City: Thiruvananthapuram State: Kerala Location: South India Year of Construction: 19th Century Constructed By: Sree Naravana Guru Type of Construction: Modern Type of Building: Temple Dedicated To: No God (Independent Religions) Religion: All Sivagiri Temple or Sivagiri mutt, the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust, is devoted to Sree Narayana Guru. Tucked away on the Varkala hill, 3km. east of the Janardhana temple, the Sivagiri Gurusamathi, Sivagiri Sarada Mutt and Sivagiri Vaidika Madom are the main buidings. History Sree Narayana Guru spearheaded the social revolution of breaking away with the rigid caste hierarchies that hitherto prevailed in Kerala. His philosophy of 'one caste, one religion and one God for man' attracted a large following among the lower castes. His followers are called the Ezhavas. He even installed idols in temples to prove that the authority to perform religious rites does not exclusively belong to the Hindus, specially the Brahmins. The Sharada temple and his mutt at Sivagiri atop Varkala hill has now become a place of pilgrimage. Features The Guru Deva Jayanti, the birthday of the Guru, and the Samadhi day are celebrated respectively in August and September every year. On these occasions, colorful processions, seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts and special rituals are observed with much fervor. Come the last week of December and devotees of Sree Narayana Guru flock to Sivagiri from different parts of Kerala and outside.
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