Guruvayoor is one of the most sacred and important
pilgrim centres of Kerala. Its main attraction
is the Sree Krishna temple. This historic temple
is shrouded in mystery. According to belief, the
temple is the creation of Guru, the preceptor
of the Gods, and Vayu, the God of winds. The eastern
nada is the main entrance to the shrine. In the
Chuttambalam (outer enclosure) is the tall 33.5
m high gold plated Dwajathambam (flag post). There
is also a 7 m high Dipastambham (pillar of lamps),
whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a
truly gorgeous spectacle when lit. The square
Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum sanctorum of the
temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple
there are also the images of Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa
and Edathedattu Kavil BhagaVathy. Only Hindus
are allowed inside the temple.
It is, 191 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 210
km from Kochi: One of the most famous pilgrim
centres in India, Sabarimala is situated on the
mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude
of 914 m above sea level and is accessible only
by foot from Pamba (4 km). The temple is dedicated
to Sree Ayyappa. Pilgrim season: November to mid
January. Mandala Pooja and Makaravilakku are the
two main events of the pilgrim season. The temple
stays closed during the rest of the year except
for the first five days of every Malayalam month
and during vishu (April). Nearest railway station:
Thiruvalla (102 km) People of all castes and creeds
are permitted into the temple. However, entry
not allowed to women between 10 and 50 years of
Kaladi near to Angamali is pilgrim center on the
banks of Periyar. It is also the birth place of
the great Indian Philosopher Sri Adi Sankara Acharya.
There are two shrines of Sri Adi Sankaracharya.
One dedicated to him as Dakshinamurthy and the
other to Goddess Sarada, maintained by the Sringeri
Mutt. On the same premises there is a spot, Vrindavan
where Adi Sankaracharya's mother Aryamba was cremated.
In addition to it there is a an ancient Srikrishna
Temple close by which was the family temple of
Sankaracharya. Another temple known as International
temple dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna Deva has been
built with a hope that it would become a temple
for all religions and an abode of peace.
Sri Sankara took to Sanyasa, (renunciation) at
the spot of Crocodile Ghat. According to legend
it was here that the crocodile caught hold of
Sri Sankara, mother Aryamba permited him to accept
Sanyasa and the crocodile disappeared.
The famous Catholic Church of Malayattur is on
a height of 609 meters and is dedicated to St.
Thomas who had landed the Kerala coast in 52 AD.
Thousands of devotees undertake a trip to the
shrine to participate in the annual festival Malayattur
Perunnal in March. St. Thomas is believed to have
prayed at this shrine.
Jama-at Mosque, Malappuram
This is an important pilgrim centre of the Muslims
of Kerala. The four day annual festival at the
mosque (nercha) is celebrated in April. Adjoining
the mosque is the mausoleum of the Malappuram
Shaheeds (martyrs) whose brave exploits have been
immortalised in the Mappila ballads.