About Varkala

Popular for its natural fisheries and springs, and the samadhi of Kerala's saint Sree Narayana Guru, Varkala is a coastal town with pristine beaches, hills, lakes, forts and lighthouses - all of this together makes this town a little paradise located on the uniquely formed Cenozoic sedimentary cliffs in Kerala. Varkala in the Trivandrum region of Kerala is a lesser known but a complete and ideal tourist destination. Experience the freshness in air, untouched beaches surrounded by hills, springs and fisheries. One must visit the Papanasam Beach, Varkala Beach which offers a number of activities including paragliding and parasailing, Kappil Lake and lighthouses in the area. Varkala has a lot of architecture too, to attract tourists such as the Janardhana Swamy Temple, Anjengo Fort, Vishnu temple and Sivagiri Mutt.

Place to must visit in Varkala


Places to Visit in Varkala

Travellers are preffering these places in Varkala

Experience Time: 2-3 days

Distance: 1 kms

Water Sports in Varkala

Varkala is a beautiful coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram district. It lies in the southern part of Kerala. It is the only place in Kerala where the hills come close to the sea. The uniqueness of the place is the merging of cliffs with the Arabian Sea. Varkala Beach is a popular beach where you can enjoy various water sports activities such as para-sailing and paragliding. The Geological Survey of India calls it as the Varkala Formation. The Discovery Channel has named Varkala as one of the top ten seasonal beaches. Several water sports operators are to be found along the beaches, and travellers can easily do a lot of water activities with good fun. The Kapil Lake, situated close to the beach, is another famous destination to enjoy moments of peace. The Chilakkoor Beach which is close to the Varkala town is a perfect destination to view the sunset. Though the beach is not developed commercially, it is an ideal place for leisurely evening walks.

Experience Time: 1-3 hours

Distance: 2 kms

Varkala Beach

Set amid a beautiful setting about 10 km away from the calm and quiet hamlet of Varkala, Varkala Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand renowned for its solitude unlike other commercial beaches of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Also known as the Papanasam Beach meaning 'Destroyer of Sins', is unlike any other beach in the area with impeccable beauty. The water of Varkala Beach is regarded to own medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the hoy water is said to cleanse the body of impurities and all sins and thus the name Papanasam Beach meaning 'Destroyer of Sins'. The beach itself is divided into two parts, the southern area of the beach lying at the end of the road leading from Janardhana Swamy Temple regarded as sacred by Hindus. However, if you are a tourist, the north part of the beach right at the bottom of the cliff is worth going renowned for its natural mineral spring. The sublime beauty of Varkala beach is one of a kind. The backdrop of crystal blue waters against the cliffs of Kerala is a unique one since these sedimentary formation peaks are not found anywhere in the otherwise flat coastline of Kerala. These cliffs are the venue for spas, spouts, sunbathing and relaxing swims which are quite popular among visitors and if you're lucky you might also spot a few dolphins frolicking around. Sunsets at the Varkala Beach are especially pristine and call for a serene walk along the beach. Also if you are a seafood lover, then the place is a paradise for you.The eating joints nearby offer some of the India's best moth watering and affordable food.

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Distance: 5 kms

Edava Beach

Untouched and unspoilt by tourist activities, the Edava beaches are the virgin stretches circling a blue lagoon where sea and backwaters run parallel divided by a more-than-one km of straight road. There is also an estuary that connects the sea with the backwaters here.

Experience Time: 1 to 2 hours

Distance: 2 kms

Thiruvambadi Beach

Lying 1 km off Thiruvamdabi road, this black sand beach adjacent to the North cliff is an ideal picnic spot amidst lush coconut groves to relax and unwind.v

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Distance: 9 kms

Anjengo Fort

Anjengo Fort, situated 12 km off Varkala at Anjengo, is believed to have been built in 17th century. Presently the fort is protected by the National Heritage monuments. The cemetery in the fort shelters the deceased occupants of the fort. The popular Muthalapuzhi Lake is situated very close to the Fort. Autos or cabs can be taken to reach the fort.

Experience Time: 2 to 3 hours

Distance: 2 kms

Sivagiri Mutt

Located at Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala is the one of the popular ashrams of Shri Narayana Guru, Sivagiri Mutt. This ashram celebrates Guru Deva Jayanti (in August) and the Guru Deva Samadhi (in September) every year. Janardhana Swami Temple and Varkala Beach are some nearby attractions which one should never miss during their visit to Sivagiri Mutt. Sree Narayana Guru (1855-1928), a saint, social reformer, philosopher and a leader of Ezhava community, made Varkala his headquarters. Sivagiri mutt, instituted by Sree Narayana Guru, is another major pilgrim centre here. The 'Sivagiri Pilgrimage' is usually conducted between 30th December and 1st January every year. Even decades after the Guru breathed his last breathe here in 1928; his Samadhi (resting place) continues to be thronged by thousands of pilgrims. The Sivagiri Mutt is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham, a religious organization established by the Guru to propagate his concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God'.

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Distance: 5 kms

Ponnumthuruthu

Ponnumthuruthu, also known as Golden Island is located 20 km from Varkala. It is popular for its 100 year old Shiva Parvathi temple situated amidst thick coconut groves stretched over the sandy beaches. Boats from Nedunganda can be taken through a 30 minute backwater ride to Ponnumthuruthu which offers a perfect getaway from the bustle of city life.

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Distance: 1 kms

Janardhanaswamy Temple

Located in Varkala, Janardhanaswamy Temple is 25 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the Arattu festival celebrated here every year is attended by thousands of devotees. It is an ancient temple dating back to 2000 years. Varkala has been a Hindu pilgrimage site since the 12th Century. The Janardhana Temple was built during this period and many Hindus still visit the place till day, for this very reason. The Varkala sands have become an ideal spot for confluence of various cultures. Varkala also houses a leading pilgrim centre in Kerala. The temple, dedicated to Lord 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.

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Varkala Cliff

Varkala CLIFF is a geologically important site in the region. The cliff is formed by laterite and overlooks the Varkala beach. It has been declared as a Geological monument by the Geological Survey of India but the stunning view of the golden beach and the playful waves that it offers is worth a visit for beach lovers and photographers.

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Distance: 8 kms

Vishnu Temple

Vishnu Temple is an ancient temple dating back to around 2000 years. It is located very close to the Varkala Beach in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Kaduvayil Juma Masjid

Kaduvayil Juma Masjid is dedicated to a Muslim Saint, Saint Kaduvayil Thangal who is believed to have magical powers. It is one of the important Sunni Pilgrimage Centres in the region but its beautiful architecture also attracts tourists. The well maintained structure possesses a divine vibe that can put a troubled soul at peace in an instant.

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Varkala Lighthouse

Varkala Lighthouse was built in 1684 by the British to assist the navigation of ships coming from Britain. It stands 130 feet tall on the Varkala Beach and attracts tourists for a mesmeric bird's eye view it provides of the Arabian sea and the backwaters. It, therefore, is a perfect attraction for photographers, beach lovers and picnickers.

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Kappil Lake

Kappil Lake is a mesmerising estuary famous for being a tranquil picnic spot surrounded by dense coconut trees. It further becomes a part of the Arabian sea and offers a breath-taking view that can be witnessed clearly from the bridge over the lake. The lake is also famous for pedal boating. The boats can be hired from the boat club located near the water body.

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Papanasam Beach

Papasnanam Beach/ Papanasam Beach is a scenic seashore famous amongst beach lovers. The beach is called Varkala Beach and is famous for spiritual/ religious purposes. People believe that taking a dip in the sea washes one's sins away. The water also washes the plants nearby, most of which have medicinal properties, thus giving healing properties to the sea water. The picturesque location is also famous for the Varkala Cliff and a natural water spout nearby.

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Asparagus

Asparagus is a store in Varkala where one can find ecological handicrafts and textiles that are dyed with natural dyes. Tourists can purchase artefacts and fabrics that are unique to the region. The friendly salesmen ensure the customers get the best products they have. They also have an in-house tailor who can sew garments according to specific requirements from the fabrics purchased.

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Vishnu Temple

Located close the Papanasam Beach, Vishnu Temple is a 2000 year old temple dedicated to Janardan Swami who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu._The traditional Kerala Temple architecture with a dome made of copper sheets, beautifully carved Navagrahas on the wood and the copper plated roof is a treat to the eyes. The temple is often associated with a legend of Lord Brahma who had cursed his Prajapathis, and Narada, who had helped them absolve their sins.

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Kappil Beach

Kappil Beach is a strip of land by the Kappil Lake. The beautiful beach is lined with coconut trees and offers a beautiful view of the backwaters. A bridge used to cross the lake also is a good location to get a stunning view of the backwater including the point where the backwater enters the splendid Arabian sea.

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Varkala Aquarium

Varkala Aquarium has a decent collection of fishes in a number of large sized that can be viewed from a walkway that spirals upwards. One can find a number of species including Karimeen, Pirahnas, Eels etc. The aquarium also has a 3D theatre where information about more species of fishes is given using the 3D technology. The aquarium is a perfect attraction to see over a day-long picnic.

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Varkala Tunnel

Varkala Tunnel is an old tunnel built in 1867 by Sir T. Madhava Rao who was also the Dewan of Travancore during that time. This took about 14 years to build the tunnel that runs a little over 900 feet and allowed traders to halt before proceeding with their journey towards Thiruvananthapuram. This historic inland waterway is a great example of the Colonial era architecture in the region.

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Saint Sebastian's Pilgrim Church Moongode

Located on the banks of the backwaters of Varkala, Saint Sebastians Pilgrim Church Moongodu is an important pilgrim centre for the Christians. It was built by the Portuguese Missionaries and is famous for Feast procession of Saint Sebastian which is held every year in the month of February when the beautiful church is transformed into a colourful and bustling attraction especially for the followers.

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Sarkara Devi Temple

Sarkara Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. It is famous for the Kaliyoot festival which is celebrated every year in March (the Malayalam month of Kumbh) and Meenabharani Festival which is held during Attavishesham. Kaliyoot is a presentation of the legendary figures Bhadrakali and Darika who represent good and evil respectively. A procession is held during the 10-day Meenabharani festival wherein the Goddess is taken on five elephants to the Bhagavathy Palace.

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