Why is Guruvayur your next travel location?
Situated in the Trichur district of Kerala, aka ‘God’s own country,’ the picturesque beauty of the town Guruvayur is in talks for a long time now. With various tourist places to check out, the next go-to place off your list is undoubtedly this toy town. From ancient times, India has always been a spiritually enlightened country blessed by various temples of worship and Rishis. Holy places throughout the country have striking temples that are eminent for their historical importance and antiquity. Guruvayur is unique. It is a pilgrim center with its greatness and glory. The charm of the place attracts tourists from all over the world. Being home to various temples, Guruvayur is a must-visit to experience the 12 days festival of Shivratri and enjoy some fun activities at the elephant sanctuaries with baby elephants.
How to Reach Guruvayur?
You can reach Guruvayur either by road, using the facilities by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), or hire a taxi for Rs 2500 as this place is well connected to Calicut (3 hours) and Coimbatore (4 hours).
Also, Guruvayur is connected by rail and some local passenger trains which operate from the Ernakulam Junction. If you are visiting from Chennai, take an overnight express to Guruvayur.
Best Places to Visit in Guruvayur
- Elephant Camp Sanctuary–
Only 3 km away from the Guruvayur temple, the Elephant Camp Sanctuary is one of the fun attractions in Guruvayur. This place houses more than 60 majestic elephants meandering in the deep green forests of Guruvayur. Get close to the baby elephants, play with them, and take part in some fun and harmless activities, this place lets you take your heart closer to these cutest animals. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast or someone with spiritual beliefs, this place is worth your visit as it also offers worshipping and feeding elephants.
When to visit? Anytime between 9 am to 5 pm every day.
Entry fees– INR 10
- Thrissur Beach-
Welcoming people of all age groups, this beach will sway your hearts with the fresh breeze and splendid sunrise and sunset views. The best time to visit Thrissur beach is during winters, enjoying the pleasant and delightful weather even during the day time. Avoid visiting during the rainy season due to heavy rainfall in the area.
Things you can do at the Thrissur beach: Adventurous activities, fishing, explore the underwater life, sunbathing, boating in the backwaters, Ayurvedic massages, and enjoy a large variety of food out there.
- Devaswom Museum-
This museum counts amongst the most exciting places in Guruvayur. It is located towards the east gate inside the Shree Guruvayoorappan Temple complex. People who visit around have made several offerings to the old deity, dating back to 5000 years and enhanced the rich collection of arresting and precious ornaments, musical instruments, mural paintings, some unusual things like elephant teeth, toys, various antiques, etc. The museum is worth a visit for all the religious enthusiasts and cultural buffs out there.
Timings – Anytime between 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Monday – Sunday).
Entry fees – No entry fees
Temples to visit in Guruvayur:
One of the and the best places to visit in Guruvayur and ancient temples in India, Guruvayur Temple, is the most unmissable place in this town. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, where he is worshipped in one of the most revered forms. This temple holds a special place in the hearts and beliefs of a large Hindu population out there. Apart from its religious and cultural importance, the temple is a famous tourist spot because of its awe-inspiring vernacular architecture.
The chanting of mantras, the holy environs, and the bells ringing adds to the soothing and peaceful visit to this place. Also, the temple is only 3 km away from Elephant Sanctuary. So people can enjoy the fun activities there, which are a treat for the eyes.
Pooja Timings –
Morning– 4:30 am to 6:15 am, 7:15 to 9:00 am
Evening– 9:00 pm to 9:15 pm, 3:30 am to 4:15 am
Mammiyur Mahadeva Temple
It is often said in the area that the purpose of visiting Guruvayur is not complete without worshipping the MammiyurMahadeva Temple. Dedicated to Hindu God Shiva, the temple also preserved the shrines of Lord Ganpati, Lord Vishnu, and Goddess Bhagavati Amman. Apart from being a spiritual center, the temple is known for the spectacular wall paintings and elegantly crafted chisels. This place is among the best places to visit in Guruvayur.
Major attractions of this temple: Enjoy the festivals of Thiruvathira and Shivratri, celebrated with eternal ardor, zeal, and devotion at the temple.
Opening and closing timings of the temple– The temple is open for darshan at 4:45 am and closes at 8:30 pm.
Pooja Timings –
• Morning– Ushapooja, Nivedyam at 8:00 am.
• Noon– 12 noon to 12:30 pm
•Evening– Athazha Pooja at 7:30 pm.
Sree Parthasarathy Temple
Another important attraction of Guruvayur is the Sree Parthasarathy temple. This temple is a treat for the eyes of religious supporters as well as architecture fanatics. The temple is dedicated to the charioteer figure of Lord Krishana – which is his form when he accompanied Arjunainto the battle of Mahabharata.
Major attractions of the temple-The whole construction of the temple are in the form of a chariot, with a range of horses pulling the same. This temple falls at the top of the list of places to visit in Guruvayur. The structure of the temple is alluring and is decorated with complex and elegant images that add to the beauty of the place.
Location– 1 km away from Guruvayur temple
Timings– All days of the week
4:30 AM – 12:30 PM
4:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Dress Code, Temple Customs, and Other Important Facts
The temples in Guruvayur adhere to certain orthodox customs and traditions. It is important to know these facts beforehand about entry and conduct in the temple premises:
- Devotees are expected to enter the temple after taking a bath and wearing clean clothes.
- Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
- Men have to wear nothing except saffron or white Dhoti. However, if they wish they can cover their upper body with a white cloth.
- Wearing pajamas, Bermudas, colorful lungis, jeans, pants, and other such dresses are banned for men. Children are allowed to wear shorts but have to leave their upper body bare.
- Women can wear blouses, sarees, ShalwarKameez, mundu, and long skirts. Women are, however, not allowed to wear jeans, pants, short dresses, or western clothes.
- Remote car keys and mobiles are not allowed inside the temple. No bags are allowed inside the temple. These can be deposited at Cloak Rooms outside the temple.
- To worship the inner sanctum of the temple, a special queue is maintained where people wait for an average of two hours for their turn to worship.
How to avoid the long queue and worship the inner sanctum?
Avoid the long queues to enter and worship the inner sanctum of the temple by buying a coupon for Neyvilakku offering for Rs. 1000. Or you can purchase a Neivilakku offering coupon for Rs. 4000, with which four other people can enter and worship the inner sanctum together.
Situated in Kerala, Guruvayur is the perfect location to soothe your soul and calm your mind by visiting this heavenly place on earth. Whether you feel like taking a pleasant evening walk on the Thrissur beach and trying your hand in adventurous activities, relaxing your body with ayurvedic massages or exploring the life underwater, Guruvayur has a large variety of temples to give you the ultimate peace of mind. There are a number of amazing places to visit in Guruvayur. Whether it is about playing with the baby elephants at the Elephant Camp Sanctuary or adding to your knowledge by visiting the Dewaswom museum, Guruvayur provides a variety of options as a treat for your eyes. A perfect spiritual and spectacular place for your next vacation!
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