Destinations - Varkala

Varkala is the only place in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. These tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological feature on the otherwise flat Kerala coast, and is known among geologists as Varkala Formation and a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India. There are numerous water spouts and spas on the sides of these cliffs.

Varkala has a moderate climate, with heavy rains during June-August due to the southwest monsoon. Winter starts from December and continues till February. In summer, the temperature rises to a maximum of 35°C and 25°C in the winters. Annual average rainfall is 310cm.

Papanasam Beach / Varkala Beach

The Varkala Beach or the ‘Papanasam Beach’ is a 1 km stretch of white sandy beach on the western coastline of India, along the Arabian Sea. The stunning red cliffs and sun set are the main attractions.

A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name 'Papanasam beach'. At the break of dawn, following the new moon in the Malayalam month of 'Karkidakam', thousands offer 'Vavu Bali', a ritual believed to help the souls of ancestors rest in peace.

It also happens to be the only beach in the world where you will find natural springs, with medicinal properties. Go for the big catch with the local fishermen as they down their fishing nets.

Edava Beach

Located near Varkala, Edava is a coastal village with serene beaches and backwaters. During the monsoon season, water gushes out of the sea and reaches the lake. Blue lagoons with the sea and backwaters running parallel with the road present a beautiful sight. If you go further towards Kappil you will find blue lagoon, where sea and backwaters running parallel divided by a more-than-one km of straight road. There is also an estuary that connect the sea with the backwaters here.

Shree Janardhana Swamy temple

It is 2000 years old temple in Varkala. Varkala has been a Hindu pilgrimage site since the 12th Century. The Janardhana Temple was built during this period and many Hindu's still visit Varkala to this day, for this very reason. The Varkala sands has become an ideal spot for confluence of cultures exotic and alien. Varkala also houses a leading pilgrim centre in Kerala. The temple, dedicated to Vishnu and Hanuman, atop the hill has brought a sobriquet for the region, Southern Kasi (Benares). Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the inner sanctum but can hang around the temple.

Sivagiri Mutt

The Sivagiri Mutt, built in 1904, is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill near Varkala. Sivagiri Mutt is a mausoleum and ashram devoted to the great social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, who preached the doctrine of ‘one caste, one religion and one God for humanity’.

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.

Kappil Lake

The Kappil Lake & Lagoon, 6 kms from Varkala, has a lagoon and natural lake in the midst of lush green coconut grooves on the east and the beach on the west, separated by a road. You can go boating at the boat club. You can also catch a glimpse of the traditional coir industry of Kerala.

Anjengo Fort

Anjengo Fort, remnants of the Dutch East India Company’s main garrison, built in the 17th century and later taken over by the British, is today a historical monument attracting visitors from around the world. The Fort is situated only 12 kms away from Varkala.

Historical records say, in 1684, during the regency of Umayamma Rani, the English East India Company obtained a sandy spit of land at Anchuthengu (Anjengo) on the sea coast about 32 kms north of Thiruvananthapuram city, with a view to erecting a factory and fortifying it. The place had earlier been frequented by the Portuguese and later by the Dutch. It was from here that the English gradually extended their domain to other parts of Thiruvithamcore (Travancore).