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PM Modi offers prayer at Guruvayur temple, says Kerala as dear as Varanasi

FE Online
Modi Guruvayur, Modi Kerala, Modi Guruvayur temple visit

Modi at Guruvayur temple: Dressed in ethnic Mundu (dhoti), Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at the famous Lord Krishna temple in Kerala’s Guruvaur on Saturday. Modi’s visit to the Hindu shrine is his first temple visit since taking charge of the Prime Minister’s Office for the second term. The PM is scheduled to depart for a tour of Maldives and Sri Lanka from Kerala later in the day.

“The Guruvayur Temple is divine and magnificent. Prayed at this iconic Temple for the progress and prosperity of India,” PM Modi tweeted shortly after his temple visit.

During his hour-long visit to the Guruvayur temple, which is considered to be the Dwarka of South, PM Modi also participated in the ‘Tula Bharam’ ritual.

Addressing a public gathering after the temple visit, PM Modi said it was a blessing to be in Kerala. In an apparent attempt to establish a connect with the people of the southern state where the BJP failed to win even a single seat in the Lok Sabha election 2019, PM Modi said,”Kerala is as dear to me as Varanasi. Some political pundits are wondering that BJP could not open its account in Kerala but Modi is visiting the state to thank people. This is our culture, our thinking.”

“We believe that elections have a place of their own but after elections the more important responsibility is towards the 130 crore citizens. Those who made us win are ours, those who didn’t vote for us are also ours,” he added.

Modi arrived in Kochi late on Friday night and was received at the naval airport by Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan and state Devaswam Minister Kadakampally Surendran.

All About Guruvayur Temple

The Guruvayur temple is one of Kerala’s most prominent shrines, which the temple website indicates is more than five thousand years old although there are no historical records maintained to show this. Back in the 14th century, Tamil literature references such as ‘Kokasandesam’ contains references to ‘Kuruvyaur’ has been made. The early 16th century has witnessed many references to ‘Kuruvayur’. Note that this marks the era when the iconic Bhakti work ‘Narayaneeyam’ was composed in Malayalam in poetical praise of Lord Krishna.

However, according to Professor V K Krishna Iyer, a noted historian in Kerala, the temple of Guruvayur may have come into existence before 52 AD. The story of a Pandyan King who built a shrine at this place may perhaps be linked to the Azhavars although they maintain a stoic silence with regard to the Guruvayur temple.

The deity of Lord Krishna at Guruvayur shot into fame when Melpathur’s Narayaneeyam showcased ‘Unni Krishna’ – the concept of a mischievous child deity and the miracles associated with His childhood food. Thus, devotees flocked out of love for the child-form of Lord Krishna, as a result of which people from all walks of life in Kerala throng the temple for darshan of the ‘child’ form of the deity.

Be it Carnatic or popular music, poetry, mainstream cinema and even politics, Lord Krishna of Guruvayur towers across the state as a unifying force, celebrated and respected by all across Kerala.