Kerala Pilgrimage Centers

Kerala has a mixed population of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jews. All these religions have important shrines and places of pilgrimage in Kerala. Some of the important pilgrimage centers in Kerala, India are:

Guruvayoor Temple:
Located in Trissur district of Kerala, Guruvayoor is Kerala's best-known temple and is the center of the worship of Lord Krishna, in Kerala. Known for its distinctive Kerala Temple architecture, popular rituals carried out by pilgrims at Guruvayoor include weighing children against fruit, jaggery or rice and offering the resulting quantity to the temple.

This shrine in Kerala's hill district is dedicated to the deity Ayyapan, a synthesis of Vishnu and Krishna. Kerala's most popular pilgrimage destination, the sabarimala pilgrimage attracts devotees from across South India. Pilgrims wear black clothes and observe a strict period of fasting and abstinence before they make the trip to the temple. On an auspicious day during the pilgrimage, a light (Makara villaku) is seen on an adjacent hill, signifying the presence of Ayyappan. Young girls and elderly women also make the journey to this holy pilgrimage destination in Kerala.

Padmanabhaswamy Temple:
This temple with Lord Vishnu (Padmanabha) as its principal deity, is located in Thiruvananthapuram. It is known for its architectural excellence. The erstwhile Maharajas of Travancore offered prayers at this splendidly carved temple.

Vaikom Temple:
A historically significant temple in Kerala, it was here that people of the so-called lower castes challenged Hindu orthodoxy that prevented them from entering temples, by entering the Vaikom temple to offer prayers, in 1928 after the intervention of Mahatma Gandhi.

Thiruvegappura Sankaranarayana Temple:
Situated in Palakkad district, this temple, which was built in the 14th century, has three shrines. The circular shrine is dedicated to Shiva, the dome-shaped shrine is dedicated to Shakaranarayana and the square shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Vadakunnanthan Temple:
Located in Trissur district, this is the venue of an annual temple festival. In this grand event, two rows of magnificently decorated tuskers, stand facing each other, while drummers beat out a traditional rhythm and representatives of the temples raise colored parasols over the elephants, bearing the images of the deities of neighboring temples. It is both an intense religious event and a colorful tourist attraction in Kerala that concludes with a grand display of fireworks.

The temple at Varkala, which is also known for its beautiful beach, is an important pilgrimage destination in Kerala. Devotees come to visit the shrine of the social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, who brought about the unrestricted entry of all castes to all temples in Kerala.

St Francis Church:
This historic church in Cochin was built by the Portuguese in 1510. It was here that the body of the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, who opened the sea route from Europe to India, was placed before being taken back to Portugal.

Thrissur Pooram Festival
Kerala Holiday Reservation
Kerala Cultural Tour
Traveling in Kerala

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