A beautiful hill called Sivagiri is another important place in Varkala. On top of Sivagiri is the mausoleum of Narayana Guru, a social reformer in Kerala. Along with a host of other factors Narayana Guru was instrumental in changing the social status of the lower classes in Kerala. He professed a philosophy “Whichever the religion It suffices If it makes a better man. “. Followers of his philosophy treats his final resting place with reverence. One can reach the hilltop either by road or by scaling the steps. Midway through the flight of steps is a small home where Narayana Guru once stayed. There are some rare photographs (Narayana Guru with Gandhi , Narayana Guru with Tagore etc) and relics he used is on display at this tiny home.
Further up you reach the circular compound on top of the hill. At the middle of the compound stands the monument.
The hill is semi forested and frequented by visitors. Yet the serenity and calm of the ambient is a fitting tribute to Varkala. No restrictions for visitors. One can visit it any time from sunrise to sunset. Observe the etiquettes deemed for a sacred place. Dress modestly and leave footwear just outside before you entering any shrines on the hill.
At the foothill , near the Sharada Devi shrine is the bookstall of the Sivagiri Matt ( monastery ) .
Around the foothills of Sivagiri runs the main road. Further to the main road, the hill slops end in a canal. The canal then enters into a tunnel called Sivagiri Tunnel, which is about 700 meters long. This was once an important water transport corridor. Now it is century old tunnel is in a dilapidate stage though there are noises heard at regular intervals on renovating this to its past glory.
You can reach Sivagiri by bus from the town center or by Auto-Rickshaw.