Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple is located in Guruvayoor town of Thrissur district in Kerala. The presiding deity of the sanctum sanctorum of the temple is Maha Vishnu. It is one of the five most revered Vishnu-Krishna temples in India. The sculpture of the main deity of the temple is carved out of a rare material called Pathalanjana Sila. Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple is one of the Bhooloka Vaikuntam or the holy abode of the lord Vishnu on earth. The deity idol is garlanded with divine Tulsi flower and is sculpted in the form of Maha Vishnu in which Krishna revealed himself to Vasudeva and Devaki. Sree Krishna Guruvayoor temple is also popular with the sobriquet "Dwarka of the South" and Krishna is worshipped here with different names like Kannan, Unni-Krishnan and Guruvayoorappan. The four lustrous arms of Sree Krishna idol carry conch (Panchajanya), discus or Sudarshan Chakra, a mace or Kaumodaki and the lotus or Kamal. Vedic traditions are followed to absolute perfection in the Sree Krishna Guruvayoor temple and pooja ceremony is held as per the procedure laid out by Adi Shankracharya.
During the Swargorohana (ascension to Vaikunta heaven) of Lord Krishna, his devotee Uddhava became sad thinking of the departure of the Lord. The Lord then instructed Uddhava to carry his idol to Brishaspathi (Guru of Devas) and ask him to find a suitable place for its installation. But Uddhava was still sad thinking of the absence of the Lord Krishna. The Lord then pacified him and said that he himself will manifest in the idol and will bless his devotees. A deluge once devastated everything in Dwarka but Guru saved the idol with the help of his prime disciple Vayu.
They reached Kerala through Palakkad in search of a suitable location for the installation of the idol of Lord Krishna where they met Parasuram. Parasuram led Guru and Yavu to a beautiful lake with lotus where they felt the divine presence of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva and Parvathi welcomed them and told that it was the right place for the installation of the idol. The place hence came to be known as Guruvayoor as the consecration rites for the idol were carried out by Guru and Vayu. Lord Shiva (Rudra) is believed to have performed tapas for Vishnu in the waters located north of the Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple; hence the water body is considered sacred and known as Rudra-Theertham.
Blaze of 1970 :
During Ekadasi Vilakku (Ekadasi festival lighting), on 29 November 1970, a devastating fire broke out in the temple and people from all religions, age, creed and caste came forward to douse the blaze, setting a glorious example of communal harmony for which Kerala is famous all over. The sanctum sanctorum, idol of the main deity, flagstaff and the shrines of Bhagvathy, Ayyappa and Ganapathy remained unaffected from the blaze. Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple was constructed again to the present glory later on.
There is a strict dress code for the devotees to perform pooja in Krishna temple. Men are required to come bare chest with a Munda around the waist while the women are required to come in saris and forbidden to wear short skirts.
Kochi International Airport (75 km) is the nearest airport to Sree Krishna Temple. Guruvayoor has its own railway station and Thrisssur city center is 29 km away from the Guruvayoor temple.