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Guruvayur Temple
Guruvayur Temple   Maraprabhu   Manjulal   Punnathur Kotta

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 Kuruvayur is there. As early as 16th century (50 years after the Narayaneeyam was composed) many references are noted about Kuruvayur. In ancient Dravidic, Kuruvai means sea, hence the village on the coast may be called Kuruvayur.

But according to Prof. K V Krishna Iyer (eminent historian), the Brahmins 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. The story of Pandyan King building a shrine here may be a reference to the Azhavars , but they are all silent in their writing about Guruvayur.

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.


52 feet Maraprabhu at Sree Guruvayur Temple. The biggest Terracotta Idol in the world. Inaugurated by Sri. K. Karunakaran the then Industrial Minister Government of India. The idol Lord Mraprabhu is the material embodiment of all the medicinal herbs all over the world.

Lord Maraprabhu is the whole and complete symbol of the eternal potentialities of medicinal herbs.This idol, which is installed in the Sreevalsam of guruvayur devaswam, is one of the biggest terracotta idols in the world. The spiritual energy generated instantaneously at the sight of Lord Maraprabhu is capable of curing all ailments. Those who have found medicines ineffective even after years of treatment will be healed miraculously and will also gain Abheeshtasiddhi at the very sight of this wonderful idol.

This idol sculptured in the traditional terracotta style, is also a symbol of the bond between man and clay. This idol with its trunk sucking at the deeper most essence of the earth for sustenance, with the eyes of Sun sparkling into Eternity; with the crown overflowing with boughs charged with the herbal power will be a powerful antenna of the world. The grace that emanates from Lord Maraprabhu will harmonies the human mind and awaken his subconscious. The idol Lord Maraprabhu will spread happiness in the world till the end of time. Meditating Lord Maraprabhu, people can open up a new chapter in their life, with the blessings of Lord Sree guruvayurappan World Cosmic Power. Thousands of Artists worked hard for months together to complete this holy idol, which is constructed in terracotta. Thousands of different types of herbs were used in the thanthric construction of this idol, which is 52 feet tall.


Manjulal was a virtuous and devout girl belong to Variyar caste Every night she used to bring garlands for the Lord. One day she was late and the temple got closed. She could reach only up to the banyan tree (from where elephant race starts during Utsavam), and started feeling guilty. Poonthanam, on his way back from the temple saw her crying near the banyan tree. He comforted her and said that she could place the garland on the stone at the foot of the banyan tree, since the Lord is everywhere. She was convinced, kept the garland there and went home with satisfaction. Next day morning, the Melsanthi removed all the garlands from the idol, but one garland remained stuck on the idol. The devotees were puzzled but Poonthanam realised last night’s event. It was the garland, which Manjula had placed on the stone at the foot of the banyan tree.

Poonthanam told the story to everyone and then the garland slipped down from the idol. Devotees started chanting the name of the Lord and struggled to collect the flowers from the garland. Worshipers went to the banyan tree to offer their obeisance. Since then, the banyan tree came to be known as Manjulal.


The Devaswom maintains a unique elephant sanctuary, the only one of its kind in the World. It has 51 elephants now. These jumbos are the offerings of the devotees to the Lord. A large number of pilgrims and tourists visit this fascinating spot every day. In this vast compound, there are road facilities for pilgrims and tourists to go around. The present elephant sanctuary is in Punnathur Kotta about 3 kms north of Guruvayur temple. Punnathur Kotta is the ancient palace of the Punnathur Rajas, now in the possession of the Devaswom. There is also an ancient temple where Lord Siva and Bhagavathy are worshiped. It is a 10 acre compound which Devaswom purchased in 1975, which was under receiver rule of Trichur sub court. Till that time elephants were kept in this Kovilakam compound (present Sreevalsam) to the south of the temple.

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