Varkala temple is dedicated to Lord Janardhana (Maha Vishnu). It is mentioned in Brahmanda Purana and Skanda Purana about the Lord manifestation.
Varkala temple Legends
As per the Legends, Sage Narada once visited Satya Loka ( abode of Brahma), Lord Vishnu appeared behind Narada, on seeing Vishnu, Brahma bowed before him. Vishnu then disappeared, the Nine prajapathis who were there at the moment mocked the creator that Brahma bowed for Narada. On knowing the truth from Brahma, Prajapathis decided to perform penance for their mischevious act. Brahma advised them to follow Narada in identifying the suitable place on the Earth for their penance. Sage Narada then threw his Valkalam ( a garment made from bark) which landed on a banyan tree.
Prajapathis request Lord Vishnu to create a sacred pool for their pooja activities. On their request, Vishnu created a tirtha using his disc (Sudarsana Chakra) and this tirtha is known by Chakra Theertha. Lord Vishnu self-manifested here under the banyan tree, for which prajapathis built the temple and offered prayers.
Once Brahma decided to perform Yajna at this holy place. He became egotistical at the thought of the Yajna he was conducting, Vishnu decided to remove his ego. In the guise of an old Brahman, he sat along with others who assembled there for a meal. As per the tradition, water will be poured thrice around the plantain leaf before taking a meal. When Vishnu does that the served meal disappeared, every time he does that the meal was disappearing, on hearing this Brahma rushed to see the old man and realized that it is none other than Vishnu who came here to teach him a lesson.
Vishnu revealed himself and said that “When my right-hand reaches my mouth to drink water, it signals that Kaliyuga came to an end”. In every 12 years, the right hand of the Lord Janardhana raises half an inch, to counter this Astabandha Kalasam will be performed to rebase the Idol.
It is mentioned in Brahmanda Purana that the original temple was submerged in the sea. Pandya King in search of peace after killing Brahman reached this place felt ease and stayed here. Lord Janardhana appeared in his dream and revealed his whereabouts. As directed, Pandya recovered the Idol from the sea and built the temple.
Varkala Temple History
From the inscriptions, it is known that the present temple was built by King Marthanda Varma in 13th Century AD. King Rama Varma from Travancore renovated temple and installed the flag post.
Kshetra Pindara Shraddham for ancestors will be performed daily
Varkala Temple Timings
- Morning Hours: 4:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Evening Hours: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
How to reach Varkala temple?
- Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is 43 km away
- Varkala Railway station is 3 km away
- Temple is 42 km from Thiruvananthapuram
Varkala Temple Gallery
Reference Links: Temple History