GR Travels

Vishnu Temple

Deva rishi Naradhar went towards Sri Vaikundam to get the dharshan of Sriman Narayanan. With the music from his veena (an instrument), he made Sriman Narayanan attract towards him and as a result Sri Vishnu followed him and finally reached Sathya Lokam, where Lord Brahma resides. As he saw Sri Vishnu there, he went towards him to fell on his feet. Realising the situation that he had come to Sathya Lokam, Sri Vishnu vanished from that place without noticing Lord Brahma near his feet. For other Devars, it seemed as if Lord Brahma is falling towards the feet of Naradhar and all of them laughed at the action of Brahma Devan. Because of this Brahma devar got angry on the Devars and gave them the sabham that they all should be born as the Humans in Bhoolokam. After realising the mistake, all the Devars seeked for Sabha Vimocchanam for which Brahma Devar said that they all should perform Tapas towards Sri Janarthana Perumal Varkala. But, the Devars questioned where was that sthalam in Bhoolokam Brahma Devars answered that the Vastram (Varkala) of Naradhar will fall towards Bhoolokam and the place where it falls in the place Varkala. As said by Brahma Devars, the Vastram of Naradhar fell towards the Bhoolokam and that is the place, which is popularly called as Varkala . And finally all the Devars performed tapas in this sthalam and got the Sabha Vimocchanam.The Upanishads greatly says that Suryan and Chandran are the two eyes of Sriman Narayanan. And to confirm this, the Perumal of this sthalam, Sri Janarthanan is found to be so beautiful. The beautiful eyes reflect the brightness of sun and the moon. The smile in his face, the Kreedam and the Thiru Maarbhu the beauty is unexplainable. Another speciality of this Perumal and the sthalam is the Perumal accepts the Pithru Karmas that are done in this sthalam and he gives them to the respective pithrus thereby making them to bless us. Not only the pithrus are satisfied but also the Perumal gets satisfied and blesses us.      Book Now



Anjengo Fort

Anchuthengu, formerly known as Anjengo, is a place situated about 12 km from Varkala en route to Kadakkavur. It is another coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram District and is known as an old colonial settlement. The island is very small in area, sandwitched between the sea and backwaters, but it has high relevance in the history of India, with various colonial powers the Portuguese, Dutch and the English tried to occupy the place. The major landmark at Anchuthengu is Anjengo Fort, which is situated between the sea and backwaters. Travellers can also see some ancient tombstones and a garden on the fort premises.Anchuthengu, literally means five coconut trees, and as the name indicates the whole land is cultivated with coconut trees. Some historians are of the view that the name was derived from Anjingal, which was the original Tamil name of the place. The British mispronounced it as Anjengo and the later generations of the local residents started to refer to this place as Anchuthengu.Anchuthengu has great relevance in the history. It was the first trade settlement of the East India Company. The Queen of Attingal gave permission to the British under the East India Company to make a factory in Anchuthengu in 1684. They also got a permission to build a fort in 1690 and the Anjengo Fort was built in 1695. The settlement in Anchuthengu helped the Company promote its trade with various countries, as the place supported water way communication to the North. They also opened a depot to keep the military equipment at Anchuthengu. In short, this small island soon became one of the major trading platforms of the British in India, after Mumbai. There was local unrest against the British in 1697 and the natives attacked the British factory at Anchuthengu, but it was a minor unrest and could create no major ripples in the political equation of the country. But the Attingal rebellion of 1721 has some historical significance.       Book Now



Janardhanaswamy Temple

One of the ancient temples in Kerala, the Janardhana temple is a major pilgrim spot in Varkala. The temple, which has a history of some 2000 years, is located on a steep hill, at the entrance of the beach road. Varkala Janrdhanaswami Temple is popular not only as a pilgrim centre but it also allures everyone with its architectural splendour. The temple faces Papanasam beach and the proximity to the sea adds to its spiritual as well as aesthetic aura. A flight of broad steps lead to the Janardhana temple and on the way, you will be greeted by a high entrance arch with tiled roof. An old banyan tree stands on the temple ground and idols of several serpent gods and goddesses are also installed here.Brightly painted idols of Hanuman, Garuda, Lord Shiva and others greet you once you are about to enter the sanctorum. The main shrine Lord Janardhana (Vishnu) has four arms in which are placed shanghu (the holy conch shell) chakra (wheel), gada (mace) and kumbham (pot). The temple has many attractive features and it has a circular sanctum sanctorum surmounted by a conical dome of copper sheets. The mandapa or pavilion is square in shape and it has wooden carvings of Navagrahas (nine planets) on the ceiling.      Book Now



Ponnumthuruthu

Ponnumthuruthu is an island which is situated about 12km south of Varkala. You can board a country boat from Nedunganda and take a tour through the backwaters for about 30 minutes to reach Ponnumthuruthu. Ponnumthuruthu, the name literally means Golden Island. Legends say that the queens of Travancore Royal Family used to hide their cache of gold and ornaments on the island in order to keep it safe and hence it obtained the name, Ponnumthuruthu. This lush island is a perfect getaway for those who seek a break from the hustle and bustle of the urban life. This island is known for the Shiva Parvathi temple, which is also called `Thuruthu kshethram by the natives. The temple is situated amidst thick coconut groves, which has grown over the entire stretch. The temple is more than 100 years old and the entire island is temple property. The temple was in ruins for a long time but about a decade ago, it was rebuilt. Valiyapurackal family owns the island and the temple. The island is a must see, thanks to the enchanting ambience. Even the jetty at Nedunganda village from where the journey to Ponnumthuruthu starts is peculiar. It is a makeshift jetty and the walkway to the ferry is made up of coconut husk, mud and the waste from coir. A view of the island from the ferry during evening will surely soothe any nature lovers mind. The greenery of the island will have a distinctive glow when the evening rays of the sun caress it. The island is also a haven of different types of flora and fauna.       Book Now



Sivagiri Mutt

Varkala 50 KMS North of Trivandrum, which was popularly known as Dhakshina Kasi is a famous holy place from Centuries ago. Sree Narayana Guru was attracted to this place not only because of its natural beauty and serene surroundings, but was also due to its geographical nature of hill tops and valleys. During the year 1903 Guru used to come to Varkala regularly and rest here in search of Truth. In the beginning he sat near a jack tree. Later Guru made a temporary Parnasala and stayed there. On its south side, there was a no mans land hill, Guru managed to get it registered in his name and established his Asramom on the top of the hill and reside there. The place became known as Sivagiri from then onwards. Sivagiri today has become one of the most sacred centres of pilgrimage for the people from all walks of life irrespective of caste, creed, religion or language. Gandhiji came here thrice - while Swamiji was alive, Gandhiji came to Sivagiri on 12/3/1925 and stayed a day in the Asramom, and twice after Swamijis Samadhi. Acharya Vinobabhave visited Sivagiri in 1925 and he proclaimed later that the Guru is an Avathar. Sree Narayana Guru is considered as one of the avathars that have appeared in India during the last 100 years.      Book Now



Varkala Beach

Location: 51 km north of Thiruvananthapuram city in Thiruvananthapuram district and 37 km south of Kollam, south Kerala. Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000 year old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach. The Papanasam beach (also called as Varkala beach), which is ten kilometers away from Varkala, is renowned for the natural spring. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name Papanasam beach. A two thousand year old shrine the Janardhanaswamy Temple, a short distance away from the beach. The Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great Hindu reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 1928) is also close by. The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days 30th December to 1st January. Sree Narayana Guru propagated the ideology: one caste, one religion and one god, in a society torn by the taboos of caste system. Varkala offers excellent accommodation facilities for tourists and is fast becoming a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centres. Attractions: Beach, mineral water springs, the Sivagiri Mutt and a 2000 year old Vishnu Temple.      Book Now


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