Guruvayoor is a temple town in Kerala located 150 kms from Coimbatore. The temple of Lord Krishna gets its name from Guru ( Brihaspathy) & Vayu (wind) who, in search of a holy place to instal Narayana, came to Rudratheertha in Kerala where Siva was doing penance.Siva came out of penance & told Guru & Vayu that this place had been identified long ago for installation of the divine idol of Narayana. Thus the idol was installed there in the presence of Parasurama and from then on got the name of Guruvayoor.
We reached the Radhe Madhavam Hall in Krishna Inn at 10 am on 17th morning. We were greeted by Puj dressed in a sleek dark suit and beaming smile. Puj, a Dy.Director in Al Mulla Group, has largely remained unchanged since IIT days except for the addition of a few pounds around the middle and slight greying of the otherwise fairly intact jet black hair. We were introduced to the rest of the charming Pujari family - wife Rashmi, daughters Shivani (married & based in DC), Nupur (works for Cisco in San Hose), Naina (soon to join Carnegie Melon) and sons Raghav ( in a markeing job in US) & the youngest Gaurav.
Soon Shuroma (the bride) and Arun made their appearance and the Barat moved on foot from Krishna Inn to the Temple Kalyana Mandap (a distance of 100 yds) where a quick Kerala style wedding ceremony was conducted - a 10 minute affair which included exchange of garlands & tying of thali (mangalsutra.) After the wedding the couple offered prayers to Guruvayoorappan(the deity) and then the Barat returned to Krishna Inn.
Shuroma and Arun were married again in a more elaborate ceremony by an ISKCON priest from Mayapur. The priest ( from New Zealand) had come to India as a young boy and got initiated by ISKCON into the Hindu way of life. The bride took saat pheras around the bridegroom. The couple then took saat pheras around Agni followed by exchange of garlands and offering of grains to Agni expertly supported by chanting of mantras by the priest. Puj and Rashmi gave away the beautiful & radiant bride to the smart & handsome groom Arun. The bridegrooms parents offered clothes & jewellery to the bride in acceptance into their family and agreeing to offer her protection and love. Also present was an African priest (from Ghana) who played the harmonium and melodiously sang Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
Shuroma & Arun are now part of the Iskcon movement and plan to settle down in Mayapur to do service. By qualification Shuroma is a doctor and Arun an Astro Physicist.
The elaborate wedding concluded around 2.30 pm after which the couple received blessings from all elders in the family. This was followed by a delicious lunch comprising Chinese, N.Indian & Kerala cuisines.
Krishna Inn is strongly recommended for any one planning to visit Guruvayoor.