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Vastu lessons from Guruvayur Temple

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

Lord Sri Krishna (Guruvayurappan) is worshipped and adorned at Guruvayur temple by many from the early 14th century. This temple is visited mostly by those who believe in the miraculous healing power for any bodily ailments. It is also a perfect place to learn the architectural knowledge of Vastu Vidya (learning of vastu) and Kerala architecture.

As per mythology it is said that the divine architect Vishwakarma built the first temple here. The square shaped Sreekovil is the sacred sanctum of the temple, housing the main deity. Within the temple there are also the images of Ganapathy, Lord Ayyappa and Edathedathu Kavil Bhagavathy.

  • The wall of Sree Kovil is decorated with ancient mural paintings (Kerala ancient painting technique). In front of the Sree Kovil is the Namaskara Mandapam (pillared square hall) surrounding this is the outer enclosure (Nalambalam or Chuttambalam). A gallery of oil lamps is fixed on the wall of Nalambalam.

  • The innermost room of the Sreekovil is known as Garbhagriha where the idol of Lord Krishna is placed. In the outer enclosure is a tall flag post (Dwajasthambam). There is also a pillar of lamps (Deepasthambham), whose thirteen circular receptacles provide a truly gorgeous spectacle when lit.

Vastu Insights from Guruvayur temple is as follows:

North: As Kuber rules the north direction, positioning any water bodies at this location helps to retain wealth and prosperity.

  • Temple pond (Rudratheertham) is located in the north of the temple.

  • In the north-eastern side of the Sree Kovil is the temple well called Manikinar.

  • A sub shrine of Devi, ‘Edathirithi Kavu’ is situated in this direction.

  • The place for serving daily lunch for devotees (Oottupura) is also located in the north-west side.

East: The east direction is the preferred location for entrance and is dedicated to lord Surya (Sun).

  • The eastern nada (entrance/door) is the main entrance to the shrine.

  • One of the most popular offerings is the Thulabharam (weighing against a commodity) located near the east nada, where devotees are weighed against bananas, sugar, jaggery and coconuts equivalent to their weight.

  • At the north-east side of this shrine is the Koothambalam, where, in olden times, dance performances were held.

South: The south and south-west direction gives importance to the earth element which denotes stability. The south-east corner signifies the fire element.

  • There is a tree at the south side of the temple and it signifies the earth element.

  • The Ganapati shrine is situated within the Nalambalam itself at the south-west corner.

  • The Sasta shrine is outside the Nalambalam on the south-east corner.

West: Lord Vayu (wind) signifies this direction. This direction is ideal for guests and quick flow of finished goods or services.

  • There is an entrance at the western side of the temple.

  • In this direction, the store room is located and the temple priests prepare sandal paste and few others make garlands.

  • In recent times, the Prasadam counters are also located in this direction.

The Bhahyankanam (outer courtyard) consists of quarters for the temple priests and a big kitchen (aduppukalam).

There are few modifications to the workspace inside the temple over the years but most of the original features of the temple architecture is still preserved. Thus, Guruvayur Temple is a beautiful place for understanding the Vastu Shastra principles expressed through Kerala architecture.

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