|Janardhana Swamy temple, varkala. varkalatemple.org|
Janardhana Swami Temple, also known as Varkala Temple is a famous Hindu place of worship dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is about 25 km north of the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram and is just 11 km from Kattambalam.
01. It's location - Varkala near the sea-side gives an extra boost to the pilgrims coming to this temple. The sea side town also goes by the name of Janardhanapuram.
02. Atop a small hill, overlooking the Arabian sea, this beautiful temple can be accessed through an arduous flight of steps. You can have a panoramic view of the picturesque surroundings. here you can forget the mundane existence and let you mind slip into a relaxing mode.
03. It is called the Gaya of the South (Dakshin Gaya) as this temple is popular for Pithrookaryam - the annual paying of homage or obeisance to the forefathers. This tradition is common among Hindus irrespective of casts. Men come over to this place and do Thithi in memory of their departed souls. This ought to be done with a leaned Pundit.
04. Hence lord Janardhana is called Pithru Mokshakan (one who gives salvation) as lots of Hindus come here on a pilgrimage to conduct annual Pithrukarkayam so that they may be from the cycle of birth and death - salvation from human bondage.
05. A note-worthy aspect of this temple is its sanctum (Srikovil /garbagraha) which is circular in shape surmounted by a conical dome which is laid with copper sheets.
06. In the Srikovil of the main shrine is the idol of Sri. Janardhana along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. The impressive deity - lord Vishnu (facing East direction) has all his attributes; he has four arms, each carrying Sangu (conch), chakra (mystical, destructive disc), gatha (mace) and kumbham (pot).
07. An unusual posture of the presiding deity here is not found anywhere. It is quite mystical as lord's right hand is raised toward his mouth as if he is doing Achamanam (a basic ritual done initially by Brahmins to begin any ceremony).
08. As for the Achamanam posture of the lord here, the learned Pundits say that if lord's right hand gets closer to the mouth it will mark the end of the world. Cataclysmic forces will devour the earth, a sort of deluge - transgression of the sea, etc (Pralayam).
09. This temple is believed to be around 2000 years old. Umayamma Rani, who ruled this region during 1677-84 A.D made some modification and embellished this temple. This temple in the square mandapa around the sanctum has fine wooden carvings of Navagraha (nine planets) on the roof.
10. The temple is said to have been built by Devas (Celestial) and the Pond was dug by Prajapathis according to Sthalapurana.
11. The most celebrated annual temple festival at the Janardana temple, falls in the month of Meenam (March–April), a ten-day Arattu festival which is held with great fanfare. Beginning with Kodiyettam - flag hoisting ceremony, part of the festival includes caparisoned elephant procession, night long performance of traditional dances like Kathakal, etc.
12. Those who look for mental peace and tranquillity, besides spiritual exhilaration, Varkala is the right place. It offers an enchanting sea-view over-looking the Arabian sea that will rejuvenate your mind. This place is connected by backwater canals on either side of which lie tall rock cliffs with thick growth of medicinal plants. The presence of natural springs is the main reason for their luxuriant growth here. The gush of water throughout the year from the springs is an added advantage. The water is believed to have medicinal properties which cure certain ailments. So, visitors never fail to take a head bath here . This place has emerged as an important Ayuveda center in kerala.
Dolls and an old tree:
|old tree at varkala temple, Kerala,TripAdvisor|
|Dolls at the varkala temple. www.alamy.com|
|Dolls at the temple.www.alamy.com|
|hand-made dolls. www.alamy.com|