Six of us – Ramki, Rajani, Murali, KaRa, Clickie & I went on a trip to Guruvayur in Kerala. Guruvayur is home to the famous Guruvayurappan (Lord Krishna) Temple. I had visited the temple only once before this when I was about 9 years old and have very vague memories of that visit. I had been wanting to go back to the temple for many years now and am happy that I could finally make the trip.
Guruvayur is about 30 kms from Trissur in Kerala. There is only one direct train to Trissur from Hyderabad called Sabari Express and it takes about 24 hours to reach there. From Trissur, we took a bus and reached Guruvayur in about 45 minutes at around 3:00PM. We had a slight difficulty in finding accomodation, may be because of the festival going on currently in Guruvayur but finally managed to locate a hotel that had rooms to let. After taking bath and getting ready, we went to visit the temple. The temple has a rule that one can’t wear shirt, pant, lungi, pyjama or chudidar inside the temple. In fact this rule is there in many temples in Kerala. Like most other devotees, all of us were wearing veshtis (a traditional apparel for men down south which is basically a long, unstitched cloth wound around the waist and looks very similar to the dhoti).
We were lucky to find “seeveli” happening when we entered the temple. Seeveli is a ceremonial procession with caparisoned elephants, usually done towards the end of morning and evening pooja. In many temples, elephants feature in seeveli only during festive occasions but I am told that at the Guruvayur temple, they are a part of the seeveli daily. The elephants are bred and trained at “Anakotta” which is about 3 kms from Guruvayur. The procession is led by people playing panchavadyams (an orchestra played with five instruments; for more details, click here). The panchavadyam is a treat to the ears, especially if you hear the complete performance which is essentially a crescendo starting with slow beats and reaching the peak towards the end.
After watching the seeveli for sometime, we joined the queue of people waiting to have the darshan. The structure of the inner temple is such that it has oil lamps all around the outside walls. We had the privilege of lighting many of the lamps while we were standing in the queue. We finally had a good darshan and then went to the temple pond. Murali had planned to do angapradakshanam (circumambulation around the inner temple) and had to take a dip inside the pond before the same. Ramki, KaRa and I accompanied him and cleared the way for him while he did the angapradakshanam 3 times.
We then went to the Mammiyur Lord Shiva temple which is about a km or two away from the Guruvayur temple and had a good darshan there too, after which we ate our dinner. Murali and I went back to the temple and came back to our rooms at around 11PM. The six of us slept for about 2.5 hours after which we got up, took bath and got ready to visit the temple at 3AM for the “Nirmalya Darisanam”. We did not expect the temple to be crowded so early in the morning and were hence surprised to see the huge turnout. After waiting for a lot of time, we again had a good darshan and after having breakfast outside, proceeded towards Trissur. In Trissur, we visited the Vadakkunathan Temple (of Lord Shiva), which is a very old temple. The temple had a very big enclosure with a lot of open space and many trees. There were three shrines inside the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Vadakkunnathan), Lord Shankaranarayanan and Lord Rama.
After visiting the Vadakkunathan temple, we had about 2.5 hours to have lunch and kill time before boarding our train back to Hyderabad. We had planned to go to the beach but then decided against it as we were told that the beach was far off and because we might not be able to be in time to catch the train if we went there.
Rajani’s relatives living in Coimbatore met us at the Coimbatore station and brought some delicious home-cooked food to sustain us during the return trip. I just can’t stop thinking about how tasty the food was. Need to thank them a lot for the effort that would have gone into the preparation.
I will try to post a few snaps from the trip in one of the later posts. Meanwhile, the following links could be useful in case you are planning a trip to Guruvayur and want to learn more about the place, the temple etc ..