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Varkala is famous for one of the most beautiful beaches of Kerala. Sprawling amidst the stretch of two green cliffs, this short but serene beach is greatly fancied by Western backpackers and Indian tourists alike. The clean, golden beach itself is devoid of hotels and restaurants, but these facilities are available in wide range upon the cliffs that provide a magnificent view of the sea and in the green and quite crevices of Varkala town.


Varkala lies in the proximity of fifty kilometers of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivendram). As you arrive at Varkala, the coconut trees and overall greenery multiplies. You course over the lazy, snaking roads through the town wearing peaceful tone. Those with the plan for the night stay, which is recommended if you like to enjoy tranquil surroundings, disembark at the hotel, and then head to the Papanasam Beach. It is believed that a dip in these waters frees you of all your sins. The ritual is aided by the Brahmins available here.


One should be aware of the fact that certain areas around the beach are dangerous and it is always a good idea to swim between the safe areas marked by the flags. To remain in the eyesight of the Coastguard is also recommended.


During sunset, Varkala is buzzing with the tourists of all kind. Though the tranquility takes a back seat during these hours, the atmosphere is still enjoyable. Along with the typical type of tourists that you spot at beaches, families with children flapping about in the water and old citizens spending a cheerful evening mingle in the crowd. During mornings, however, the beach is serene. Along with the sun bathing and swimming tourists, those exercising Yoga or taking a jog along the beach can also be spotted. Locals or tourists enjoying a game of beach cricket is also a regular sight.


Apart from the beach, there is the famous Janardan Temple at Varkala. Situated on the beach road, this temple exhibits fine craftsmanship. Although non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, one can have a look at it from the outside.


Sivagiri Mutt of Varkala is also amongst the important spiritual places frequented by the tourists. Kerala’s famous saint Sree Narayan Guru was rested here. Valuable ideals of philosophy are imparted here to the tourists who wish to soak in the ancient knowledge.


Nearly 20 kilometers from Varkala is the uninhabited Ponnumthuruthu Island, which is owned by the Shiva-Parvati temple here. In the serene backwaters of Anjengo the island makes a memorable visit. Not far from here is the Anjengo Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1695.

There is also an old Lighthouse in Varkala, the ride up to which goes through picturesque localities by the backwaters. Near this 130 feet structure, lies a factory of the East India Company, which is mostly in ruins now.


Varkala, one of the most interesting destinations of Kerala, is the one not to miss, especially for the beach lovers. During the tourist season, which starts after November, finding an accommodation of your choice may become difficult. But if you do not mind a compromise or two, you can directly head to the town as well, otherwise, it is suggested that you book your place prior to the arrival.

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Visit to Varkala - by Mohit Suri Dated : 2011-12-09
Varkala indeed signifies the beauty of the lakes it hosts. I grabbed the opportunity to visit Varkala while I was a Trivendrum to attend a function. Varkala can be reached easily from Trivendrum as it is just 50 kilometers away. I had heard a lot about the Papanasam beach so it was the first spot I visited. Legends have it that a dip in this beach washes all your sins. I swam my heart out here, but it must not be forgotten that some parts of the beach are deep and dangerous; it is always advisable to swim in the area where lifeguards are present. I had a great time at the Papanasam beach. Since I am not a religious person, I did not visit the temples at Varkala. It was trip of a day that I literally enjoyed.
Beaches in Varkala - by Shashank Rao Dated : 2011-05-28
The two beaches in Varkala are the Papanasham beach and the Black beach. I had been to Varkala with my wife, as my wife is very fond of beaches and I must tell you that we had a great time there. The Black beach is situated towards the north of Varkala.
The Black beach is much quieter of the 2 beaches and my wife and I spent a lot of time there. There were instances when my wife and I were the only people present at the Black beach. The black beach is called so because it is black in colour.
On the other hand, the Papanasham beach is a huge beach. At the southern end of the Papanasham beach, there are natural springs, but these natural springs run through a pipe onto the beach, so there isn’t much to investigate there.
The northern part of the Papanasham is less crowded, compared to the southern part of the beach and the middle of the beach. There aren’t many safety flags on the northern end of the Papanasham beach. These safety flags indicate the area where you can swim in the water.
Swimming is safe even in the northern end of the Papanasham beach, as long as you don’t go into the deep. When you swim at the Papanasham beach, the cliffs form a lovely backdrop. These cliffs are not so famous as yet.
Varkala, One of the Best Kept Secrets in Kerala - by Nita Mudiraj Dated : 2011-05-28
Varkala is indeed one of the best kept secrets in Kerala. Varkala has many beautiful beaches in great places. There are 2 beaches in Varkala; one of these beaches is Papanasham beach and the other beach is the Black beach.
The main beach in Varkala is the Papanasham beach. This beach is overlooked by cliffs. The cliffs are not so famous as yet. These cliffs form a lovely backdrop, when you swim in the sea at Papanasham beach.
There are some natural springs at the south end of the beach, but the springs run through a pipe, onto the Papanasham beach, so you won’t be able to see the natural springs.
Papanasham beach is a huge beach and I suggest that you should move towards the northern end of the beach because most people gather towards the southern end of the beach and the middle of the beach.
There aren’t many flags indicating the area where you can swim in the northern part of the beach, but swimming in the northern part of the beach is safe if you swim away from the flags.
If you want to go to a quieter beach, you should head towards the north of the city. The Black beach is situated here. This beach is black in colour.
So you can see that Varkala is a place for visiting beaches.