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Importance of Guruvayur Ekadasi

The Shuklapaksha Ekadasi falling in the Malayalam month Vrishchikam (November – December) is of great importance at the Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple in Kerala. Lord Guruvayurappan is the owner of the largest number of elephants in India and on the Ekadasi day there are special elephant processions. In 2017, Guruvayur Ekadasi is on November 30.

Ekadasi Vilakku (lamps) is an important ritual associated with Guruvayur Ekadasi and it starts a month before the Ekadasi day. Devotees, organizations, companies, banks and families offer Ekadasi Vilakku as offering in this month.

Interestingly, on the Shuklapaksha Dasami and Shuklapaksha Ekadasi days in the Vrishchikam month the temple remains open throughout. Dasami is the day before Ekadasi. The temple only closes at 0900 hrs on Dwadasi day, the day after Ekadasi.

Also on the Dwadasi day there is a unique custom of offering Dwadasi Panam in the Koothambalam. The Dwadasi Panam is a token amount of money and it is considered highly auspicious.
On the Dasami day, the leader of the elephants at Punnathur Kotta of the Guruvayur Temple places a garland at the statue of Guruvayur Kesavan and other elephants lineup before the statue. Guruvayur Kesavan was the most famous elephant in Kerala and he died on a Guruvayur Ekadesi Day.

On the Ekadasi day, there is a grant elephant procession to the Parthasarathi temple. On the same day at night, there is another elephant procession.