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.