Punarjani Guha – a 150 meter long tunnel situated about 2 kilometers away from the main temple. This cave is very popular among devotees. People visit here all year round, however, they are allowed to enter this cave only on the Guruvayoor Ekadashi day, which happens once a year. Sadly, I couldn’t take any picture of this place & around. In fact, I couldn’t take many pictures of this temple & its surrounding area as I didn’t have enough time here & had to reach my destination before evening.
“The Vrishchika Ekadasi (Sukla paksha) is called as Guruvayur Ekadasi in Guruvayur, Kerala. On Guruvayur Ekadasi memorial honour is done for Gajarajan Guruvayoor Kesavan and the Chembai Sangeetholsavam. The Karanavar or head of the elephant family places a wreath at the statue of Kesavan in front of Sreevalsam guest house and all the other elephants stand around and pay obeisance.”
Apart from the ‘poojas’ that happen here in this temple, there is this fun tradition that people follow & it is known as Nangiarkoothu. It is a performance of Pauranic stories done in a systematic manner using appropriate actions & humor by a Chakyar (an intermediate priestly caste of Hindus) women. This event begins seven days before the Ekadashi & is indeed a rare kind of entertainment. The pooja on the Ekadashi night is believed to be performed by divine beings. Hence, the priests keep one part of area open for them to enter. And, people truly believe & have experienced an unusual gathering of people around that place on Ekadashi night, which is not generally seen on any other day. Strange!!!!
Another strange thing found here is that this temple has no well and the water has to be taken from the nearby tank constructed especially to meet the water needs of the temple. They take every measure possible to keep it clean. In case, sometimes, the water gets little impure, they bring it from the nearby river Nila with an entourage playing musical instruments. But sadly, this important & great river called lifeline of the Palakkad, Thrissur and Malappuram districts – that inspired so many writers, film-makers, and many other local people of Kerala - is drying up fast due to pollution. Here’s is a picture – which is not mine – that shows the sad state this river is in now.