Guruvayur temple is a
typical example for Kerala's temple Vastuvidya (ancient treatises on
architecture). It is faced towards the East with two Gopurams, one at East
(Kizhakkenada) and other at West (Padinjarenada).
The entire area between these Gopurams is roofed with
tiles and known as Anapanthal. At the centre of this is a square shaped
pillared hall called Nalambalam, the outer wall of which is fixed
with a gallery of oil lamps. At the south side of the Nalambalam, there is
a sub shrine of Sasta or Lord Ayyappan.
At the north-east side of this shrine is the
Koothambalam , where, in olden times, dance performances were held. In
the front and the east side of Nalambalam , the Belikkal and
Deepastambas - Pillar of lights are located. There are a number of
such light pillars in the temple. The Deepastambas ,at each Gopurams ,are
of special interest.
The eastern side Deepastambam is 24 feet in height and
has thirteen circular receptacles to hold the wicks. Of the other two at
West Gopuram, one is in the shape of a tree. Dwijasthamba - It is a
flag-staff ,around 70 feet height, fully covered with gold.
The square shaped Sree Kovil has two stairs and three
rooms inside. The inner most room is known as Garbhagriha (The idol
of Lord Krishna is placed here). Here, the two doors and the roof are
covered by Gold. All the articles inside the Garbhagriha are in Gold.
The outer room is called Mukhamandapam. The wall
of Sree Kovil is decorated with ancient (17th century) murals. In front of
the Sree Kovil is the Namaskara Mandapam, square in shape and with a
pyramidal roof. Surrounding this is a pillared square hall called
Nalambalam or Chuttambalam. A gallery of oil lamps is fixed on the wall of
Nalambalam. In the north-eastern side of the Sree Kovil is the temple well
called Manikinar. In the North side of the temple, a sub shrine of Devi,
'Edathirithi Kavu' is situated.
The Oottupura, the place for prasadauttu is also
located in the north side Here, the daily lunch is arranged for the
devotees .Next to it is the temple tank Rudratheertha which is
located near the north side of the temple.