Guruvayur, according to the legends may be 5,000 years old is a famous Krishna temple and is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus and is often referred to as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam" which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth. The divine idol installed here represents the enchanting form of Sree Krishna endowed with the four lustrous arms carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discusSudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and the lotus. Adorned with the divine Tulasi garland the idol represents the majestic form of Maha Vishnu as revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki at the time of Krishna Avatar. The presiding deity in the sanctum-sanctorum is Mahavishnu. He faces east and his idol is 4 ft tall. Even though this is not a much small idol, devotees consider him as Little Krishna. He has 4 hands : The upper right hand holding chakra, lower right hand holding lotus, upper left hand holding shankha and lower left hand holding gada. He is worshipped according to the pooja routines laid down by Adi Sankaracharya and later written formally in the Tantric way by Chennas Narayanan Namboodiri (born in 1427). The Chennas Namboodiris are the hereditary Tantris of the Guruvayur temple. The temple/pooja routines are strictly followed without any compromise. The Tantri is available full-time at the Temple to ensure this. The Melsanti (Chief Priest) enters the Sri Kovil (sanctum sanctorum) at 2:30 AM and does not drink even a glass of water up to the completion of noon poojas at 12:30 PM. The vedic traditions being followed here with absolute perfection and sincerity is the hallmark of the Guruvayur temple. It is important to note here that, even though the shrine is considered to be one of the holiest spots for Vaishnavites, the temple is not a part of the 108 Divya Desams.
The Elephant Camp is located in Punnathur Kotta, at a distance of 3 km from the Guruvayur Temple. This Elephant Camp is one of its kinds in the world and is considered to be one of the largest elephant sanctuaries housing around 60 elephants. The fascinating feature is that all the elephants are offerings that are made by the devotees, at the temple. The camp also acts as a training school for the elephants. Most of the elephants are trained to participate in major processions and daily temple rituals. This camp is visited by several tourists every year.
Punnathurkotta was once the palace of a local ruler, but the palace grounds are now used to house the elephants belonging to the Guruvayoor temple, and has been renamed Anakkotta (meaning "Elephant Fort"). There were 86 elephants housed there, but currently there are about 66 elephants. The elephants are ritual offerings made by the devotees of Lord Guruvayurappa. This facility is also used to train the elephants to serve Lord Krishna as well as participate in many festivals that occur throughout the year. The oldest elephant is around 82 years of age and is called 'Ramachandran'. The rituals of Gajapooja (Worshipping Elephants) and Anayoottu (Feeding Elephants) are observed here, as an offering to Lord Ganesha. The legendary elephant "Guruvayur Keshavan" was housed here. The compound also has a naalu kettu, a traditional rectangular home with a central courtyard, which belonged to the Punnathur Raja. It is poorly maintained and presently houses a training school for Papans(Mahout). This complex also contains a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Bhagavathy. Some scenes in the famous Malayalam movie "Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha" (starring Mammooty) were filmed at this location. The visiting hours are 8.00 AM to 5.30 PM. The entry fee is Rs 5 per adult. An extra Rs 25 is charged for to use a camera inside the complex
Famously known as Mammiyur Mahadeva Kshetram is a Shiva temple situated in Guruvayoor, Thrissur district of Kerala in India. Every devotee who goes to Guruvayur Temple is supposed to go to Mammiyoor also, as the ritual goes. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple premises. The temple is a part of the 108 famous Shiva temples in Kerala and one among the five Shiva temples around Guruvayoor. The main deity is Shiva and he is facing east and is in rowdra bhava.
The legendary history extends to the consecration of the famous Sree Guruvayur Temple - It was the final phase of Dwaparayuga. The great Deluge has submerged Sree Krishna's abode Dwaraka and the Lord, as a playful child, was frolicking on a banyan leaf tossed about by the surging waters. Devaguru Brihaspathi and wind god Vayu stumble upon him where upon the Lord himself handed over to them the idol of the Supreme Lord that he has been worshipping at Dwaraka, with instructions to have it installed and consecrated at an appropriate spot on earth.
Guru and Vayu then descended on the banks of a sprawing lake Rudratheertha rendered holy by Lord Shiva who has been doing penance there for ages. Realizing the purpose of the visit Lord Shiva suggested the consecration there itself on the bank of Rudratheertha and obligingly moved over to a near by location on the other side of the Rudhra theertha. The place where Guru and Vayu consecrated the idol of Lord Krishna became GURUVAYOOR and the site that Lord Shiva chose for himself and his consort Sree Parvathy became Mahimayur, mahima evolving out of the status bestowed on Lord Shiva for voluntarily relinquishing his initial abode to accommodate Lord Krishna. This in course of time got colloquialised as MAMMIYUR.
The devotees who visit Sree Guruvayoor Temple for darshan used to pay pranams to Sree Mammiyurappan by nodding towards North West direction at Bhagavathykettu in Temple. It is considered that any pilgrimage to Guruvayoor Temple is complete only after a visit to Mammiyur Temple also.
Sree Guruvayoor Temple is also having some ceremonial connections with Sree Mammiyur Temple. Sri Puzhakkara chennas Vasudevan Namboothiripad, The Thanthri of Sree Guruvayoor Temple is also the Thanthri of this Temple and almost all the poojas and rituals in this Temple are regulated in tune with the poojas and rituals in Guruvayoor Temple.
The birth of Kalamandalam was remarkable in many respects. It was the first institutional step in the cultural history of Kerala to start training in classical performing arts which were so far left to the patronage of provincial kings and landlords. The artists, especially the Kathakali artists, were in general, the aesthetic victims of the society. They were silent sufferers of the caste hierarchy, prevailing in Kerala, during the period.. With the establishment of Kalamandalam the social and cultural emancipation of traditional artists became a reality. At the same time Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, the two major art forms, were heading to extinction for want of patronage. It was Vallathol who ensured their continued existence and progress under the newly evolved institutional set
In 1965 Kalamandalam added Koodiyattam to its curriculum. Koodiyattam is the only extant stylized Sanskrit theater having a tradition of two thousand years. Painkulam Rama Chakyar who headed the Koodiyattam department was a maverick. Rama Chakyar boldly brought Koothu and Koodiyattam outside the temples in the late fifties disregarding the displeasure of caste-conscious conservatives in the field and liberated these esoteric art forms from the dark cells of taboos and inhibitions. From 1965 Koodiyattam, Koothu and Nangiarkoothu were made available in Kalamandalam for study for anyone interested. Kalamandalam has produced a handful of gifted artists in the field. Recently the UNESCO has recognized Koodiyattam as an illustrious example of manifestation of the heritage of human culture and the contribution of Kalamandalam in this regard is significant.
Other performing arts that are taught at and performed by Kalamandalam are classical Karnatic music (vocal) Thullal, a semi- classical solo dance-drama, Panchavadyam, an example of one of the wonderful instrumental ensembles of Kerala and Mridangam, the foremost among the percussion instruments in Karnatic music. The Department of Classical Dance has Mohiniyattam as its thrust area; but Bharatanaatyam and Kuchipudi also are taught and performed as subsidiary subjects
A good part of Chettuva River meanders through Chettuva village. It is Azhimugham, where the Chettuva River meets the Arabian Sea. Chettuva Backwater is a great tourist destination of Kerala. It is located in Chettuva village, in Thrissur Dist.
Chavakkad is noted for its beach and fishing and located about 75 km north of the city of Kochi. the commercial capital of Kerala and 25 km west of Thrissur. The nearest railway station to Chavakkad is Guruvayur Railway Station about four kilometers away.