Guruvayur is my hometown or native place as we called it all those years ago. This is where my parents, brother and I came every year during the summer vacations and spent a good two months at the ancestral home. My Ammuma stayed there alone before we descended there for the holidays. We were joined by my cousins from Calicut and Delhi, and it was a great time in a house full of children and adults. We spent time playing with the local children and enjoyed the food and daily visits to the Guruvayur temple. For those who don’t know, the house was also where Lakshmi and I spent our honeymoon after our wedding 35 years ago.
As we grew older, our visits became fewer and shorter. It is now an annual pilgrimage where we spend a day or two in a hotel in Guruvayur and visit the house that is locked; just to rekindle our childhood memories. We did spend some time at the house this time as well.
This time, it was a little different. My family, friends and relatives landed up in Guruvayur for a very special occasion. Nearly 3 decades ago, my mother, Kalyani, had booked a Pooja at the Guruvayur temple. It is called the Udayasthamana Pooja. This Pooja is conducted every alternate day has a waiting list that currently goes up to the year 2050. Earlier, the Pooja was conducted for one booking each time. Today, 5 bookings are completed in one day to reduce the overall wait time. A few months ago, we were informed that our turn is coming up soon. We sought a date of February 10, 2023. This tour of ours was planned around this date.
My brother, Rohit and his son, Advaith were with us to participate in this Pooja our mother had booked with the hope that she would witness it. As a kid, my mother and I would move to a lodge close to the temple for 2-3 days as she completed a promise of attending all the Poojas conducted at the temple on those days. The Udayasthamana Pooja we attended was also our completion of what she did all those years ago.
The Pooja starts off at 2.30 AM in the morning and go on till 11.30 PM in the evening. We were very fortunate that our friends, Hari and Neeraja, Jayant and Roopal, and Lakshmi’s cousins, Karthik and Pooja attended with their son, Karan. We had the opportunity to meet the Mel Shanti or Chief Priest of the temple and seek his blessings. Given the rush at the temple these days, we were fortunate to get a ringside view of all the Poojas as well get very close to the Seeveli functions when the idol of Guruvayurappan is taken around the temple. Rohit has been making it a point to attend the Seeveli and if possible, the Krishnattam Kali every time he is at the temple. He did that the day before and after the Pooja.
We also got to spend some time with my cousins Sreekumar and Vivek and their wives, Sandhya and Vinitha before and after the day of the Pooja.
We decided to pause our Peninsula Tour for a brief period. We are headed back to Mumbai for a short period as we address a matter that needs our attention. Jayant and Roopal, who have been with us from Wayanad have continued on to Thattekad, Varkala and Thiruvanthapuram and Lakshmi’s cousins, Ravi and Malini, who were to join us from Thiruvanthapuram to Madurai have also planned to continue with their plans.
A big thank you to all of you for following us on this platform and for your encouragement as we have undertaken this journey. Lakshmi and I have enjoyed this so much that we are itching to restart our journey.
As we head back, we have already started replanning the second phase of the trip and the direction we will head when we recommence.
6 thoughts on “The Peninsula Tour – Guruvayur”
Nice, informative and brief description about Guruvayoor. Now that West coast is complete, wishing you all, a great East coast trip as part of the second leg of the Peninsula trip.
Thanks! West coast is not complete. We may do it at the end of our second phase.
A good and brief flashback of your Guruvayur Days!!!! Glad to know about the Puja….. Looking forward to more travel experiences….
It was indeed a great time together and bring a part of the Pooja was Guruvayur Appan blessings to have had Darshan of the lord at such close quarters. It was a pleasure to have met Jayant and Roopal , Hari and Neerja and Rohit and Advait his son.
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So beautiful and humble way of storytelling.. really makes an impact on the reader. Please continue to share more of your travel memories.
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Thanks, Satish! We will resume once the we restart our journey.