Sivagiri is a pilgrimage centre in Varkala, India where one of its social reformer and sage Sree Narayana Guru's tomb is located and place where guru was enlightend and got the salvation. The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days 30 December to 1 January.
The Sivagiri Mutt, built in 1904, is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill near Varkala. Even decades after the guru breathed his last here in 1928; his samadhi continues to be thronged by thousands of devotees, donned in yellow attire, from different parts of Kerala and outside every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days - 30 December to 1 January.
The Sivagiri Mutt is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham, an organization of his disciples and saints, established by the Guru to propagate his concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God'. The Guru Deva Jayanti, the birthday of the Guru, and the samadhi day are celebrated in August and September respectively every year. Colourful processions, debates and seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts, group wedding and rituals mark the celebrations.
Guru's Initial days at Sivagiri.
Gurudevan's association with Sivagiri in Varkala in south Kerala dates to 1904. Varkala used to be known as the southern Benares. A lover of nature and places radiant with natural beauty Narayana Guru built a hermitage on made a hermitage on top of the Sivagiri hill and stayed there. He grew some plants around the place. That solitary hill began to attract public attention ever since Gurudevan appeared there.
In course of time the Travancore state government granted the Sivagiri hill to Gurudevan and the people gave some of the surrounding places to him as gifts. Later Sivagiri grew into the nerve centre of Sree Narayana movements.
At first an elementary school was established there. A night school was also founded for the illiterate people of an untouchable caste. Lots of people came to Sivagiri to have a darshan of Gurudevan.
PHOTO COURTSEY: www.elatrip.com