Thursday, December 9, 2010

Varkala







Varkala is Situated in Thiruvananthapuram District in Kerala. Varkala was named after the myth related to Narada’s Valkalam (bark of tree which the mythical sages used to wear). Legend has it that sage Narada was approached by a group of mendicants who confessed to having sinned. Narada threw his valkalam into the air, and the place where it landed was subsequently named Varkala. Narada directed the mendicants to offer their prayers in the newly created place by the seashore. The place where they prayed for absolution came to be known as the Papanasam Beach.
This coastal town is situated about 20 km south of Kollam and 50 km northwest of Thiruvananthapuram. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the west, Sivagiri Hills in the east and two panchayats in the north and south. Varkala is a famous pilgrimage center renowned for its splendid beach endowed with high cliffs rich in mineral springs. Vavubali, a ritual conducted on the beach in the Malayalam month of Karkidakam attracts thousands of devotees from different parts of the home district and neighboring districts. The Nature Center and the 2000 year old Janardana Swamy Temple are the other attractions. There are various centers for yoga and massage. Most of these places are seasonal and the quality varies. Varkala is also revered with the Sivagiri Mutt, the samadhi of Sree Narayana Guru and headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham. The ideal time to visit the place is from December 1st to March 31st.
Taj Garden Retreat, Hotel Preeth, Hotel Hill top, Hotel Thiruvambadi, and Hotel Sea Pearl are the major accommodations in Varkala. Thiruvananthapuram - Kollam railway line passes through the town and the nearest railway station is Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station. Airport close to Varkala is Trivandrum International Airport.

Online Train time in Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station
Satellite view / Location details of Varkala

Varkala Beach












Varkala beach, 42 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, is a beautiful location as well as an important Hindu center of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs border the excellent beach.
A 2000 year old Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Center are the two main attractions of the beach. The mineral springs here are believed to have medicinal properties. A dip in the holy waters of this beach is believed to purify the body and soul of all sins. Hence this shore is called 'Papanasam beach,' meaning 'destroyer of sins’.
In the Malayalam month of Karkidakam, thousands offer Vavubali at this beach, a ritual belief to help the souls of ancestors to rest in peace.

Online Train time in Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station
Satellite view / Location details of Varkala Beach

Janardhana Swamy Temple



Janardhana Swamy Temple, located on the beach road at Varkala, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Arattu festival at this temple is celebrated every year in Meenam (March-April) commencing with Kodiyettam (Flag hoisting) of Krithika day ending with Arattu on Uthram day. A colorful procession led by caparisoned elephants is one of the prominent features of the festival.

Online Train time in Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station

Sivagiri Mutt

Sivagiri Mutt is a memorial of Shri Narayana Guru, located at Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala. The Mutt is about 3 km from Varkala on the banks of the Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur canal.
Every year the ashram celebrates Guru Deva Jayanti (in August) and the Guru Deva Samadhi (in September). During these occasions, the mutt organizes seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts and special rituals. A large number of devotees donned in yellow attire stream to Sivagiri from different parts of Kerala and outside.
Janardhana Swami Temple and Varkala Beach are the nearby attractions.
Varkala is about 50 km north-west of Thiruvananthapuram, where the nearest airport is. The railhead close to the mutt is Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station.

Online Train time in Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station

Shri Narayana Guru



Shri Narayana Guru was a saint from Kerala, born in the year 1854. He was an initiator of non violent social revolution, whose life impressed men Gandhi and Tagore. Shri Narayana Guru was a yogi, poet, and a social reformer. He believed in Advaita, propounded by Shankaracharya. Shri Narayana Guru fought against the caste system, for the upliftment of the poor and the downtrodden. He was an advocate of the threefold cleanlinesses of thought, word and deed. He started the Shivagiri Ashram at Varkala, in Thiruvananthapuram District. Shri Narayana Guru has consecrated many temples in Kerala. He established the S N D P (Shri Narayana Dharma Paripalana) organization, for establishing and protecting Dharma. Shri Narayana Guru attained mahasamadhi on September 20th, 1928. He continues to be a source of inspiration to millions.

Varkala Tunnel


Varkala Tunnel, situated 41 km from Thiruvananthapuram city is a century old tunnel under one of the cliffs in Varkala. It was once used for passing boats carrying goods and people between Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. The tunneling work started in 1869 and was completed in 1870. A big hole at the top of the tunnel provides plenty of light and air. Once a civil engineering marvel, now it is not used for commercial purposes. The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport (41 km) and the nearest railway station is Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station.

Online Train time in Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station

Sree Narayana College, Sivagiri, Varkala
Situated close to the famous Sivagiri Hills, Sree Narayana College is a premier institution in the region. Started in 1964 as a junior college, it has grown into a major educational center having thousands of students, supported by 105 teachers and 66 non-teaching staff. The college offers undergraduate courses in economics, chemistry, mathematics, physics, history, Malayalam, banking law and practice, and commerce. Post-graduate facilities are available for physics, analytical chemistry, and economics.

Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station
Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station is served by the Southern Railways. It is on Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam railway line. Kanyakumari Express, Vanchinad Express, Bangalore Express, Kerala Express, Chennai Mail, Ernakulam Express, Parasuram Express, Venad Express, Amritha Express and Malabar Express pass through this station. Main station to the south of Varkala is Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station (41 km). Going north, Kollam Junction Railway Station (24 km ) is the main station next to Varkala. 
Nearby attractions include Varkala Beach, Nature Care Centre and 2000-year-old Janardhana Swamy Temple. Just 3 km from the railway station is Taj Garden Retreat, a 4 star hotel providing lodging facilities. In cose proximity to the station is Varkala Bus Station. Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport (58 km.)
Station Code: VAK

Online Train time in Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station

Ponnumthuruthu Sivaparvathi Vishnu Temple
(Thuruthy Temple), Nedunganda









Ponnumthuruthu Sivaparvathi Vishnu Temple (Thuruthi Temple) is located in Ponnum Thuruthu Island at Nedunganda in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala. The Temple enshrines Lord Siva, Goddess Parvathi and Lord Mahavishnu are main Deities, Lord Ganapathy, Nagaraja, Nagayakshi are the other Deities worshipped in the temple complex. Sivaratri is a major festival celebrated at the Ponnumthuruthu Sivaparvathy Vishnu Temple at Ponnumthuruthu. Nedunganda is a village located in Anjuthengu Panchayath on Kadakkavoor – Varkala road. The nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport. The nearest Railway Stations are Kadakkavoor Railway Station (4 km) and Varkala Railway Station (5.2 km).

Online Train time in Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station
Online Train time in Kadakkavur Railway Station
Location of Thuruthy Temple (Satellite view)

Kalari Devi Temple, Nedunganda




കളരി ശ്രീഭദ്രകാളി ദേവി ക്ഷേത്രം



Kalari Devi Temple is located at Nedunganda in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala. The Temple enshrines Goddess Sree Bhadra Kali is main Deity. The nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport. The nearest Railway Stations are Kadakkavoor Railway Station (4 km) and Varkala Railway Station (5.2 km).
Online Train time in Kadakkavur Railway Station
Online Train time in Varkala Railway Station