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Janardhana Swamy Temple


The Janardana Swami Temple is a 2000-year-old temple that is located in Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram. It is otherwise called the Varkala Temple. Janardana Swami is a form of Lord Vishnu’s. It is located close to the Arabian Sea. It is called the Dakshin Kashi (or the Benares of the South). The temple is found near the Papanasam shoreline, which is considered to have therapeutic properties since the waters wash the adjacent restorative plants.

About the Temple

Janardhana Swamy Temple__

One of the antiquated sanctuaries in Kerala, the Janardhana temple is a noteworthy traveler spot in Varkala. The temple, which has a background marked by nearly 2000 years, is situated on a precarious slope. A flight of wide steps lead to the Janardhana temple and in transit, one will be welcomed by a high passage curve with tiled rooftop. An old banyan tree remains on the temple ground and icons of a few serpent divine beings and goddesses are likewise introduced here. Brilliantly painted symbols of Hanuman, Garuda, God Shiva and others welcome devotees once they speak the truth to enter the sanctorum. The fundamental temple God Janardhana (Vishnu) has four arms in which are set shanghu (the blessed conch shell) chakra (wheel), gada (mace) and kumbham (pot).

The temple has numerous appealing components and it has a round sanctum sanctorum surmounted by a funnel shaped arch of copper sheets. The mandapa or structure is square fit as a fiddle and it has wooden carvings of Navagrahas (nine planets) on the roof. There is a corridor in which the bali peetha is arranged and this too is an imperative component of the temple structural engineering. In spite of the fact that the first date of development of the temple is not accessible, there are a few engravings which show that the remodel of the temple had been done at distinctive times of history. One of the engravings says that the temple was redesigned by Umayamma Rani, who ruled this area in the later seventeenth century. An antiquated engraving dated 1252 has likewise been found on the temple premises. It is seen engraved on the lower piece of the mandapa before the temple. Tall stone posts and overwhelming metal chimes swung from roofs too bring out enthusiasm for an authority. The oil plate cut in the rock posts hold lit wicks amid nights and it is a treat to the eyes. There is a pool called `Chakra Theertha' on the northern piece of the temple which speaks the truth 240 ft in circuit. The temple additionally has an old chime expelled from a wreck, gave by the skipper of the Dutch vessel which sank close Varkala without bringing about any setbacks. Varkala, an ocean side town, otherwise called Janardanapuram, is a consecrated traveler focus arranged in Thiruvananthapuram area (Kerala) and is acclaimed for its antiquated temple of Vishnu, who is famously called as Janardana. In Sri Maha Bhagavatham, it is specified that balarama, the senior sibling of Sri Krishna, went by this sanctum amid his journey.

About the Deity

Janardhana Swamy Temple__

The directing god of this temple is Sri Janarthana Swami. The divinity is found in standing position confronting towards the east. His right hand is position as though he is performing 'Aachamanam'. His right hand is raised towards his mouth and legends say that if his hand goes closer to his mouth, the world will arrive at an end. It is accepted to happen toward the end of the Kali Yuga. The icon is constantly wearing shoe and blossoms either as Janardhana, Narasimha, Venugopala or Mohini.

Legend and Stories

Janardhana Swamy Temple__

Sage Narada, subsequent to offering his regards to Sri Narayana, left Vaikuntam to see Brahma. Delighted by the sweet music of Narada, Narayana tailed him in secret. At the point when Narada came to Brahmaloka, Brahma saw Narayana taking after his child Narada and offered greetings to Him, at which Vishnu, understanding the ungainly circumstance, all of a sudden vanished. Brahma found that the individual whom he had adored was his own child, Narada. The Prajeapathis who were chuckling at this occurrence were reviled by Brahma that they would be conceived on earth and endure the torments of individuals.

The Prajapati dreading the condemnation seeked the assistance of Sage Narada, who exhorted them to perform atonement at the spot of Narada's decision. Narada tossed his 'Valkalam' (bark upper piece of clothing) into the air and at the spot where it tumbled down, they sanctified a temple for Janardanaswamy (a name of Vishnu), consequently the name 'Valkala', which later got to be 'Varakal'.

Another legend has it that in times of yore, God Brahma went to the earth to perform a Yagna (flame Sacrifice). He did it in the present Varkala. He was such a great amount of inundated in doing Yagna that he overlooked his occupation of creation. God Vishnu came to Varkala to remind God Brahma about it as an exceptionally old man. The Brahmins who were helping God Brahma, got the old man and gave him nourishment. Be that as it may, whatever he ate, his craving was not satisfied. God Brahma's collaborators went and let him know about it. God Brahma quickly drew close to the old man discovered that he was God Vishnu and he was attempting to eat AAbhojanam (World). God Brahma ceased God Vishnu from eating the AAbhojanam expressing that it will convey a conclusion to the world. God Vishnu then asked for God Brahma to stop the Yagna and recommence his employment of creation. He likewise demonstrated to him his Viswa roopa.

The day that the symbol has the capacity to eat the Abhojana from his right hand; the world will confront the considerable storm. There are little sanctuaries of God Shiva, Ganapathi, Sastha and Naga Devatha in this temple.


The main festival of the temple Arattu, falls in March/April and it attracts a lot of visitors. Karkidaka vavu too is an important function and the priests of this temple help the devotees perform homage to their ancestors during that day.


Offering obeisances to the departed souls and forefathers is a very important ritual. Four poojas are conducted in a day by the priest. The chief priest should compulsorily be from another place, and should not be a native of the place where the temple exists. Sub-deities are Ganapathi, Shastha, Ananthan (Nagam) Shiva, Chandikesha, and Hanuman. A ten day festival with Arattu is conducted on the Malayalam month of Meenam on the day of Uthram.

Best Time to visit Janardhana Swamy Temple

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM is the best time to visit the temple as it is when the main aarthi and pooja is performed. Post the pooja, there is an interesting custom - fire crackers are burst to ward off evil spirits. Paying Rs. 10 would let them burst a cracker in one’s honour. In the night at around 7:30 PM, small lamps are lit and the place looks grand.

Rare Facts

There is a colossal ringer set in this temple on which it is stamped as 1757 (most likely the year in which it was thrown). The story behind this ringer goes like his. It is said that the ringer was offered to the temple as an oblation. While cruising to Europe a Dutch boat declined to move as it went by the temple. Listening to the tolling of the ringer from the temple the skipper of the boat guaranteed to offer the chime in his boat as an oblation to Janardhana Swamy on the off chance that he permits the boat to proceed with its trip. Before long a wind came and moved the boat and the group securely to the following port. The chief returned and stayed faithful to his commitment.


To be freed of sins, To perform last customs for the expired.



The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 55 km away.

Varkala has its own railway station. One can board a train from Thiruvananthapuram to Kollam or Kochi and get down here. However one needs to check if the particular train has a stop at Varkala.


Varkala is nearer to Kollam (35 km). It is on the NH 47 to Kallambalam Junction via Pallipuram and Attingal as well as the State Road to Varkala. It takes 1 hr from Kollam, 2 hrs from Thiruvananthapuram and 4 hrs from Ernakulam. The entry fee Rs. 10/- (Rs. 100 for camera) Gentlemen need to remove their shirt, while ladies have to wear very conservative clothes.

Temple Address

Janardanaswamy Temple,
Kerala – 695141.


Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-

  • Salvation
  • Wealth
  • Relief from diseases
  • Purchase of vehicles
  • Gain Knowledge

Balam Balavatam Caham Kamaragavivarjitam Dharmaviruddho Bhutesu Kamo'smi Bharatarsabha

Meaning -According to this sloka, God is the isolated and aloof strength of the controlling and virtuous craving in men.

Ye Caiva Sattvika Bhava Rajasastamasasca Ye Matta Everti Tanviddhi Na Tvaham Tesu Temayi

Meaning -According to this sloka, though the only source of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obsessive and dark) elements is God, they are not present within the God or the deity.

Tribhirgunamayairbhavairebhih Sarvamidam Jagat Mohitam Nabhijanati Mamebhyah Paramavyayam

Meaning -According to this sloka, the entire world doesn't recognize the eternal God beyond them, because they are consumed by the elements of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obssessive and dark).

Daivi Hyesa Gunamayi Mama Maya Duratyaya Mameva Ye Prapadyante Mayametam Taranti Te

Meaning -According to this sloka, the heavenly maya of God is very complicated, but those who worship God will be able to overcome it.


Morning 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.

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