and perform rituals around the clock. As we all know, the priest opened the sanctuary in the early morning and observed fasting until the noon prayer ceremony ended.

How to Reach the Guruvayur Temple?

How to Reach the Guruvayur Temple?
How to Reach the Guruvayur Temple?

The temple is only 30 kilometers from Thrissur city, so it can be easily reached. Visiting during Janmashtami means that you must prepare for the crowd and enjoy the fun that this place brings.

 Nevertheless, you will find a festival-like atmosphere in this place all year round. The walls of the temple are decorated with exquisite images of Lord Krishna’s childhood.

Timings of Guruvayur Temple

DayMorning hoursEvening Hours
Monday – Sunday06:00 AM07:00 PM


The temple is managed by a special Devaswom (Guruvayur Devaswom) under the control of the Kerala government. The main festival of the temple is the 10-day festival of the month of Malayalam in Kambham.

The sub-gods of the Guruvayur temple are Ganapathi, Ayyappan, and Bhagavathi, each with two sub-temples, one is Ganapathi and the other is Nagadevata.

The main god of the Guruvayur Temple is Vishnu, who is worshipped in the form of Krishna. The icon in the center is Vishnu standing on four arms, carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the macaque Kaumodaki and a lotus and holy basil garland.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Why Guruvayur temple is famous?

The Guruvayur Temple is a famous Sri Krishna temple and is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus and is often referred to as “Bhooloka Vaikuntam” which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth.

What is the dress code for Guruvayur Temple?

Strict dress code is followed in the temple. Men can only be Dhotis, no shirts are allowed. Ladies may wear saris or Churidhars or salwar kameez or skirts and tops. Infants who have not been fed rice(choroonu in Malayalam) and women who are more than seven months pregnant are not allowed inside the main temple.

What is Seeveli in Guruvayoor?

Seeveli is a daily ritual procession carried out in the temple. It is a procession of caparisoned elephants marching with one of them carrying the idol of Lord Krishna. Guruvayur Temple lit up with around 1 lakh lamps. It is done thrice a day – 7 AM, 5:30 PM, and 8:30 PM.

How old is Guruvayoor temple?

Guruvayur temple is one of India’s most ancient temples and dated around 5000 years old. The earliest temple records date back to the 17th century but other literary texts and legends indicate that the temple maybe around the same time old. Guruvayur has a very strict dress code for entering the temple.

Who is Lord guruvayurappan?

The word Guruvayurappan, meaning Lord of Guruvayur, comes from the words Guru referring to Brihaspati, the Guru of the Devas, Vayu, the God of Wind and Appan, meaning ‘father’ or ‘Lord’ in Malayalam. Since Guru and Vayu installed Krishna’s deity, the name Guruvayurappan was given to the deity.