|Proper name:||Janardana Swami temple|
|Architecture and culture|
|Primary deity:||Janaardana Swamy [Lord Vishnu]|
Janardana Swami Temple is a 2000-year-old temple situated in Varkala. It is also known as Varkala Temple. Janardana Swami is a form of Lord Vishnu. It is a very well known temple in Kerala about 10.9 km west of Kallambalam on NH 66 near sea, 25 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 2 km from Varkala-Sivagiri Railway station. It is situated near the Arabian sea shore.It is referred to as Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the south).
The temple is located close to the Papanasam beach, which is considered to have medicinal properties since the waters wash the nearby medicinal plants. It is also an important Ayurveda treatment centre. The temple has an ancient bell removed from a shipwreck, donated by the captain of the Dutch vessel which sank near Varkala without causing any casualties.
The presiding deity of this temple is Sri Janarthana Swami. The deity is found in standing position facing towards the east. His right hand is position as if he is performing "Aachamanam". His right hand is raised towards his mouth and legends say that if his hand goes nearer to his mouth, the world will come to an end. It is believed to happen at the end of the Kali Yuga.
According to the legend, attracted by the music from Narada’s Veena, Lord Vishnu started following him and reached Satyaloka. Seeing Lord Vishnu, Brahma prostrated before him. Lord Vishnu soon realized that he has reached Satyaloka but did not realize that Lord Brahma is prostrating before him and left back to Vaikunta. It seemed as if Lord Brahma is falling towards the feet of Narada and all the devas laughed. This made Brahma angry and he cursed devas to be born as humans in the earth. Devas repented their folly and begged to be forgiven. Brahma replied that the curse would be withdrawn when they do a penance to please Lord Janardana. Devas asked where that place is where they should do the penance. Brahma told them that the place where Sage Narada’s ‘Vastra’ falls will be the sacred place. It is Varkala where his ‘Vastra’ fell and Devas did the penance accordingly to get relieved of the curse.
According to Mahabharata, Balabhadran has visited the place for pilgrimage.
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.
Janardana Swami Temple is located at.
- "Varkala Sree Janardana Swamy Temple". Naturemagics.com. Retrieved 2013-01-08.
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