Varkala is one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Trivandrum in Kerala. Also known as the Papanasham Beach, the beach is also a renowned religious destination. The 2000-year-old Janardhanaswamy Temple and the Sivagiri Matt make the place prominent in Hindu traditions. In the year 2019, Varkala Beach was selected as the second most stunning cliff beach in the world. It is known for its sedimentary rocks formation dating back to the Cenozoic Age, which is known as the Warkalli Formation. Varkala is noted as the only cliff beach in the state of Kerala that is found to be adjacent to the majestic Arabian Sea. It is a magnificent and well-known tourist attraction that draws large numbers of tourists each year from around the world. The place is also famous for medical tourism with many renowned Ayurveda centers alongside the beach. The best time to visit Varkala is during the winter, between October and March. Here is our list of things to do in Varkala to make the best out of your stay in the place
How To Reach Varkala?
The Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport to Varkala, which is 39Km away. There are flights available from all major Indian cities as well as International destinations to the Trivandrum Airport. One can easily avail of an airport taxi to reach Varkala from there. There is also a Helipad, at the Varkala Cliff for helicopter services. If you wish to take the train, you can book your ticket to Varkala Railway Station. Varkala is situated 9Km away from National Highway 66 and Kerala State Transport Corporation, as well as the Private operators, run bus services to and from the place.
From Bangalore To Varkala
The distance between Bangalore and Varkala is around 685Km and takes almost 14 hours of the journey via road. There are buses available from Bangalore to Trivandrum. Also, there are direct flights available from Bangalore to the Trivandrum International Airport, and one could always choose an airport taxi or a bus from the airport to reach out to the location.
As for train service, direct train run between Bangalore to the Trivandrum as well as to Varkala Railway Station.
From Mumbai toVarkala
The distance between the two places is about 1,677Km, which would take more than a day by road. There are direct flights available from Mumbai to Trivandrum International Airport. There are no direct trains from Mumbai to Varkala railway station. Hence you can take a train to Trivandrum and then take a taxi or a bus.
From Hyderabad to Varkala
The distance between Hyderabad and Varkala is 1,261Km, which would take 22 and half hours of travel via road. There are connected trains available from Hyderabad to Trivandrum.
Direct flights are available from Hyderabad Airport to Trivandrum International Airport.
Things to do in Varkala
It is an amazing place to enjoy your vacation. There are many clinics and spas in the area that provide Yoga and genuine Ayurveda treatments and therapies. Handicraft and art workshops are conducted at different spots mostly to attract tourists. Shopping is another way to spend time in this area. There are many shacks set up near the North Cliff, with various kinds of jewelry, handicrafts, fabrics, etc. Canoe trip along the backwaters around Varkala is another major leisure activity.
Another thing to enjoy during your trip is the regional cuisine of the area, which is mainly seafood. The exotic flavor of Kerala spices blended with the taste of fresh marine items is indeed a treat for your taste buds.
What are the best places to visit in Varkala?
Also known as the Paapanaasam beach, the place is covered with golden sand and has a natural spring that is believed to have healing properties. The beach is nearly 45km from Trivandrum, and the nearest railway station is the Varkala railway station which is just a kilometer away from the place.
The cliff is of great geological importance as they are of tertiary sedimentary formation and is recorded by the Geological Survey of India. Natural Water spouts flow across the sides of these cliffs, making it an amazing view for tourists.
Yoga and Ayurveda
People from around the world come to Kerala for Ayurveda Treatment. Varkala is one of the most sought-after places in the state for good quality ayurvedic treatment with many age-old centers.
The Kappil Backwaters is 6Km away from Varkala. A houseboat trip in the backwaters is worth a try in this region with exotic backwaters and scenery.
Used by the Portuguese as trading and later by the British, this Fort was built in the 17th century, and
stands till date without any major damages.
What are the happening places and tourist activities in Varkala?
The Red Cliff & white sandy beach
Being the only beach cliff in Kerala, the cliff offers a mesmerizing view of the Arabian Sea. The best time would be in the early morning to view the sunrise and during the sunset where the shades of the sun meet the sky and the sea together.
Janardhana Swamy Temple
The specialty of this temple is that it is a 2000-year old Vishnu temple and also a major pilgrim spot for Hindus. It is famous for its traditional architecture and architectural prominence. The place is famous for a 10-day festival called Arattu held twice a year. Located at the hilltops, the temple is a fine example of Kerala architecture.
Varkala Sivagiri Mutt
Located 50 km North of Trivandrum city, it is the final resting place of the Great saint Sree Narayana Guru. Spread across an area of 200 acres at the top of the Sivagiri hills, the place is a famous pilgrimage and cultural center. The organization set up by the Guru for the upliftment of backward social classes of Kerala, the SNDP (Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam) is also headquartered in the Sivagiri hills.
Why do people visit Varkala beach?
The Varkala Beach is known as the best beach in Varkala, set amidst its beauty with the stretch of gorgeous sand unlike the other beaches in the city of Trivandrum. This beach is also known as “Papanasam Beach”, which also means “Destroyer of Sins”. There are various adventurous activities such as Windsurfing, Paragliding, etc available as the adventure spot in this area.
Varkala is one of the major tourist and commercial spots in the city of Kerala. It is known for its sedimentary rock formation dating back to the Cenozoic Age, which is known in the Geological Literature as the Warkalli Formation. Varkala is the only cliff in the state of Kerala and is a magnificent and well-known tourist attraction known around the world. Therefore, the list of things to do in Varkala is endless. The local authorities have set up various adventure and leisure activities in the area, making the place worth visiting. The proximity of the place to other globally renowned tourist attractions in the region like Kovalam is another factor that brings in tourists to the place. Also, the cultural and religious prominence of the place draws a large number of pilgrims and devotees to Varkala. Moreover, the place is also sought-after for Ayurveda treatments and is renowned for reliable ayurvedic centers.