Janardhana Temple


Varkala is a temple town and the Janardhana Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is the main event – with its roots dating back to the 13th century, this technicolour Hindu spectacle hovers above Beach Rd, reached by steep stone staircases. Though the main shrine is closed to non-Hindus, visitors are welcome to wander the grounds, home to a huge banyan tree, a Tamil-style mandapa (pillared pavilion) with granite columns, and shrines to Ayyappan, Hanuman and other Hindu deities.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Varkala attractions

1. Helipad

0.44 MILES

Towards the southern end of North Cliff.

2. Papanasham Beach

0.58 MILES

Ringed by rust-red cliffs, Varkala's main beach is a holy spot for Hindus, who for centuries have made offerings for passed loves ones and washed away…

3. Durga Temple

0.75 MILES

A colourful Hindu temple just inland from Varkala's North Cliff.

4. Black Beach

1.21 MILES

A sandy little blonde-and-black beach just north of Varkala's North Cliff.

5. Varkala Aquarium

1.24 MILES

Between Black Beach and Odayam Beach, Varkala's aquarium displays large tanks of exotic species – scorpionfish, angelfish, koi, the local karimeen – along…

6. Sivagiri Mutt

1.54 MILES

Just east of central Varkala, Sivagiri Mutt is the headquarters of the Shri Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust, devoted to Shri Narayana Guru (1855–1928),…

7. Odayam Beach

1.76 MILES

This gold-hued stretch of sand, around 1km north of the North Cliff, makes a peaceful alternative to Varkala's main beach.

8. Ponnumthuruthu (Golden) Island

3.37 MILES

Around 10km south of Varkala, this acacia-filled island in the middle of a backwater lake conceals a Shiva-Parvati Hindu temple also known as the Golden…