Gurudevan’s association with Sivagiri in Varkala in south Kerala dates to 1904. Varkala used to be known as the southernBenares. 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.