Guruvayur the abode of Sri Guruvayurappan, is located 29 kms north-west to the cultural capital of the Kerala state. This narrow coastline strip of land on the south western edge of Indian subcontinent is a place to behold. The geographical and bio diversity of Kerala with the coastline beaches and stretches of backwaters lined with the swaying coconut palms on one side and evergreen forests of the western ghats with very rich wildlife on the other side makes it a real paradise.
History of Guruvayur
According to the legends, the idol worshipped here is more than 5000 years old. But there are no historical records to establish it. In the 14th century Tamil literature ‘Kokasandesam’, references about a place called Kuruvayurare seen. As early as 16th century (50 years after the Narayaneeyam was composed) many references are seen about Kuruvayur. It was Melpathur’s Narayaneeyam through which the Temple got publicity. The concept of Unnikrishna popularised by Poonthanam, Kururamma and Villwamangalam brought more and more devotees to Guruvayur. In ancient Dravidian languages, Kuruvai means ’sea’, hence the village on the coast may be called Kuruvayur.
According to Prof. K V Krishna Iyer (eminent historian), people had begun to come and settle at Kodungalloor during the period of Chandra Gupta Maurya ( 321-297 BC). Trikkunavay in the Guruvayur documents is the same as Thrikkanamathilakam or Mathilakam mentioned in the Dutch and British records. And this place was in between Guruvayur and Kodungalloor. Guruvayur was Trikkunavay’s subordinate shrine since they were destroyed by the Dutch in 1755. That way Guruvayur must have come into existence before 52 AD.
How to reach Guruvayur?
Guruvayur is well connected with the other parts of the country by road and rail.
By road : The National highway passes through Kunnamkulam which is just 8 kms away from Guruvayur. It is half an hour drive by car from Thrissur and busses ply every 5 minutes from Thrissur to Guruvayur. Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs bus services from all major locations of the state as do a few inter-state services. The bus-stand is 500 meters to the west of the temple. Both KSRTC and private buses offer interstate services to all major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Palani, Salem, Coimbatore, Thiruchandoor, Mysore, Mangalore, Udupi, Kollur etc.
By rail : Guruvayur has got a railway stationwhich is connected to the Chennai-Mangalore main line at Thrissur. From the Mangalore side one can alight at the Kuttippram station. Regular bus services are available from there to Guruvayur. From the Chennai/Trivandrum side one can alight at Thrissur.
By air : Kochi international airport (Nedumbassery) is 80 kms from Guruvayur and the Calicut airport is 100 kms away. All major international flight services are operated from these airports.