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History

It is believed that a group of devout pilgrims approached Narada, a saint of ancient times and confessed to having sinned. Narada threw his valkalam (cloth made out of the bark of a tree) and it landed at a place near the seashore. Thisplace was thus given the name 'varkala'.

Narada directed his devotees to offer prayers at the beach where the valkalam landed. This place then came to be known as 'Papanasam' meaning redemption from sins.



It is believed that a Pandyan King was instructed by Lord Brahma to build a temple at this very place to redeem him of his sins. But several other myths abound on the birth of Varkala. Another legend goes like this - when a group of pilgrims approached Saint Narada and told him that they had sinned, Narada threw his valkalam ( a loin cloth made from the bark of a tree) and it landed at this scenic village and hence, the place came to be known as Varkala. Narada told the pilgrims to pray for their redemption at Papanasam, which literally means redemption from sins.





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