Guruvayur Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple located in the town of Guruvayur in Kerala, Bharat. It is one of the most sacred places for lakhs of Hindus, situated next to Mammiyur Shiva temple.It is popularly known as Dakshina Dwaraka while Udupi Sri Krishna Matha is known as Dakshina Mathura.
The presiding deity is Guruvayurappa or Krishna, a form of Vishnu with peacock feathers on his crown and four hands with Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma. This is the divine form that was revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki, Krishna’s parents at the time of his birth. The murti is made out of a special stone called Patala Anjanama.
The Itihasa associated with the temple can be referenced to the Narada Purana. Bhagavan Vishnu appeared before Bhagavan Brahma to grant salvation to him and his creations. On Bhagavan Brahma’s request, he presented him with a murti made by himself. Some centuries later, Brahma gifted this murti to King Sutapas and his wife Prasni, who were doing penance for a child. Vishnu appeared to the King and his wife and stated that he will be born to them for their next four births. He also blessed them by stating that the murti will bless them in each of these births.
Vishnu was born as Prasngarbha to King Sutapas and Queen Prasni in the Satya Yuga. In Treta Yuga, he was born as Vamana to Kashyapa (Sutapas) and Aditi (Prasni). Later, Vishnu was born as Rama to King Dasharatha (Sutapas) and Kaushalya (Prasni). In the Dwapara Yuga, he took the form of Krishna to Vasudeva and Devaki who were the reincarnation of Sutapas and Prasni again.
When Krishna decided to forego the Earth and ascend to heaven, he decided to give the idol to Brihaspati (Guru) and Vayu, so that it could escape the destruction of Dwaraka. Brihaspati and Vayu went southwards in search of a place to consecrate and worship the idol. They were enchanted by the sight of the huge Rudratheertham and on a visit there, met Rishi Parashurama. The three together met Bhagavan Shiva and Devi Parvati on the banks of the Theertham and were eventually convinced by the greatness of the place by Shiva himself. They decided to build a shrine there and consecrate the idol of Krishna at the site. They entailed the services of Vishwakarma (Architect of the Devas) who built a grand temple within minutes.
The architecture of the Guruvayur Temple is simple and follows the Vastuvidya tradition. Guruvayur Temple faces east and has two entrances, the east, and the west. The central pillared hall, called Nalambalam is adorned with an array of lamps on its outer surface. The outer enclosure is called the Chuttambalam in Malayalam.
The 33.5-meter high Dhwajasthambam and a 7-meter high Deepasthambham with 13 circular receptacles are situated inside the Chuttambalam. The temple also houses the shrines of Bhagwan Ganapathy, Bhagwan Aiyyappa, and Bhagavathi. The main Sree Kovil consists of the Garbhagriha and the Mukha Mandapam. The famous Rudratheertham is situated north of the temple. All the articles in the Garbhagriha, including the doors and the roof, are made out of gold.
The temple has several synonyms like “Bhooloka Vaikunta” meaning “Abode of Vishnu on Earth”. It is also called the “Dwaraka of the South”.
1. The murti is made out of a special stone called Patala Anjanama which has healing powers and thus is believed to cure those suffering from tuberculosis and leprosy.
2. The Rudratheertham was the spot where Bhagavan Shiva used to bathe daily.
3. The cultural art Krishnanattam is performed here as an offering by the devotees based on the Krishnageeti of Vilwamangalam Swamiyar.
4. In praise of the deity,the famous work Narayaneeyam was written by Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri.
5. This is the very form that was revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki, Krishna’s parents at the time of his birth and was later worshipped by Krishna himself.
6. Fifteen various poojas are performed every day,just like Udupi Sri Krishna Matha, where 14 poojas take place each day.
-by Aaditya Sreenath
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