Plan A Trip
SEE PACKAGES
enquire now
chevron_left
chevron_right

Guruvayur

star 5 (436 Ratings)
location_on Kerala, India
location_on
143

Places to visit in Kerala

location_on
8

Things to do

footprint
28

Packages

schedule
4 - 7 Days

Ideal Days

currency_rupee
Rupees - INR

Currency

contact agent
enquire now

About Guruvayur

Among Kerala’s most famous temple towns, Kerala’s Guruvayur is best known for its revered Shri Krishna temple. Legend has it that when Krishna’s traditional home in Dwarka faced destruction, he sent two sages to install an idol from the temple there at this site. The town gets its name from an amalgamation of both these sages’ titles "guru" brahaspathi and "vayu" deva. It is regarded by devotees to be their Bhuloka Vaikuntham or the abode of Vishnu on earth.

The first historical reference to a town by this name is found in the fourteenth century. That’s when we have the first reference to Kuruvayur or the village by the coast in this region. Kuruvai is the Dravidian word for sea, and Guruvayur is indeed among Kerala’s many villages by the coast.

But contemporary Guruvayur is more than just any ordinary coastal village. Its status is etched in its deep religious significance. More than any other location in Kerala, Guruvayur has the reputation, ambiance, and status of the quintessential temple town.

WHAT TO SEE

Guruvayur is best known for the shrine that also draws its name from the temple, and whose many traditions have spilled over to shape the town. Not least of these being the town’s famed elephant sanctuary. But in the typical confluence of many cultures, which defines Kerala, this region is also home to one of Kerala’s oldest orthodox churches, with a two-thousand-year-old history.

Guruvayur Shri Krishna Temple: Among the most important Hindu temples in South India, Guruvayur is an especially revered destination for Indian Vaishnavism. The presiding deity is Mahavishnu, but with the statue of the deity just being four feet high, the avatar worshipped here is regarded to be Little Krishna. All the rituals conducted here are in conformance with the teaching of Adi Sankaracharya. But equally fascinating is the town that has sprung up around the temple, growing in its associated stature and traditions over the centuries. This is epitomized in the shops that have sprung around the temple, converting the pathway into a religious marketplace with a flavour unique to Kerala.

Our tip: While the main temple is only open to Hindus, the town of Guruvayur is an experience for every traveller. We especially recommend a visit during the Guruvayur Ekadashi celebrations or the Carnatic music festival of Chembai Sangeetholsavam. It is an opportunity to experience Guruvayur in all its cultural splendour.

Punnathur Kotta Elephant sanctuary: Elephants are an integral part of the temple culture in Kerala. This finds resonance in Guruvayur’ s well-known elephant sanctuary near the Shri Krishna Temple. Once a place of the local ruler, Punnathur is currently a Palace of Elephants. The elephants that serve the temple are trained here. At the sanctuary, you also have an opportunity to join the ritual of feeding the elephants performed with much devotion by the sanctuary’s loyal mahouts.

Thomas Church Palayoor: Believed to have been founded in 52 AD by Saint Thomas, the Palayoor is considered among the oldest churches in India. It belongs to an ancient group of seven churches founded by Saint Thomas and is a part of the Orthodox Christian Church’s heritage in India. Among its distinctive features are its use of Hindu and Persian architectural styles through these monuments.

WHAT TO DO

Most activities around Guruvayur are intertwined with the rituals of the temple. The elephant sanctuary is an interesting deviation, where children could even steal an elephant ride. There are also other activities typical to Kerala, which elevate your experience of the state’s best-known temple town.

What to eat: Since this is a temple town, most of the food available around the temple is vegetarian. More than any other place in Kerala, this is the best place to explore a thali, so that you can sample a mix of the state’s offerings. Avial is among the state’s distinctive vegetarian preparations. This is also among the only parts of the country where you will find a generous sprinkling of coconut over most of its vegetarian dishes. Wash it all down, with one of the many varieties of Kerala payasam available here. They make the best desserts.

What to buy: The market around the temple has an abundance of mementos designed specifically for the town. You could buy a replica of the temple or an image of Mahavishnu. Another unique takeaway is the clothing most devotees wear to the shrine. For women and girls, it’s a full-length white skirt and blouse. For boys and men, it’s a white mundu or Kerala’s version of the ubiquitous dhoti.

Getting around: Guruvayur is a small town, dominated by the temple. You can reach most places on foot. Alternatively, you could hire a cab or an autorickshaw. In both cases, be prepared to haggle to get the best price.

Where to stay: The most convenient locations are the ones closest to the temple. You will find plenty of affordable and convenient options as the town has been developed for its pilgrim population.

Our tip: We recommend you plan Guruvayur as a day trip to experience the ambiance of a typical Indian temple and its most revered shrine. But if you choose to live in Guruvayur, it is best to opt for accommodation close to the temple.

The best time to visit: Given its role as one of the most frequented pilgrimage spots in Kerala, Guruvayur is visited throughout the year. But October to February are Guruvayur’s coolest months.

How to get there: Guruvayur is best connected to the rest of India by rail and road. The nearest cities, if you plan to drive down or visit by bus, are Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

enquire now
show more expand_more

Things to do in Guruvayur

Guruvayur Tour Packages

bangalore, srirangapatnam, mysore, ooty, conoor, guruvayur, cochin, periyar, alleppey, kumarakom, trivandrum, kovalam, tiruchendur, kanyakumari, rameshwaram, madurai, trichy, tanjore, chidambaram, pondicherry, ma, india

Pleasurable 25 Days 24 Nights Kumarakom Tour Package

5.0 (1 Review)
From₹50,000/-
Days
Enquiry Now

Download Travel Checklist for Guruvayur

Guruvayur Rating & Reviews

star
5/5
Excellent
(436 Ratings )
Excellent
432
Very Good
2
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Photos of Guruvayur

People Also Visit

Kerala, India

Munnar

5.0
Enquiry Now
Tamil Nadu, India

Ooty

5.0
Enquiry Now
Maharastra, India

Mumbai

5.0
Enquiry Now
Karnataka , India

Mysore

5.0
Enquiry Now

Near By Places

Kerala, India

Munnar

5.0
Enquiry Now
Tamil Nadu, India

Ooty

5.0
Enquiry Now
Karnataka , India

Mysore

5.0
Enquiry Now
Tamilnadu, India

Coonoor

5.0
Enquiry Now
Kerala, India

Kochi

5.0
Enquiry Now

Similar Places in Kerala

Kerala, India

Kochi

5.0
Enquiry Now

Similar Places in India

Himachal Pradesh, India

Manali

4.0
Enquiry Now
Himachal Pradesh, India

Kullu

4.0
Enquiry Now
Uttrakhand, India

Auli

5.0
Enquiry Now
Tamil Nadu, India

Madurai

5.0
Enquiry Now

Similar Places Outside India

New York, United States Of America

Indian Lake

5.0
Enquiry Now
New York, United States Of America

Lake Placid

5.0
Enquiry Now
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai

5.0
Enquiry Now
North Dakota, United States Of America

North Dakota

5.0
Enquiry Now

Share