The Guruvayurappan Temple is one of the popular and most visited temples of South India and is the main attraction of the temple town of Guruvayur. It is located at a distance of 30 km northwest of Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala. The temple enshrines Bal Gopalan, the childhood avatar of Lord Krishna and the idol is considered some 5000 years old. The temple houses other shrines that are dedicated to Sastha (Ayyappa), Ganesha and Bhagavati. The temple complex dates back to 10th century. The walls of the sanctorum contain a number of images and mural paintings, which depict the childhood of Lord Krishna known as Krishnaleelakal. The popular folk art called Krishnattam also took birth at this place. The temple is an ideal place for weddings and choroonu, the first time meal to child. Presently, the temple looks after 10 other temples that are situated in and around Guruvayur. Everyday, the temple attracts a large number of devotees and only Hindu devotees are allowed in this temple. The temple organises the Shiveli procession that is accompanied by elephants carrying the idol of Lord Krishna on their backs. The temple is also believed to be the residence of famous poets like Poonthanam and Melpathur, who wrote devotional poems dedicated to Guruvayuirappan.