Janardhana Swamy Temple is one of the ancient temples and a major pilgrim center in Varkala. In addition to a sacred place, this beautiful temple is also famous for its architectural grandeur and peaceful ambience. Facing the immaculate Papanasam Beach, the proximity to beaches and its aesthetic appearance also make Janardhana Swami Temple one of the most visited destinations in Varkala.
This 2000 year old temple, also known as Varkala Temple is situated at the entrance of the beach road on a steep hill. It is almost 25 kilometers north of Thiruvananthapuram near sea on NH47. Situated near Arabian Sea, many devotees visit the temple to offer prayers to Lord Vishnu in his Janardhana form. Janardhana Swami Temple is considered as the Benares of the South and often referred as Dakshin Kashi.
There are many beautifully painted idols of Lord Shiva, hanuman and Garuda at the entrance of the sanctorum to greet the worshipers. The ancient bell is a remarkable feature of the temple which was removed from a Dutch ship that sank near the temple without causalities and donated by the captain of the Dutch ship.
Lord Janardhana with four arms is the main shrine of the temple and there are many wooden carvings of nine planets at the pavilion. The hall where the bali peetha placed is also an important feature of Janardhana Swami temple. Tourists and worshippers love its high entrance arch that decorated with tiled roof.
Large brass bells hung from the ceilings and tall granite posts certainly attract people who visit the temple. Even if the original date of construction is unknown, the inscriptions available indicate that there had been several renovation carried out for the temple at various time of the history. There is a pool on the northern part of the temple with approximately 240 feet in circumference called ‘Chakra Theertha’.
The most attractive feature of Janardhana Swami Temple is its closeness to Papanasam Beach. This beach is famous for its medicinal properties because of the medicinal plants in the region and the water in the area wash those plants. For many people, this temple is also a significant Ayurvea treatment and rejuvenation centre in Varkala.
The festival of Varkala Janardhana Swami temple, Arattu attracts numerous visitors from different parts of the state which falls in the month of March/ April. Many devotees visit this beautiful temple during Karkidaka Vavu day in order to carry out homage to their ancestors. With its unique architecture and attractive ambience, Janardhana Swami temple in Varkala attracts a lot of visitors.