Varkala, another beach destination on southern part of Kerala lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Sivagiri Mutt. You may see Cliff and beach together only in Varkala. 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' arises. 2000 year old Janardhanaswamy Temple stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach. 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. Varkala is also famous for its Ayurvedic treatment centers.

Sightseeing in Varkala

Janardanaswami Temple
Janardhana Swamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu is located on the beach road overlooking the beach, is believed to be almost 2,000 years old. The temple aptly follows the tradition of traditional South-Indian architecture. The main idol has four arms having all the attributes of Vishnu. Shrines of Sasta and Shiva with Nandi lies in the south-western corner and on the north-eastern side of the outer enclosure. It is also popular as the only shrine dedicated to Vishnu in the name of Janardhana in this part of the country, with the temples usually being dedicated to Krishna. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the Janardhana Swamy temple, they are allowed to walk around the sanctum and stroll around the huge banyan tree.

Sivagiri Mutt
The Sivagiri Mutt, built in 1904, is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill near Varkala. Even decades after Sree Narayan Guru's demise here in 1928, his samadhi continues to be visited by thousands of devotees, in yellow dresses, from different parts of Kerala and other places, every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days, which is from 30th December to 1st January. The Guru Deva Jayanti, the birthday of the Guru, and the samadhi day are celebrated in August and September respectively. Colourful processions, debates and seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts, group wedding and rituals mark the celebrations.

Varkala Beach
Varkala, another beach destination on southern part of Kerala lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. If you're the sorts who always long for a beach holiday, and does not be with the crowd ppack your bags from Kovalam make your way straight to Varkala. Varkala the smooth white expanses of sand, sun and sparkling blue water. It is famous for its landscape, a high rocky cliff ends abruptly and a stretch of clear sand extends down to the sea. The contrast between the cliffs, sand and sea makes Varkala Beach a breath-taking destination. Varkala is an ideal spot for enjoying the Arabian Sea and is visited each time by more and more tourists mainly Europeans who comes for sun bathing and ayurveda. Papasnanam Beach is a quiet stretch of white sandy beach, surrounded by coconut palm trees and red cliffs of 1500 metres.

Anjengo Fort
The Anjengo Fort situated 36 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and lies near the Varkala beach. Established by the English East India Company in 1684 as a strategic garrison, the fort protected their powerful position in the state of Kerala and played an important part in the British military strategy, during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Also, the Anjengo Fort was used by the British as a trading station to carry on their business of trade and commerce. An excellent and apt example of the strong forts built following the English style of architecture. Now only has a few remnants of the fort but the beach in front of the fort is an ideal spot for those out on a picnic.

Things to do in Varkala

Beach Tour
The white sand beach at Varkala attracts lots of foreigners. The quiet and secluded Varkala Beach is a haven for sun-bathing and swimming. The evening views of the sunset are worth watching.

Visit Sivagiri Mutt
Sivagiri Mutt is a famous ashram in Varkala, founded by the philosopher and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, whose mausoleum is also located on the hill-top.

Temple Darshan
2000 year old Janardhanaswamy Temple stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach. The main deity is Vishnu and may be the one of its kind in South India.

A perfect destination for Ayurveda with its tropical climate. Also has number of approved ayurveda centers from budget to premium. The most taken is the one hour full body massage. Yoga classes are also available at some of the resorts.

How to reach Varkala

Nearest bus stations: Varkala has both private and KSRTC bus stands
Nearest railway station: Varkala, 3 km from the beach
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 57 km from beach

Latitude: 8.740543, Longitude: 76.716785


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