Guruvayur temple is considered by devotees as the abode of Lord Vishnu on earth (Bhoomi Vaikundam). The form of Divine idol here (Guruvayurappan) is the one which was revealed to Vasudeva and Devaki, during birth of Krishna. The beautiful idol of Vishnu in this temple is shown wearing Tulasi garland and his divine arms holding Pancahjanya (Conch), Sudarshana Chakra, Kaumodaki (mace) and lotus. However, the Meshanti (Chief Priest) and other priests create various different magnificent forms of the divine every day using sandlewood, decorations and ornaments. Devotees at large prefer to visualize the deity as Krishna in his childhood (Balakrishna).
According to legends, The idol of Guruvayurappan, made of sacred Paathalanjanna Sila, was originally handed over by Vishnu to Brahma. Brahma gave this idol to his ardent worshiper King Suthapas and his wife who, in their third re-birth, were Vasudeva and Devaki, the actual parents of Lord Krishna. Krishna installed the idol in Dwaraka. When Dwaraka was destroyed by a deluge, Guru and Vayu took the idol and with the help of Parashurama spotted a place near a pond Rudrateertham where presence of Lord Shiva and Parvati was there. The Guruvayur temple pond is considered as the Rudrateertham and Lord Shiva is still present at nearby Mammiyur temple in Guruvayur.
The puja and offerings of Guruvayur temple is done strictly according to the vedic traditions as laid down by Adi Shankara and recorded by Chennas Narayanan Nambodiri nearly six centuries ago. Chennas Namboodiris continue to be the hereditary tantries of Guruvayur temple.
Other deities (Up Devatas) in the temple are Ganapathy, Dharma Shastha and Edatharikathu Kavu Bhagavathy. The Goddess Bhagavathi has no roof over her head as the deity is considered to be Vana Durga.
Guruvayurappan is always a part of almost every Malayali Hindu household. You will invariably find the above image worshiped in their houses all over the world. They turn to Guruvayurappan in their happiness and sorrow as they consider him as a family member. Devotees from neighboring states Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra also throng Guruvayur.