The Sivagiri Temple or Mutt was established by the revolutionary religious social reformer Sree Narayana Guru in the 19 th century at Varkala. Notably there is no idol inside the mutt.
The whitewashed temple has been built in modern architectural style with windows, bathrooms with taps inside. These elements defy the traditional dictum of the layout of a temple. The Mutt has a temple dedicated to goddess Sarada or Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. The roof of the sanctum rises is steps resembling somewhat the structure of a gopuram but defying its form.
Sree Narayana Guru was famous for his philanthropic activities and indiscrimination of all castes and religion and settled in Varkala in 1904. The principle Oru Jati , Oru Matham , Oru Daivam (one caste, one religion, one God) mirrors his ideas which he well put to practice. He abolished all rituals like oil bathing and offering food to the idol at the Sarada (Saraswati) temple in his mutt in Varkala. The Sivagiri temple also known as the Sivagiri Mutt also enshrines the Guru's tomb.
Rituals and Festivals
Thousands of devotees throng the Mutt every year during 30 th December and 1st January. The yellow clothes worn by them signify their willingness to abide by the path shown by the Guru.
Varkala is well connected by road to other places in Kerala. The nearest airport is at Thiruvanthapuram 46 km away.