By the time we reached Guruvayur it was about 7.30 PM. We were lucky to get comfotable accommodation in "Panchajanyam Rest House" run by Dewosvam. After having a wash we rushed to the Temple to stand in the queue for Dharshan after the evening Pooja. We had gone there two times before to this holy place. Last time we were lucky to have the Dharshan in "Udhayasthamana pooja"(continuous Pooja from dawn to dusk) of Sree Guruvayurappan. We were told this most coveted and dearest of all the poojas to the Lord has been booked upto the year 2047 ! We were in the queue for about 45 minutes before we were able to enter the main door leading to Srikovil. This gave me time to see the surroundings in detail. Srikovil is surrounded by the outer walls of wooden trellis with array of about 8000 brass lamps, which are lit on special occassions. The 60ft Dwajasthambam (Flag post) fully covered by plated gold stands majestically before the entrance. Two Deepastambams of 24 ft tall with 13 discs of lamps adorn both sides of the flag post.
The doors of Srikovil opened after the evening Pooja and the queue moved slowly. When we entered the main entrance of the inner courtyard we passed through two large platforms on both sides of entrance to Srikovil. It is said, previously these places were used by the Brahmins to recite holy scriptures. True, Fiftyfive years back when I visited this Temple for the first time, I had seen Brahmins reciting holy scriptures from this place. It was also claimed the famous Melpathur Narayana Bhattathri composed the " Narayaneeyam" sitting in the southern part of this platform.
As we went further we came to "Namaskara Mandapam", in front of Srikovil, this Mandapam is covered by Gold plated copper roof, supported by granite pillers on four sides. Here itself we had the first Dharshan of the Lord Guruvayurappan in traditional form of Sri Maha Vishnu, with four arms holding Sankha, Chakra, Gadha, Padmam fully decorated with flowers and jewellery. Enhanced by surrounding the soft light of numourous oil lamps lit around. It was a devine sight for the devout. In the midst of continuous chanting of the name of the Lord by almost all the devotees slowly wading towards the Srikovil entrance to have a few seconds of Dharshan of Guruvayurappan, in my mind I felt that I am alone with him taking his blessings. Before Him we close our eyes to take the moment of ecstacy fully inside. This is a spiritual experiance, that cannot be defined by any of our senses.
The Moorthy is made of "Pathalanjana shila" considered extemely sacred. All the pooja vessals and articles are made of Gold.
The outer walls of the square shaped Srikovil are embellished with mural paintings. We went round the Srikoil and came out of the northen doorway to the "Prakaram" and saw the Six Temple Elephants tied there. The Children enjoyed the sight of Elephants more than us. Behind them was the hall where the Prasadam Counters were distibuting the Prasadams to public. My wife was particular to take the Prasadam to break her fasting on the Ekadasi day at Guruvayur.
Early morning next day my wife had the "Nirmalya Dharshan" of the Lord . I and other members of the family followed it by 5.00 AM only. It was indeed an experience that will stay with us forever.
Next as planned we visited Mammiyur and other Temples around Guruvayur and had Dharshan there. Then we proceeded to Punnathoorkotta to see the Temple Elephants.(about which I have written separately) After lunch we started off to Palakkad for the night stay on our way to Ooty.
posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 6:18 PM