A 2000 year old 'Janardhana Swamy Temple' is one of the ancient temples and a major pilgrim spot in Varkala. The temple is renowned as a famous pilgrim centre and it tempts everyone with its architectural grandeur. The temple looks on to the Papanasam beach and the close proximity to the sea adds to its religious and esthetical ambience. Lord Shiva is the deity of this temple and many pilgrims flock here to perform final rites for the deceased.
As soon you enter the Janardana Swami Temple, you'll find the painted idols of Hanuman, Lord Shiva and Garuda. The main shrine of the temple Lord Janardhana (Shiva) has four arms, each holding Shanghu, chakra, gada and Kumbham. The temple has many distinct features and has a circular sanctum enclosed by a conical dome of copper sheets. It also has mandapa or pavilion which is square in shape and the ceiling has wooden carvings of Navagrahas.
SThe main festival of the temple is Arattu which falls in the month of March/April and plenty of visitors throng this place during this time. Another festival is Karkidaka Vavu in which the priests of this temple help pilgrims to worship to their ancestors during that day.