A devotional trip to guruvayur

Everybody congratulated me for getting a new job. I wanted to visit Guruvayur Temple and thank Lord Krishna for this success (who is my favourite God too). So, I had planned a trip to Guruvayur and a natural bath in Athirapally Water Falls.
I wanted to go alone but, my dad insisted to come along. So, we arranged a cab through travel agency. Booking of hotels had been done accordingly. We started at Mumbai airport to Cochin airport, which received us with the usual charm.
Our driver greeted us and was waiting at the Cochin airport with his Indica. We had our perfect seats. My dad started telling about Krishna and the Guruvayur Temple (thank God he came, good time pass)
That afternoon again created a bright atmosphere with its powerful rays of 1pm. We were out of Cochin Airport and started for Guruvayur. As our driver said we traveled through 93kms in 2hrs and 45min.Had touched the soil of Lord Krishna exactly at 3.45pm.
The Temple was huge and majestic. We had to change our clothes to proceed. I saw a huge line (queue) standing for the pooja. Thank God! We had already made some arrangements and got special permission to attend the poojas.
As our boon at 4.40pm had witnessed the pooja Kazhcha Seeveli for which Krishna was adorned with his eye catching bright ornaments. Next to Kazhcha Seeveli we went for shopping from the nearby shops of the courtyard. It took 45min and I purchased some nice mural paintings of Krishna and handicrafts.
We were very alert about our timings; our driver had leaded us in all the shops. At 5.45pm again reached the courtyard and joined the queue meant for Deeparadhana. By this time there were many cultural programmes going on around the temple. The dance programme Bharathanatyam was mind blowing and so collected a big crowd. Blessed by Krishna along with Deeparadhana and Athazha Seeveli at 8.45 to 9.00 pm, with this pooja the temple would be closed. Then we were out of the temple. We also had enjoyed Bharathanatayam for 45mins and then our driver took us to our Hotel Ambady Regency. We came back to hotel aiming Nirmalyam for the next day at 3am. Hotel people treated well with nice dinner. So, went to sleep early.
Next day the room boy knocked our door by 1am.With that alert we rushed up and got ready quickly. When we reached the temple we saw a gigantic queue was waiting for Nirmalyam and I came to know that those people were waiting in the queue from the previous day itself.
On my doubt asked our driver regarding this, and then realized that he received a special permission from the Guruvayur Devaswom on behalf of us. (I was glad to book with travel agency). So, we could join the special queue and blessed for Nirmalyam. Following Nirmalyam there were the poojas : Oilabhishekam, Vagacharthu, Sanghabhishekam , Malar nivedyam ,Alankaram ,Ushanivedyam, Ethirettu pooja. From 3am to 6.30am our ears were receiving the chanting “Sree Krishna , Hari Krishna” and we also joined.

With tears of joy we all came out and had our breakfast from Ambady Regency. Then we were getting around the temple and visited the Devaswomboard museum. My camera had clicked some nice pictures along with the idol of Kesava and Garuda. I purchased some malayali costumes too. Then we moved to Mammiyoor.

“MAMMIYOOR MAHADEVAKSHETHRAM” the welcome board was reflecting the afternoon sunlight.
Our driver had something to say about this temple and explained: “Every devotee who goes to Guruvayur temple is supposed to go to Mammiyoor also, as the solemnity goes. Here the main deity is Lord Shiva. Only Hindus are allowed inside and this is one among the 108 famous Shiva temples in Kerala. Lord Shiva is facing east and is in Rowdrabhava. So, inorder to reduce his anger an idol of Lord Vishnu is also installed. Here Shiva appears as a family man with his wife Goddess Parvathi and his two sons Ganesha and Subrahmanya. .

Our arrival time 10.15am was meant for some special poojas. Till 12.30pm we were in the Mammiyur temple and could list the poojas as follows : Maha mrithyunjaya Homa, Karuka Homa, Thila Homa , Ayushya Homa, Rahu Pooja, Naga Pooja, Rakshassu pooja and the Noon poojas. After that we had traveled to Anathavalam – the home of elephants. Here only, lived Kesava which sacrificed its whole life on the service of Lord Krishna.

It was very much hot out there. Our mind and body were actually in need of a cool bath. So, finishing our lunch quickly and we rushed towards Athirapally water falls. After some 82 kms we spotted Athirapally water falls in 2 hrs.

For the narrow pathways safeguards were bushes. We caught hold of some stops for tea break and refreshment. On some expectation some monkeys wanted to say something and approached us on that regard. Flying squirrels and Chirping birds were accompanying throughout. We had climbed over the rocks and stones and enjoyed a deep bath. We saw a rabbit was posing to a nice picture of our camera.

Our driver took us to an Ayurvedic treatment centre and the knowledge they delivered was amazing. A body massage.. what I needed so much. After a relaxing massage we came out at reception area where we were provided with health related books and tips for nourishing the body mechanism. That night the Hill View Resort took charge of our shelter and dinner as well.

Next day morning we were aiming towards Kodanad. Our driver took a shortcut (which he knew from Athirapally to Kodanad), we drove through 15 kms from Athirapally turning left and again travelled 15 kms, reached Kodanad. He pointed out that “without knowing the shortcut some people drive through Chalakudi which actually takes 70 kms to Kodanad”.
Kodanad is less familiarized but had its own specialties to be noted because that was the place where the forest elephants were trained enough to carry over the needs of humane. Outsiders were normally restricted to this place, but we had got special permission from the authorities (thanks to our travel agency) and brought us to witness that elephant training camp. Kodanad had its own village culture and cultivation looked pretty and attractive.
From Kodanad to Cochin Airport it took 40 minutes of traveling time. We expressed our gratitude towards Vinod (our driver) and the whole trip had become awesome and unforgettable.

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