Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guruvayur visit - Sunil Menon

Om Namo Narayanaya: Visiting "Guru-pavana-puri" is always a great feeling and happy experience. This year it was more special as we were taking our one year old daughter to the lotus feet of Guruvayoorappan for the first time.

We had booked rooms close to the templ
e and got to the temple early in the morning and had a good darshan. We were in the darshan line for a little over an hour as the Thirunada was closed for Usha pooja for almost an hour. But this wait turned out to be good as we had enough time to pray for everyone including our dear yahoo group members and their well being.

Devaswom do ha
ve some arrangements for letting infants to go inside faster but considering the short wait, we did not have to avail that facility.

Overall, the efficiency of the darshan line has considerably im
proved since my last visit. However there is still a lot of push and impatience among devotees to get inside faster and this creates difficulties to elderly and babies. I hope people will learn to follow queue system and be more humble and considerate of others in the coming years.

We saw plenty of brides and grooms as it was wedding season. It is always a pleasure to see newlyweds who reminds us of Krishna and Radha!

Guruvayur Utsavam

Later I visited Guruvayoor again during Utsavam season. My (late) father's birthday falls on the same day as Anayottam in Guruvayoor and we always used to visit Guruvayoor on that day when I was a child. The Anayottam -elephant race - was a day earlier due to the Nakshatram - star- coming on two days, so, I could not be there on the Anayottam but the next day.

Ramankutty was the winner of the Anayottam and he was inside th
e temple during Utsavam days and happily receiving the love and affection of the devotees.

There was a Harthal day during Utsavam and luckily
Guruvayoor township was exempted from the Harthal. Hartals are becoming frequent in Kerala and life becomes tough especially when someone is on a tight time frame.

Kanji and Puzhukku
Receiving Krishna's blessing as "prasada oottu" and filling my stomach with puzhukku and Kanji was quite a nice experience. It is very nice that they still serve the Kanji in a "paala pathram" (bowl made out of the leaf of arickanut tree) and with a "playila" ! (Traditional soup spoon made of jack fruit tree leaf)
There was plenty of Kanji, puzhukku and pappadums to feed thousands!

Meeting our group member - Savitriji
Meeting anyone from our group is always a great pleasure, this time I had the privilege to meet a true devotee of Guruvayoorappan and a new group member, Smt. Savitri-ji in Guruvayoor.

Many of you must be knowing Savitriji's father Shri. OM.C. Narayanan Namboothiripad, who has translated the whole Rig Veda into Malayalam from Sanskrit!

Savitriji informed me advance about her visit to Guruvayoor and she was kind enough to invite me to their famous mana - Olappamanna illam- for the "Thalappoli" festival. Though, I would have loved to visit the distinguished "Olappamanna mana", I could not go due to my time limitations.

I also got to meet Savitriji's sisters and we had a good discussion about the current state of Kerala temples, Bhakthi, Narayaneeyam and Guruvayoorappan.

It is truly appreciable for someone from Texas to travel 8000 miles to be with Guruvayoorappan during Utsavam days and do bhajanam with siblings during Utsavam days in Gurupavanapuri!

Mammiyoor Darshanam
Visiting Mammiyoor Shiva temple is a mandatory part of Guruvayoor darshan. [ Mammiyoor temple is about 1 Kms north of Guruvayoor temple in the Guruvayur-Kunnamkulam road. ]

Here is the story of Mammiyoor temple and its importance

The Guruvayoorappan idol at Guruvayoor is originally from none other than Srikrishna that He kept it in Dwaraka and worshiped. When Dwaraka got submerged, he told Brihaspathy to take the idol and install in proper place. Guru and Vayu devas went in search for the most holy place. Parasuraman invited them to Kerala and they reached Rudratheertha where Siva was doing tapas. Seeing Guru and Vayu, Siva came up from the water, received them and told "this is the most holy place for installation". This place had been marked for long ago for the divine idol of Narayana worshiped by Narayan himself. Siva and Parvathy moved to the opposite bank at Mammiyoor. Siva asked Guru and Vayu to perform the installation and from that day, the place was known as Guruvayoor. So the visit to Guruvayoor is incomplete without visiting Mammiyoor.

Difficult part of leaving Guruvayoor
Unlike Savitriji, I could spend only a day and half in Guruvayoor. Another interesting fact about Guruvayoor is that we never feel leaving the place or Krishna. Always feel like taking one more darshan and spend some more time in Guruvayoor.. So, when it is comes to leave, it is always a tough choice! Krishna's divine magnetism for sure.

More photos from the trip can be found at the following URL

or the photo slide show at


Om Namo Narayanaya: Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya: Om Namo Narayanaya: