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 Varkala Sightseeing


Varkala beach Papanashanam Beach Ponnumthuruth (golden Island)
 
Anjengo Fort

Varkala beach
Varkala  beach in Varkala

Varkala beach 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.The beach is a haven for sun-bathing and swimming. The evening views of the sunset are worth lingering over. There are several small restaurants and snack shops near and around Papasnanam beach, which attracts the maximum visitors both for leisure as well as for religious reasons.


Papanashanam Beach
Dummy_2 in Varkala

Papanasham beach at Varkala is quiet, clean and secluded unlike the Kovalam international beach. The beach at Varkala grew into prominence and caught the attention of tourists only recently. A long sandy beach, towering red laterite cliffs and soothing mineral springs put Varkala in the not-to-miss category. 

Today, many tourists prefer Varkala to Kovalam, the internationally renowned beach. Varkala is less crowded with less number of shops, beach sellers and still lesser amount of commercialization. 

The development we see today in Varkala happened only in a period less than two years. The raw and unused stretch of beach is a loner’s delight where one could swim, play cricket or volley ball and even manage to practise yoga. If you are lucky, you also get sight of a naughty dolphin. 

Papanasam is a perfect place to watch the sunset or relax gazing at the horizon. The area is covered with coconut palms and small restaurants that mushroom during the season. The 500-metre stretch is right below a cliff. 

Papanasom is important for Hindus in another way too. It is in the Papanasom Sea that many Hindus come to drain the mortal remains of their dead relatives. Consigning the mortal remains of the dead relatives in the waters of a pilgrim centre is considered a sacred act by the Hindus. 


Ponnumthuruth (golden Island)

This beautiful island can be reached by boat. The cruize to the island is a memorable one. There is a temple dedicated to Sivan and Parvathy which is very famous.


Anjengo Fort

Located about 36 Kms north of Thiruvananthapuram, near the famed beach of Varkala, and lying on the seacoast is Anjengo or Anjuthengu, meaning five coconut trees. A place of historic importance as well as beautiful natural setting, Anjengo is an ideal destination for those who don't mind walking around and explore what is in store.

The historic significance tagged to Anjengo comes through foreign powers like the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the English East India Company. In the year 1684, the English East India Company chose Anjengo to establish their first trade settlement in Kerala.

At Anjengo, one can find the remnants of the old English Fort, which was targeted several times by other foreign powers, who were at that time fighting each other to get a firm footing in Kerala. The Fort is now under the protection of National Heritage Monuments. There is also a cemetery inside the fort, which most probably would be having the remains of the occupants of the fort, and the oldest among the burial sites dates to 1704.


Lakes in Varkala


Varkala Tunnel

Varkala Tunnel is a popular tourist highlight. It was a 924 ft long tunnel built in 1867 by T.Mahadeva Rao the dewan of Travancore, and took 14 years to complete. Varkala Lighthouse is another tourist highlight in the vicinity.

Kappil Lake

Kappil boat club is a recent venture in the back water tourism in the area. Kappil is 6 km north of Varkala. The people travelling in trains and buses through the area can enjoy the scenic beauty of the estuary in between Edava and Kappil . It is fascinating. Vettekkada, near kappil and Varkala is a spectacular beach.


Religious Places

Shree Janardhana Swamy temple

The Janardhana Temple is said to be 2000 years old and has a Vishnu shrine. It is said that the original temple was engulfed and destroyed by tidal waves. Years later, a Pandyan king came to the site to do penance to Brahma for a sin he committed. The Lord pardoned the king and in return, asked the king to build another temple at the same site. The story goes that in a dream he was informed of the location of the original idol that was lying deep in the sea. With the help of fishermen, the king reclaimed the idol and reinstalled it in the temple. The legend also says that Brahma appeared and completed the rituals. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the temple, but are allowed to walk around the sanctum and stroll around the huge banyan tree. The festivals of the temple are colorful with noisy parades. Another Hindu ritual to be watched is the 'Vavu Bali' performed on the beach on the new moon day of the month of Karkkidakam (Malayalam Era).


Sivagiri Mutt

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 30th December to 1st January.

The Sivagiri Mutt, built in 1904, is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill near Varkala. Even decades after the guru breathed his last here in 1928; his samadhi continues to be thronged by thousands of devotees, donned in yellow attire, from different parts of Kerala and outside every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days - 30th December to 1st January.

The Sivagiri Mutt is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham, an organization of his disciples and saints, established by the Guru to propagate his concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God'. The Guru Deva Jayanti, the birthday of the Guru, and the samadhi day are celebrated in August and September respectively every year. Colourful processions, debates and seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts, group wedding and rituals mark the celebrations.

Sarkara Devi Temple

Sarkara Devi Temple is a famous old temple situated near Varkala at Chirayinkeezhu.The temple is famous for the kaliyoot festival on the Malayalam month of kumbham (March).


Christ the King Church

An important pilgrim centre, this church is famous for the annual festival in November. High Mass, Vespers, a two hour long Holy Eucharistic procession and benediction are the highlights of the festival. Nativity feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also celebrated with religious spirit.


Varkala Must Do


Varkala Travel Tips

Should carry swim-gaurds for the better protection at the time of swimming or any other type of water sports in the sea
It is better to buy films and other necessary items from Varkala town than from the beach
It is also advised to drink only mineral water. Try to avoid drinking tap water
Internet browsing centres are plenty on the cliff. You can bargain and fix the rates before you start using. The rates vary from Rs. 1 to Rs. 2 per minute
Be careful of shady dealers who claim to give you a good deal for backwater trips
One should also be careful while going up and down the steep cliff.
Carry a torch during night
Surfing boards are available for hire at the beach
Many of India's larger cities are highly polluted and travelers with respiratory ailments may wish to take precautionary measures

Must do at Varkala

Close to Temple Junction is Varkala Cultural Centre with frequent Kathakali performances. Kathakali is a traditional dance-drama. The artist's face is painted green or black, according to whom he represents. Green for the Gods and black for the villains. The artist wears a huge headgear and a costume that makes him rotund. Female parts are played by male actors
Ayurveda massage is also very popular. It restores balance in a person, and balance stands for good health. A massage is relaxing but offers no long-term benefit because Ayurveda treatment means a two-week or longer committment. It involves a special diet, exercises and massages. It is not difficult to find places for Ayurveda massages in Varkala. They are clearly indicated, but there is no way of knowing whether they are good or not

Not to do at Varkala

Not to swim at the time of strong tides and current and should be aware about the currents and tides are especially dangerous in the sea (water sports) and be careful. Varkala had experienced strong coastal rips. Many lives, even that of experienced swimmers have been lost in the turbulence of the tides. It is not advisable to swim too far into the sea. Varkala has only one lifeguard post with two lifeguards and it is advised to swim around this area. On a crowded day spotting when in trouble becomes difficult


 Varkala Hotels


 Varkala Tours


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