Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, is a coastal town and municipality in Thiruvananthapuram district situated in the Indian state of Kerala. It is located 51 km north of Thiruvananthapuram.
It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000 year old Vishnu temple and the ashramam- ‘Sivagiri Mutt‘ a little distance from the beach.At the serene Varkala beach is a quiet sea resort rich in mineral water springs.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‘.A two thousand year old shrine the Janardhanaswamy Temple, stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach,a short distance away. The Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great Hindu reformer and Philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 – 1928) is also close by.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. Sree Narayana Guru propagated the ideology:”one caste, one religion and one god”,in a society torn by the taboos of caste system.Varkala offers excellent accommodation facilities for the tourist and is fast becoming a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centres.
Varkala is also a good stop-over while travelling from Thiruvananthapuram to Kollam. The most important religious landmark of Varkala is the 2000-year-old Janardanaswami temple. Varkala is also an important centre for Ayurveda, and the district hospital is famous for its treatments. There are several spas and private clinics dotting the town as well.
The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs. Varkala is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala, is near Varkala atop a hill named Sivagiri. High cliffs from mineral springs majestically rise is a scene typical of Varkala.
How to reach
Nearest railway station: Varkala.
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram international airport, nearly 57 km away.