Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is merely 2 kilometers away. The Devi appeared before a devotee as a 12-year-old girl near the Killi river. The devotee later built a temple for Bhagavathy on the riverside. The temple was rebuilt in 1974.
Attukal Pongala, religious festival, begins on Bharani star day in Kumbha (Feb-March) and continues for nine days. Thousands of women devotees prepare Pongal and offer it to the Goddess. Later the Devi is taken out in a procession to the Manacaud Sastha Temple.
Another important temple is located at Varkala, lying 42 km away from Thiruvananthapuram. Here the ancient Vishnu shrine is dedicated to Sri Janardhana. According to legends Brahma worshipped Vishnu and did penance here. The idol is believed to have been taken out from the sea and consecrated at this temple.
The rocky cliffs on the seashore are rich in minerals and the natural springs possess medicinal properties.
Sri Narayana Guru (1854-1928), noted social reformer and spiritual guide to lakhs of followers, named this place as Shivagiri. He attained samadhi here.
The pilgrims can take part in the 10 days festival called Meenam. It is usually held between March and April.
Kollam, 71 km from Thiruvananthapuram, is an important commercial centre known for cashew industry. It has an ancient Shiva temple. Other shrines around Kollam include Sastha temples at Sasthankotta (29 km), Kulathupuzha (64 km) and Ariyankavu (70 km); Kottarakkara Mahaganapathy and Ochira (34 km) temple of Parabrahmam, where only a banyan tree is worshipped. Ochira Kali is held during Mithunam (June-July) and Vrischigam (Nov-Dec).
Mavelikkara houses the Sri Krishna Temple at Mavelikkara and Sri Mahadevar Temple at nearby Kandiyoor. It is at a distance of 115 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
Other shrines at Thiruvananthapuram comprise of Aruvikkara Bhagavathy temple (16 km) and Aruvipuram Shiva temple (24 km), founded by Sri Narayana Guru.
(Last Updated on : 23-12-2015)
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