A small temple town in the Thrissur district of Kerala, Guruvayur is of great historical as well as religious significance as it believed to have been in existence since the last 5000 years. Yes, you read that right. Guruvayur is one of the oldest-known places in the country. It is said to be the town which is connected to several Hindu lords and great sages. Therefore, the temples present within its boundaries are considered as pilgrimage sites amongst several Hindus. After all, it is also known as Dwarka of South India. But do you know that the greatness of Guruvayur is not confined to its historical monuments and religious spots? It has several other places beyond the interest of Hindu devotees.
Would you believe if we say that you can also savour the beauty of beaches and sanctuaries here? So, if you are ready to get yourself to this town of monuments, temples, beaches and sanctuaries, then you must read this article. Here, we discuss the major places that make Guruvayur an idyllic getaway.
1) Guruvayur Temple
The invaluable splendour and the most recognised structure of Guruvayur, Guruvayur Temple is believed to be the oldest site in the town as it is said to be the spot around which the entire town developed and prospered for centuries. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is one of the most frequented religious sites in the country.
Even though the exact history of the temple is still unknown, the idol placed inside the sanctum sanctorum is said to have been established during the period of Lord Krishna about 5000 years ago. Yes, on the orders of Lord Krishna, two sages brought the idol from Dwarka in Gujarat and consecrated here. Hence, you shouldn't miss out on exploring this marvellous site.
2) Chavakkad Beach
If you are a beach lover and love lazing by a sandy expanse as you soothe your eyes with a picturesque view of nature, then Chavakkad Beach is the place you must be present at. It is one of the most beautiful places in the region and is only visited by local tourists.
Therefore, it would certainly interest you and steal your heart. In the vicinity of the beach, you can also capture the captivating beauty of the Karuvannur river as it merges with the Arabian Sea. So, what do you think about a visit to this pristine beach?
3) Mammiyoor Temple
Another significant site of great religious importance, Mammiyoor Temple is a part of the pilgrimage circuit in Guruvayur. As per local legends, it is said that without visiting Mammiyoor Temple, a trip to Guruvayur Temple is always deemed incomplete. It is one of the 108 significant Shiva temples in the state, and hence it is considered as a sacred site amongst Hindus.
Even though the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, you can also find the images of Lord Ayyappa, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesh within its boundaries. The temple compound maintains a divine and spiritual aura, therefore it is an ideal place for meditation and introspection.
4) Punnathur Kotta Palace
How about taking a break from religious as well as natural sites in Guruvayur and indulging in the exploration of its history? If you would love to carry it out, then Punnathur Kotta Palace is the site you must visit. The palace was built by a local king in the Kerala style of architecture.
Today, it is a popular tourist centre in Guruvayur and is visited by people from all over the district. Did you know the palace compound has also been used as a shooting location in a Malayalam movie?
5) Elephant Sanctuary
Elephant Sanctuary is located in the palace compound of Punnathur Kotta and is home to about 59 elephants. If you are a wildlife lover, then you must not miss visiting this beautiful sanctuary. It is the place where elephants are trained to participate in Hindu festivals and serve Hindu lords during the festive seasons. It is also the place where you can witness the grandeur of Gajapooja, the festival of worshipping elephants. The oldest elephant at this sanctuary is of 82 years.