Varkala is a town in the southern Indian state of Kerala and is located on the outskirts of Thiruvanthapuram and always has been one of the primary locations to visit in Kerala state and south India. It is very popular among the local travellers due to the importance of 2000 years old Janardan Swami Temple which is an important and one of the oldest Vaishnavaite sites in India this temple is located nearby to famous Papanasam Beach, an Ayurveda treatment centre. It is also called Dakshin Kashi (Banaras of the South).
Varkala Beach is resided approximately 10 kilometres away from the main city and is popularly known as Papanasam Beach. Varkala Beach is divided into two parts, the southern part of the beach lying at the end of the road leading from Janardan Swami Temple and the northern part of the beach is located at the right of the bottom of the cliff. It is a place to enjoy the beach activities and to have a wonderful view of the sunset. You can spend some time here alone relaxing or you can have some fun time with your friends as well and this location is very popular either for the eating joints here which deliver the delicious seafood. It is also related to some belief that the water of Varkala Beach is curative and medicinal and cleanse the body of impurities in this regards it got the name of Papanasam Beach ‘Destroyer of Sins’.
Janardan Swami Temple is a Vaishnavaite shrine, dedicated to Lord Vishnu and very popular among people due to its celebration of the Arattu Festival which is witnessed by thousands of devotees and tourists every year. This Temple is believed to built some 2000 years ago and it has been recognised as an important religious centre not only in Kerala but also in India. It is an ideal spot to give your travel a memorable end or to start your journey with some spiritual and calm mind.
Anjengo Fort is located at a distance of approximately 12 kilometres from the main city and is one of the National Heritage Movements’ sites. It was built in the 17th century and it is situated very close to the Muthalapuzhi Lake and autos and cabs are available to tourists to reach the fort.
Edava Beach is one of those few beaches which is untouched and unspoilt by tourist activities. It is a beach surrounded by a blue lagoon where sea and blackwaters run parallel which is divided by more than one kilometre of straight road and the estuary here connects the sea with the blackwater here. Tourists can visit this beach with their loved ones to spend some quality time with each other.
Sivagiri Mutt is located in Varkala. It is the ashram of Shri Narayan Guru, Sivagiri Mutt, and every year it celebrates the Guru Deva Jayanti in August and Guru Deva Samadhi in September and the ‘Sivagiri Pilgrimage is generally held between 30th December and 1st January. It is a spiritual shrine visited by thousands of devotees every year. It is dedicated to Shri Narayan guru a saint, social reformer, philosopher and leader of the Ezhava Community.
Varkala Cliff resides in the north of Varkala Beach and was formed by laterite, it has been declared as a Geological monument by the Geological Survey of India. It is one of the very popular picturesque locations in Kerala due to its stunning view of golden beaches and a wonderful view of the sea. It is a worthwhile location to visit for photographers and beach lovers to have some memorable and enjoyable views.
Varkala Aquarium is a spot to find a wide variety of species like Karimeen, Piranhas, Eels etc. It shows a good collection of fish in several large sizes that can be viewed from walkaway. Do not forget to visit its 3D theatre to gain more information on many species of fish in 3D technology. This aquarium attracts tourists every year, especially animal lovers.
Saint Sebastian’s Pilgrim Church Moongode is situated on the banks of the backwaters of Varkala and is recognised as an important pilgrim centre of Christians. Portuguese are credited with the making of this beautiful church and it is very famous for its celebration of the Feast Procession of Saint Sebastian which occurred in February every year it is a time when the entire church is more lightened up and looks more colourful and attracts many travellers every year.
Darjeeling Café is one of the very popular cafes here due to its simple but decorous décor, it offers you delicious food with a splendid view of the seaside, meals are served in authentic and typical south Indian style with the south Indian flavours and dishes.
The Winter Season in Varkala stays from October to February and the Varkala temperature drop down below 25 degrees Celsius Varkala's weather condition remains low, cold and pleasant for travellers to explore the shores of Varkala and it is considered as the best time of the year to visit Varkala. Travellers can also be a witness of the annual festival of Utsavam, this festival revolves around the purification and reinvigorates the influence of the deity, and other festivals such as Navratri, Onam, Arattu Festival and Thrikarthika make their appearance every year and are enjoyed by many tourist and local people in the atmosphere of joy. And the locations like Varkala Beach, Bekal Fort, Ponnumthuruthu Island, Kappil Lake and Thiruvambady Beach are the most preferred locations to visit in this season. As mentioned, before it is the peak season to visit Varkala hence, travellers are suggested to make accommodations and travel booking in advance to avoid the rush.
Summer Season in Varkala has marked from March to May and Varkala temperature goes as high as 39 degrees Celsius Varkala's weather is very hot and humid during this time of the year and not ideal to visit in this season but still, every year many travellers visit Varkala. In this season you can enjoy the services of your hotels and resorts and also engage in some water sports. Due to the offseason this time of the year Varkala is less crowded and good deals can be available on accommodations.
The monsoon season in Varkala stays from June to September and Varkala temperature fluctuates between 25 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius Varkala's weather in this season is far more relaxing than the summer season and in this season this location is less crowdy and looks more beautiful and gives you the scenic landscapes. The whole location is fresher and greener to admire, it is an ideal location for those who want to visit Varkala at low budget spending.
- Thiruvanthapuram Airport is the nearest airport which is approximately 45 kilometres away from the beach town and well connected to other major cities like Delhi. Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi and also connected to international locations like the Middle East and South-East Asia. More than a thousand passengers travel to Thiruvanthapuram every day via more than 40 domestic and international airline carriers such as Air India, IndiGo, Vistara, Srilankan Airline, Oman Air, Qatar Airways Air Arabia etc. Once you reach the airport taxi and cabs services are available to reach the destination.
- Varkala Railway Station is the nearest railhead which is approximately 2 kilometres away from Varkala, lies on the connecting rail line Thiruvanthapuram to Ernakulam, however, all trains do not stop here and does not carry a wide network of the train but this railway station is connected to other cities like Kochi, Bangalore, Mangalore and Coimbatore but if you are heading from other major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai then Thiruvanthapuram would be the nearest railhead to Varkala. From outside the station taxis and buses are available to tourists to reach Varkala.
- Varkala is well versed connected to other major cities via roads. The state government operate Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses regularly from Thiruvanthapuram. Tourists heading from Kochi can board a bus to Thiruvanthapuram and deboard at Attingal to catch a connecting bus to Varkala. It is an economical option but simultaneously it is also very time consuming and congested. Some tourists do visit Varkala by their vehicle as well.
- Travellers heading from Goa, Mumbai, Lakshadweep and Colombo also have the option to reach the city through the water route by boarding a yacht or ship and Kottayam, Kumarakom and Alleppey operate boat services to Kochi regularly.
Gateway Varkala- IHCL SeleQtions is located at Mundayil Road and it is one of the finest 5-star accommodation options in Varkala. It gives you the services of Restaurant, Bar, Coffee Shop, Currency Exchange, Paid Airport Transfers and Outdoor Sports as well. Elixir Cliff Beach Resort and Spa is located at Aaliyirakkam Beach gives you the services of Café, Restaurant, ATM, Shuttle Service, Coffee Shop, Paid Airport Transfer along with the other amenities and is recognised as one of the best couple-friendly stay options. Bcanti Boutique Beach Resort is located at Edava Beach which is approximately 4.9 kilometres from the city centre. It gives you the services of Restaurant, Facilities for Disabled Guests, Free Parking, Power Backup, Paid Airport Transfer and Luggage Assistance and some other basic amenities as well. All mentioned options are providing the installed sanitisers, masks and gloves due to safety and Covid precautions.