Guruvayur is a municipal town in Thrissur District, of Kerala State in India. It houses the famous Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple, the fourth biggest temple in India in terms of the number of devotees per day.Guruvayur, according to the legends may be 5,000 years old as the Guruvayur Temple idol is. There are no historical records to establish it. In the 14th century, Tamil literature 'Kokasandesam', references about a place called Kuruvayur is made. As early as 16th century, many references are seen about Kuruvayur.
Guruvayur Ekadasi,the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight, is very auspicious to the Hindus. Of the 24 Ekadasis in a year, the Vrishchika Ekadasi (Sukla paksha) has got special significance in Guruvayur temple. A memorial honour for Gajarajan Kesavan is conducted in Guruvayur. The Karanavar or head of the elephant family places a wreath at the statue of Kesavan in front of Sreevalsam guest house and all the other elephants stand around and pay obeisance. On Ekadasi day, the Udayasthamana Pooja (dawn to dusk pooja) is conducted by the Devaswom itself . After the morning seeveli, on Ekadasi there is a grand elephant procession to the Parthasarathi temple since it is regarded as Geethopadesam Day also. On Ekadasi after night pooja, the famous Ekadasi Vilakku with elephant procession takes place and provides a fitting finale to the festival.
The Guruvayur Temple is a famous Krishna temple and is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus and is often referred to as "Bhooloka Vaikuntam"which translates to the holy abode of Vishnu on Earth. The divine idol installed here represents the enchanting form of Sree Krishna endowed with the four lustrous arms carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and the lotus. Adorned with the divine Tulasi garland the idol represents the majestic form of Maha Vishnu as revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki at the time of Krishna Avatar.