Guruvayur, the abode of Lord Sree Guruvayurappan, is located 29 kms north west to the cultural capital of the Gods own country, Kerala. This narrow coastline strip of land on the south western edge of Indian subcontinent is one of the 10 paradises in the world
The Srikovil (sanctum) is square in shape. The Lord, as seen in the sanctum, is believed to have given darshan in this particular form to Vasudeva and Devaki at the time of His birth and to Arjuna during the Kurukshetra battle. The gracefully decorated little idol of Sri Krishna with Shanku, Chakra, Gadha and Lotus in His hands is awe-inspiring. The constant chantings of the Lord's names `Narayana' and `Guruvayurappa' fill the spiritual atmosphere around the sanctum.
The main entrance is from the Eastern Nada. The devotees first offer worship to the gold-plated Dwajasthambha (flagmast), which is nearly 108 feet (33.5 metres) high, in the Chuttambala (outer corridor). It is made of a rare root known as Kuruthotti. Here is a nearly 23 feet (7 metres) tall Deepa Sthamba (ornamental brass oil lamp) with 13 circular receptacles. It's a spectacle to be seen when lit at night. The spacious courtyard of the temple is called Koothambalam. There are separate shrines for Maha Ganapathi, Dharma Shastha and Durga on the corridors.
The temple opens at 3 am for the Nirmalaya Darshan, which is considered very auspicious. Devotees queue up for this rare darshan from 2 am onwards. This is followed by several rituals like Shankabhishekams and Alankara of the Lord as Bala Gopala and Vishnu from 4.30 am onwards. The temple remains open till 12 noon. A queue system is followed for darshan. For the evening pujas, the temple reopens at 4.30 pm and the rituals and darshan go on till 8 pm. The Seevili ritual at night is very fascinating when three elephants carrying Lord Krishna's image go round the shrine in a procession.