How to reach Guruvayur
Guruvayur is 95 KM by road from Kochi by National Highway 66. You can travel by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) which operates several buses from Kochi to Guruvayur. Taxi charges from Kochi would be nearly Rs 2500. The drive would take less than 3 hours normally. Guruvayur is well connected by road to Coimbatore (4 hours) and Calicut (3 hours).
Guruvayur is connected by rail and some local passenger trains are operating from Ernakulam Junction. An overnight express also connects Guruvayur from Chennai. However, for a long distance traveler, Thrissur ( 30 KM) railway station is preferable as it is connected by direct trains from from all major cities in India. Buses and Taxis ply quite frequently between Thrissur and Guruvayur.
The nearest Airport is the Cochin International Airport at a distance of 87 KM ( 2 hours 30 minutes). Other Airport near Guruvayur is Calicut International Airport, Karipur. (100km).
Dress Code, Temple Customs and other Important Facts
Since Guruvayur temple adheres to very orthodox traditions and customs, it is important that you are aware of these matters concerning entering and conduct inside the temple.
1. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple.
2. Devotees are expected to enter the temple after taking a bath and wearing clean cloths.
3. There is strict Dress code for entering Guruvayur temple.
4. Men are required to wear white or saffron Dhoti (Mundu). Except for this and lower underwear they are not allowed to wear anything. However, they can cover their upper body with which white cloth called Veshti. There is no ban on taking off your shirt and carrying it on your arms or shoulder! Wearing Bermudas, pyjamas, colorful lungis, pants, jeans and other such dresses are totally banned for men. However children are allowed to wear shorts but without covering their upper body.
5. The rules are relaxed these days for women. They can wear saries, mundu, blouses, long skirts and Shalwar Kameez. However, women are not allowed to wear pants, jeans, western cloths or short dresses.
6. Women devotees usually avoid entering the temple during periods.
7. Take adequate precautions while taking small babies inside the temple so that urine or stool do not drip inside the temple. This can lead to expensive cleaning rituals.
8.. Mobiles and and remote car keys are not allowed inside the temple. Except for small purses and lady's handbags, not bags are allowed inside the temple. These can be deposited at Cloak Rooms outside the temple. You cannot also wear any type of footwear inside the temple.
9. Unless you are a VIP, it may take waiting in a queue for an average of two hours before entering the temple. However, benches are provided for you to sit while you are waiting for your turn.
10. Senior citizens and ladies are allowed inside temple in separate queues between certain timings during normal days, which can be ascertained from the temple. The queue for senior citizens and women are inside the outer enclosure.
11. Queues are meant for those who want to enter the inner sanctum of the temple. You can enter the outer enclosure of the temple through the Western entrance and also the entrance near Bhagavathy temple.
How to avoid the long queue
Special Darshan Facilities: You can avoid the long queue to enter the inner sanctum by buying a ticket for Neyvilakku offering for Rs. 1000. This will will help you to enter the sanctum directly. Also, if you purchase a Neivilakku offering ticket for Rs. 4000, you can directly enter the inner temple with another four persons. For buying the Neivilakku offering tickets, you have to enter the outer temple through the western entrance of the entrance near the Bhagavathi temple