Sivagiri Mutt is an important pilgrim center in Kerala located in Varkala, a quiet coastal town. It is among the most-sought after pilgrim centers in the state. Initiated by the great Sree Narayana Guru, this sacred place is nearly 3 kilometers away from Varkala Town. This is the place where Guru was enlightened. His Samadhi is also situated here. Gurudev has a lot of followers and they visit Sivagiri Mutt in order to pay homage to this illustrious social reformer and his wisdom and teachings.
A Great Social Reformer
Sree Narayana Guru was a spiritual giant and social reformer in Kerala. He worked for the benefit of people belong the lower caste and encouraged equality among fellow human beings. He believed and spread “One Caste, One Religion, One God”. Guru constructed Sivagiri Mutt in 1904. He also envisaged a temple in 1912 for Goddess Saraswati and dedicated to her at the mutt. This shrine is very popular and unique in many ways. This great Hindu saint also established several temples after that in different areas of South India and even in Sri Lanka.
Varkala – A Peaceful Coastal Town Known For Spirituality
Set at a serene and peaceful coastal town known not only for Sun, sea, surf, sand, but also for spirituality, visiting Sivigiri Mutt is an uplifting experience. Initiated and created by Sree Narayana Guru, it is also for the headquarters of the ‘Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham’, a social organization. This is the place where Guru got his salvation. Varkala is also a famous beach destination that draws many tourists. People who visit this destination do not forget to visit this sacred shrine. It spreads out the joy of spiritual contentment. Sivagiri Mutt certainly soothes the soul of visitors with its immense bliss.
The followers of Sree Narayana Guru celebrate his birthday, Guru Deva Jayanthi and his Samadhi fervently each year in the months of August and September respectively. These celebrations are very colorful with several programs such as cultural shows, vibrant processions, debates, seminars and group weddings. Sivagiri Mutt is open throughout the year but the pilgrim period to this shrine runs from 30th December to 1st January every year. Many devotees visit this pilgrim center during this time in order to pay homage to the Guru and pray to him.
Sree Narayana Guru himself designed the Sivagiri Mutt which has unique octagonal shape. This design has a futuristic approach that each visitor should admire. Varkala is a beach destination blessed with calm and serene atmosphere. The tourism industry of the state has understood the possibilities of this place. So, they provide all the facilities to attract tourists to this beach destination. Varkala is a popular pilgrim center in the state. Besides, there are many good Ayurvedic spas and resort in this region. It is an ideal place for travelers who refresh and rejuvenate their body and soul.
Varkala is the nearest railway station to Sivagiri Mutt which is almost 3 kilometers away. Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the nearest airport which is about 51 kilometers from this shrine. Experience the spiritual bliss by visiting the Sivagiri Mutt during your beach holidays in Varkala.
Janardhana Swamy Temple at Varkala is a 2000-year old ancient shrine located in Varkala famous for its peaceful atmosphere and architectural marvel. This is one of the most popular pilgrim centers in this beach destination. Overlooking the well known Papanasam Beach, this shrine draws plenty of pilgrims and tourists because of its aesthetic appearance. Besides, it is close to some of the beaches in Varkala. All these special features make it one of the most-visited places in this destination. Plan your trip to Janardhana Swamy Temple through us. Log on our website www.kochitaxi.in today and get more information about this sacred shrine.
An Ancient Temple
Janardhana Swamy Temple, also known as the Varkala temple is a 2000-year old temple located on a steep hill at the entrance of a lovely beach. It is on the NH47 near sea and about 25 kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. A lot of devotees visit this temple every day in order to offer prayers to Lord Vishnu, the main idol of the temple. Lord Vishnu is in his Janardhana form in this temple. Nestled near the Arabian Sea, this temple is often referred as the Dakshin Kashi. So, it is considered as the Benares of the South.
The main idol of this temple is Lord Janardhana with four arms. Besides, this shrine has several beautifully painted idols of different Hindu gods such as Lord Shiva, Garuda and Hanuman. Most of them placed at the entrance of the sanctorum as if they greet the worshippers. An ancient bell removed from a Dutch Ship is certainly a great feature of this temple. This ship sank near the Janardhana Swamy Temple at Varkala and the captain donated this bell to the temple. The crews in the ship could escape without any causalities and the captain donated it to the temple as a token of his gratitude.
An Architectural Grandeur
Janardhana Swamy temple draws plenty of tourists because of its outstanding architectural charm. At the pavilion, there are several wooden carvings of nine planets. A bali Peetha is also placed in the hall of the temple. The high entrance arch is another great feature of this temple which is decorated with tiled roof.
This temple has tall granite posts and large brass bells which certainly catch the attention of people who visit it. The original date of construction of this shrine is not known but the inscriptions available here indicate that several renovations had been carried for it at different time of the history. You can also see a pool on the northern part of Janardhana Swamy temple called ‘Chakra Theertha’ with nearly 240 feet in circumference.
The main attraction of this temple is its proximity to the sacred Papanasam Beach. The water in this beach destination is known for its medicinal properties. The water that washes the medicinal plants in this region makes the water unique with outstanding medicinal properties. This temple is also a major Ayurvedic rejuvenation and treatment center in Varkala.
Many people from different parts of Kerala visit this temple during the Arattu, the festival of Janardhana Swamy Temple at Varkala. It falls in the month of March / April. Karkidaka Vavu day is another great time during which thousands of devotees visit this temple in order performs poojas and pay homage to their ancestors. Varkala Janardhana Swamy temple is a must-visit shrine in Kerala that allures devotees and travelers with its peaceful ambience and eye-catching architecture. Don’t forget to visit this shrine during your trip to the beach destination of Varkala.
Amritapuri is the main Ashram of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, the internationally known spiritual guru. The residence and headquarters of Mata Amritanandamayi is known as Amritapuri. It is also the International Headquarters of Mata Amritanandamayi Math. Amritapuri is situated at Vallikavu in Karunagappally. Amritapuri is one of the campuses in Kerala of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University.
Thousands of devotees came here to seek her for spiritual guidance and consolation. Amritapuri has become one of the international pilgrimage centre of Kerala. Amma’s darshan normally begins at 10.00 am on Sundays and Thursdays, and at noon on other weekdays, barring Mondays and Tuesdays. A typical day at the Amritapuri Ashram begins around 5:00 a.m. The echo of Vedic chants and Amma’s Ashtothram (108 names of Amma) greets everyone in the morning.
Singing of devotional songs and bhajans are followed throughout the day. Once it was a tiny ashram, Amritapuri has now progressed into a sanctuary of sorts for thousands of followers.
Devotees can avail the facilities like bookstall, Ayurvedic products counter, general store, cloakroom service, canteen etc. Accommodation is also available here. Those who are staying at Amritapuri Ashram should maintain the ashram premises properly. Devotees staying or visiting at Ashram,themselves,clean and cook and taking care the activities of ashram.Those staying at ashram should indulge in at least two hours of service.
Amritapuri Ashram is easily accessible by road and rail. Ashram is located in Kollam district which is about 110 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 120 km south of Cochin
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Amritapuri.P.O, Kollam, Kerala, India, 690546.
Phone. +91-476-289-7578, +91-476-289-6399
Oachira Temple is one of the ancient temple in Kerala and situated on the borders of Kollam and Alappuzha districts. Oachira temple has neither a structure to house nor an idol to worship. Oachira is dedicated to the formless, infinite Para Brahmam, the Absolute and Supreme Principle. The annual festival ‘Ochirakali’ and ‘Panthrandu Vilakku’ is held during the first and second of the Malayalam month ‘Mithunam’. Ochirakali commemorates the historic battle between the Chempakasseri and Kayamkulam Rajas. During the festival, men dress up as warriors and enact mock wars wielding wooden sticks, brandishing swords and shields, enacting a kind of martial dance, standing knee deep in water. Two days of this ritual is followed by few days of brisk trading in cattle and agricultural produce, an old tradition now being revived.
The Oachira Temple is peculiar in the terms of it does not have covered structures for temples. People worship the Para Brahma (the original formless power who manifests as the three Supreme forms of God, namely Brahma/Vishnu/Siva) under neatly preserved trees. Millions of pilgrims visit Oachira temple for worshiping especially in the month of July and October.
There are many beliefs exist about the origin of the name of Oachira . The prominent belief is that the place Oachira has its name from Uvachanchira as Uvachan means Lord Shiva. The town of Oachira is located at a distance of 32 km north of Kollam.
Achankovil Temple is in the Kollam district and is in Kerala border. In front of the temple we can see Achancovil river. Achankovil is an important Hindu pilgrim centre and the famous Sastha temple here is situated amidst thick forest. It is very much important among the sastha temples in Kerala. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Ayyappa. It is said that the installation of the idol of Sastha have been installed several centuries before the Christian Era by Lord Parasurama himself. Achencovil temple is almost above 950 meters height from the sea level. The festivals and rituals held here have strong Tamil roots. The left hand of the idol always holds ‘Chandan’ (sandalwood paste) and Thirtha (holy water). The Chandan and Thirtha are considered to have medicinal value to cure snake bites.
Here Lord Ayyappa is in the form of “Grihasthasrami”. Lord is sitting along with his two wives ‘Poorna’ and ‘Pushkkala’. The temple is surrounded by a big wall, it is meant to prevent wild animals entering inside the temple.
The main festivals of this temple are ‘Mandala Pooja’ held during the month of December – January and ‘Revathi’ festival during January – February. The Therotam (chariot festival) and the Pushpabhishekam are the two special features of this festival.
The Manalar Waterfalls and the Kumbhavurutty Waterfalls are along the way to this temple.
How To Reach Temple
There are mainly two roadways to reach the temple.
Punalur – Kumaramkudy – Mullumala route – this road is in bad condition
Punalur – Aryankavu – Chenkottai – Mekkara route – journey through thick forest as well as to cover around 23 hair pin bends.
Attukal Pongala is a ritual celebrated in Attukal Bhagavathy Temple every year. The Pongala Mahotsavam is the most important festival of the Temple. It is 10 days long festival comes to an end with special sacrificial offering namely Kuruthitharpanam at night. On the nineth day of festival, a large no of women from all religions, from within India and abroad gather in and around the temple premises to offer the Pongala which is cooked by themselves. Pongala is made by rice boiled with jaggery, coconut gratings, ghee with other ingredients in open in small earthen pots. On Pongala day, women are only allowed to enter the temple premises. Attukal Pongala is noted for the largest annual gathering of women in a single place on a single day in the world who come here to dedicate the sweet Pongala thus to please goddess. It is also known as Sabarimala of women.
Pongala Mahotsavam, 10 day programme, will start on March 1, Thursday and end on 10:30 AM on March 11. Preparations for the Pongala is going on faster pace in the Attukal temple. This year’s Attukal Pongala offering would be on February 19th ,2011.
Pongala 2018 ritual steps
Muhurtam to light up the fire is by 10.30hrs – afterwards women has to start ritual of cooking Pongala
Pongala offering to goddess by 14.30 hrs -The chief priest (Melsanthi ) will bless the Pongala by holy water (theertam) and flowers ,then it will become Prasadam. After that women can take back the sacred Pongala pots to their home. Attukal Pongala day is a public holiday for Trivandrum.
Last year more than 30 lakhs women participated in the Attukal Pongala festival. Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust and Government will make all arrangements and securities for the success of Attukkal Pongala.
- Temple is 2 km away from Central Railway Station, Trivandrum
- 11 km away from Trivandrum International Airport
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust
P.B.No. 5805. Manacaud P.O., Thiruvananthapuram – 695 009, Kerala, South India
SreePadmanabha Swamy Temple, is considered as an important landmark of Trivandrum city. It is also one of the seven Parasurama temples in Kerala. Main deity is Lord Vishnu in the Anananthasayanam posture. The city derived its name from the deity. Divine Padmanabha Swamy Temple is the one of the oldest one in Kerala and it is famous for its architecture. Any visitor is sure to be stunned by the exquisite workmanship and architectural elegance of this historic creation. The temple was renovated to the present state of grandeur by the King of Travancore, Maharaja Sri Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma in the eighteenth century. The Travancore kingdom was surrendered to Lord Padmanabha and the rulers became “Padmanabha daasas” means servant of Lord Padmanabha, Continued patronage of the royal family has made it possible for this structure to preserve its glory and dignity. Many customs inside the temple resembles to royal rites and traditions! Devotees are not allowed to enter into the inner sanctum when Travancore Royal family visit the temple for idol darshan.
For taking part in darshan and puja, devotees have to climb on a stone slab. Different parts of Vishnu’s idol – the face, the navel and the feet—can be seen from three different door like openings.
Famous festivals of the temple are Alpashi festival and Painkuny festival,both are being celebrated for 10 days.These festivals conclude with Aarat procession in the evening to Shanmugham beach and Travancore King accompanies the procession by foot.
The famous Swathi music festival is held every year during Navaratri festival in the temple. Laksha deepam, a unique festival,once in 6 yrs, celebrates in the temple by lighting up one lakh oil lamps in and around the temple premises. The next laksha deepam will be on January 2020.
Everybody should agree that travelling is an excellent way to refresh your mind and soul. In fact, this activity gives unique experience that nothing else can replace. Many people prefer sacred journeys for getting spiritual benefits. You will be able to enrich your mind and body through a sacred journey. India is such a country that blessed with a lot of temples and holy sites. Rayiranellur in Kerala is one such popular pilgrim center located at Pattambi where thousands of devotees visit to worship the Devi in the Naduvattom temple.
Travelling to Rayiranellur can be a mind-blowing experience because of the beautiful sights on the way. You will definitely love to watch the rich green fields during your trip to this majestic place. A lot of people visit the Naduvattom Devi temple on the first day of ‘Thulam’, one of the Malayalam months. This is the Durga temple where the famous ‘Narayanath Branthan have got blessings. People visit this temple on the first day of Thulam to worship the deity with the belief that Goddess Durga would bless them as well.
In the Malayalam folklore, Naranathu Bhranthan is a popular character with divine powers. He was the son of a famous astrologer in the court of King Vikramaditya named Vararuchi. It was the habit of Naranathu Bhranthan to rolling a large stone up a hill to let it fall down back. Rayiranellur is the charming place where he lived. Once you visit this enchanting tourist destination, you can see a large statue of Naranathu Bhranthan. Many people professed him as mad because of this unusual activities and eccentric behavior. It is believed that he had the vision of Goddess Durga at Rayiranellur Mountain.
Rayiranellur is a good choice for people who search for an outstanding destination that enrich both their soul and eyes. You will be able to go back with a refreshed mind and soul if you visit this scenic holy site in the Palakkad district in Kerala. Each visitor to this destination will truly fall in love with its scenic nature. No doubt, you will get benefited spiritually also by taking a trip to the enchanting destination of Rayiranellur.
Never forget to pay a visit to the Branthachalam Temple during your trip to Rayiranellur Hills which is about 2 kilometers from it. Sprawls more than 3 acres of scenic land, the huge rock at this place has more than 40 feet height. You can see 63 steps carved on it once you reached this large rock. From Palakkad, you need to cover around 55 kilometers to reach Rayiranellur. You can take a bus that goes to Valancheri through Koppam route and alight at the Rayiranellur bus stop to reach this majestic tourist spot. Plan a trip to Rayiranellur to refresh your mind and soul.
Located in the Alappuzha district in Kerala, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple is a well known temple famous for its annual Kumbha Bharani festival. The festival in this temple is very popular and an eye-catching visual cultural display as the Thrissur Pooram. The Kettukazhcha festival of the temple draws a large number of devotees which held in Kumbham, the Malayalam month that usually falls in the English months of February or March.
Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple is almost 1200 years old which is under the managementof the Travancore Devaswom Board. Goddess Bhagavati is the deity in this temple. A rare large oil lamp known as ‘Kuthu vVilakku’ is a special feature of this South Indian temple which can light more than 1000 wicks at a time.
The most important feature of Chettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi temple is that the deity here worshipped in 3 different forms. In the morning, the deity in the temple is Saraswati while it worshipped in the afternoon as Lakshmi Devi. In the evening, the deity in the temple is Bhadrakali Devi. In addition to the main deity, there are several upadevethas or sub deities in this temple such as Ganapathi, Yakshini, Naga Yakshi and Nagarajav.
Kumbha Bharani is the major festival in this temple which is held on the Bharani star of Kumbham, the Malayalam month which usually falls either in the month of February or March. Kuthiyottam and Kettukazhcha are the main attractions of this festival. Kuthiyottam is a procession which begins early morning while Kettukazhcha is performed in the evening.
‘Ethirelpu Ulsavam’ is the annual festival of the temple that lasts for 13 days. This annual festival begins 10 days after the main Kumbha Bharani. Aswathy Ulsavam is also a popular festival of this temple and a large crowd visits the temple to enjoy the festival. This festival of Chettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi temple held in the Malayalam month of Meenam.
Worshippers used to offer grains to goddess and which are later used for preparing prasadams and appms. There will be ‘Bharani Chanda’ in the area which is a part of the mind-blowing annual Kumbha Bharani festival where people can buy so many household items and other things.
A lot of people from different parts of the state visit Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple to worship and get the spontaneous blessings of the Bhagavathy. Kayamkulam and Mavelikkara are the nearest railway stations to reach this temple and both of them are almost 6 kilometers away. The nearest Cochin International Airport is approximately 85 kilometers from Alappuzha to reach this temple.
Vazhaalikkaavu Bhagavathi Kshetram is a very old temple situated in Painkulam Village, Panjal Panchayat of Trichur District. Thrissur is the cultural capital of God’s own country for many reasons. The prime reason being its vast cultural heritage, colourful fairs and many festivals. Vazhalipadam is a notable rural destination situated on the southern bank of the historical and heritage river Bharathapuzha famed as Nila.
History of Vazhalikavu
Kavu meaning sacred grove in Malayalam is a tiny temple commonly seen in village. Vazhalikavu is a grove dedicated to goddess Vazhalikkavilamma this land her abode. Even the goddess is said to have chosen this destination because of its calm environment, abundant natural beauty and presence of the perennial river Nila.
The story about Novormbamma and her acquring the status of daughter of the main deity is quite fascinating. During one of the devastating floods (the latest being the one in Kollavarsham 1092) Vazhalikkavilamma is said to have heard a cry of a baby. Amma jumped into the swollen river and saved the floating child from river Nila. The rescued divine child was Kurumba, occupying the right of the grove. To erase memories of the devastating Bharatapuzha, she made the new found daughter face the west-looking at the panoramic paddy fields, plantations and hills). This new Kurumba, came tobe known as Nava Kurumba Amma or Navormbamma.
Both deities are worshiped in the form of Kaali and thus unlike other Bhadrakali temples this temple has two Velichappads, Chuttambalam and Kodimaram.
The uniqueness of this grove is that unlike other Bhagavathi temples, amma sits facing the north, prefers free air and light and does not like a roof over her. Hence the middle portion of the main sanctum sanctorum occupied by the goddess is like nadumuttam of a Nalukettu without any roof above. Even the main door of Sreekovil has grills to allow free air and flow of air and natural light to the deity.
Vazhalikavu Vela Festival
Vazhalikavu Vela, the most important festival of this grove, is celebrated during the Malayalam month of ‘Kumbham’ on the ‘Aswathy’ day for seven days. The festival is a celebration of the birthday of the goddess and the event is celebrated by all villagers irrespective of religion, caste and race. Both deities share equal importance as far as vela festivities are concerned. The decorated elephants add charm to the festival. The Kavadiyattam, Ezhunallippu, Panchavadhyam, Pandimelam, Chendamelam and fireworks held during the late night and early mornings are fabulous and colourful.
The day to day activities of the grove are administered by the trustees of Vazhalikavu Devaswam Board.
Vazhalikkavu Devaswam Contact Details
President, Vazhalikkavu Devaswam, Painkulam P.O, Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur District, Kerala – 679531.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
The evergreen location of Vazhalikavu is covered on one side by forests and hills, and the other side by Bharathapuzha and paddy fields, which is a good location for pilgrims and tourists to unwind. The grove and its surrounding locales have already been featured in many Mollywood hot movies, including the Mammooty starrer Pokkiriraja.
During any time of the year, one can eaily access Vazhalikkavu by train from Mannanur railway station and the cross the river on foot for a distance of hardly one km due to low level of water in Nila. Temple is well connected by road from Sharanur, Cheruthuruthy and Ottapalam.
A visit to this grove enables one to see and experience how nature and cultural heritage are linked together.