Guruvayur (also written Guruvayoor) is a small town in Thrissur district in the Indian state of Kerala.
It is a temple (Guruvayur Temple) town located at 10°36'N, 76°3'E with a population of 21,187 (2001 census). It is 25 km to the north west of Thrissur City in Thrissur district. It is famous for the Guruvayur temple which is many centuries old and one of the most important in Kerala. The temple is famous as a site for pilgrimage and also a cultural centre as it is one of the centre-points along which Kerala literature and art-forms have been developed. There are other temples nearby. The deity is Lord Krishna. Legend has it that at the beginning of this era (yuga), Guru Brihaspati found a floating idol of Lord Krishna. He along with Lord of Air ( Vayu ) installed the idol in this temple for helping mankind get through the travails of this yuga. Hence the deity is named Guru-Vayur-Appan. The temple does not admit non Hindus.
The famous Elephant Sanctuary (Punnathur kotta) near the temple where elephants are trained for temple purposes. Here right now more than 60 elephants are kept. All these elephants were offered by devotees of Lord Guruvayurappa. Gajapooja (Worshipping Elephants) & Anayoottu (Feeding Elephants) are conducted here, as an offering to Lord Ganesha.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has recently started on its center and guest housefor pilgrims in the temple city.
Buses ply every few minutes from Thrissur Shaktan Thampuran Bus Stand. Buses also operate from other places like Ernakulam,North Paravur, Kottayam, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kottarakkara and also from Trivandrum. The railway operates passenger local trains to Thrissur and Cochin and also an overnight express train to Trivandrum and further to Chennai. It is 80 km away from Kochi International Airport.
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