India TravelKerala7 Reasons Why Varkala Should Be Your Next Thrilling...

7 Reasons Why Varkala Should Be Your Next Thrilling Travel Destination.


Often you may have found yourself in dilemma about whether to travel to beaches or the mountains. And it gets more confusing when you can’t decide where you wanna travel first. Not just this, sometimes we get into quarrels with our friends and families about which is better- the mountains or the coasts. Well, dilemmas are a never-ending part of life and I cannot do anything about that. But one thing is for sure, India has a secret spot which offers you both mountains and beaches! Yes, you heard that right. In the southernmost state of Kerala, lies the town of Varkala. Varkala is fondly known as the Goa of Kerala, mostly because of the abundance of beaches in the town that makes it a sea paradise.

Table of Contents

  1. History of Varkala
  2. Places to visit in Varkala
    1. Beaches
    2. Janardhan Swamy Temple
    3. Sivagiri Mutt
    4. Varakal Tunnel
    5. Kappil lake
    6. Anjengo Fort
  3. Accommodation, Cuisine and Shopping in Varkala
  4. Conclusion
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

History of Varkala

Situated 50km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 150 Km South of Kochin, Varkala is a medley of aestheticism and material comfort.

Varkala - History

There are many beliefs regarding the birth of Varkala. It is believed that once a group of pilgrims approached Barada, stating that they have sinned and that they need to repent for them. Narada, on listening to this, threw his Valkalam on this scenic land and asked the saints to wash their sins here. And since then this place came to be known as Valkara.

The town was called Southern Varanasi owing to the presence of the Ancient Janardhan Swamy temple. Earlier, Varakal was also remembered as Udaya-Marthanpuram as a tribute to the former king of Travancore, Udaya Marthand Varma, who was responsible for the development of Varkala town. In the year 1762, he built the houses in the town for the settlements of the Brahmins.

The whole town is divided into North Cliff, South Cliff and The town centre. The locals mostly live in the town centre, however, the tourists are mostly found in the North cliff which offers them affordable accommodation, restaurants and Markets. The South cliff on the other hand is famous for Surfing activities.

Places to visit in Varkala

Varkala is considered a hidden paradise of Kerala. True to the Affirmations, Varkala is an assortment of Rustic beaches, Cliffs and a deep blue sea. The whole view of the Deep-sea and beaches along with the high cliffs give leave you with an enthralling experience that you may not undergo anywhere else. But hold on, paradise does not end here, not just cliffs and beaches, but Varkala has various other edifices and shrines that carry Historical and religious values. Let’s have a look at these places in the attribute.

1. Beaches

Beaches - Varkala

Being on the banks of the Arabian sea, Varakal is blessed with a. Number of beaches. The major beach in Varkala is the Varkala beach which is also known as Paapnaasam, which means destroyer of the sin. As per the folklores, This is the same place where Narada asked disciples to repent for their sins. The Varakal beach adjacent to the Varakal Cliffs makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Varakal. Other major beaches in Varakal are Black beach (named due to the presence of black sand), Edava Beach, and Odayam Beach. One can either do swimming or can lay in the lap of Mother Nature while witnessing the scenic beauty of the Sea and Cliff together.

Also Read: Poovar – An offbeat vacation spot of Kerala

2. Janardhan Swamy Temple

Janardhana Temple - Varkala

This Ancient temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu, however, due to tidal waves, the temple got destructed. Years later, the temple was rebuilt by the Pandyan king, to please Brahma. The temple is now 2000 years old and is a pilgrimage site for a lot of devotees who come here to repent of their sins. This temple is within walking distance from the Paapnaasam beach where devotees take bath to wash away their sins.

3. Sivagiri Mutt

Sivagiri Mutt - Varkala

The Sivagiri Mutt is the most famous pilgrimage site for the followers of the Sree Narayana Guru who was a well-known reformist in Kerala. This is also a headquarter for the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangam trust. Sree Narayana was a famous reformer in the 1920s whose Samadhi is also present in the mutt. There is a Sharda temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati sitting on a White lotus. The Mutt is 3 km away from the Janardhana Swami temple in Varkala town, on the hills of Sivagiri. The Sivagiri hills were once the centre of the propagation of Narayana Guru’s philosophy. Mutt attracts plenty of devotees from all over India during the pilgrimage from 30th December to the 1st of January.

Also Read: Munnar – A Mystic Hill Station of Western Ghats, Kerala

4. Varakal Tunnel

Varakal Tunnel

Varakal tunnel has been mentioned in one of the Sandesha Kavya in Malayalam known as Mayoora Sandesham. Also known as Varakal Turuthu, this Historic Tunnel was once used by the Britishers for the transportation of ferry goods as well as people from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. It took fourteen years for the completion of the Tunnel. It consists of two tunnels, which are 2370 ft and 1140 ft long. With the advent of the modern transportation system, The use of the Varakal tunnel became almost negligible and is now a historic site.

5. Kappil lake

Kapil lake - Varkala

If you want to enjoy the view of the backwaters, then Kappil Lake is the niche for you. Situated 4km from Varakal town, Kappil lake is a tranquil haven surrounded by dense Coconut grooves. The journey to this beach-backwater blend is another exciting part of the spot. The roads are surrounded by the Arabian sea on one side and Ezhava lake on the other side, added to this is the Coconut grooves waving in the direction of the wind, making the entire ambience a perfect mood-setter. The Kerala tourism board has also provided the facilities of pedals and motorboats to hire.

Also Read: Top 9 Beaches In Kerala You Must Visit

6. Anjengo Fort

For the history geeks, Varakal has a special treat for you. The Anjengo fort! Anjengo means Five coconut palms. Sandwiched between the beach and the backwaters, Anjengu is a hidden treasure which is both historically and aesthetically pleasing.

Anjengo Fort - Varkala

The fort is of historical importance because this was the location where the East India Company had its first trade settlement in the Kerala region. The Fort was established in the year 1695 after the Queen permitted them. During the Anglo-Mysore war, the fort faced relentless attacks and played a major role during the battle. The Fort is accompanied by a lighthouse which is 130 feet tall. The lighthouse gives you a scenic view of the surrounding. The premises of the fort consists of tombstones and lush gardens. The time to visit the fort is from 8 AM to 6 PM.

Accommodation, Cuisine and Shopping in Varkala

Now that we are already introduced you to the beauty of Varkala, let me introduce you to the cuisines and accommodation available in Varkala.

The North Cliff of Varkala is the most preferred place among tourists to stay and accommodation. The North cliff provides you with several resorts and lounges that are cosy and comforting as well as are present in every range, from standard to luxurious. Cliff stories, Elixir cliffs beach and resort, Pura Vida Varkala, and Bluewater beach resort are some of the famous resorts in North cliff.

The Cuisine in Varkala is rich in seafood. God’s own country kitchen, InDa, Darjeeling Cafe, and Cafe del Marr are some of the local eateries where you can savour the delicacies of Kerala. If you wish to eat authentic Kerala cuisine, then Suprabhatam is the right place for you.  Unique enough, In some cafes like InDa, the food is homegrown, that is, every ingredient is made from scratch. The Northern Cliff has plenty of markets and shops from where you can buy trinkets, raw materials, spices, clothes, and accessories. Apart from shopping, One can take leisure within ayurvedic spas and resorts in Varkala. They provide you with full body massage and therapies that add a cherry to your trip.

Also Read: Wayanad – Plan a Trip to the Green Paradise of Kerala


As you are now familiar with Varkala, I think it’s not going to be a dilemmatic situation for you when you have to decide between Beach and Mountain. The Varkala, being a blend of both, is a perfect destination for all the vague minds and People who are looking around for some peace in tranquillity. From spiritual to historical to Harmony, Every place of Varkala is associated with either of the virtue, making it versatile and a must-visit place for every age group, from Youth to Old-age. So next time, do add Varkala to your travel diary, and experience the feeling of Goa within the Hill!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Varkala a safe place for women?
Yes absolutely, it is a safe place for women.

What are the package rates to visit Varkala?
There are many different rates on different websites, but if you wish to visit the place by yourself then the costing would be around 12,000 indian ruppees.

Can Hindi and English language work in Varkala?
The people here generally speaks Malayalam and a bit of English, so you can survive here with English, but Hindi won’t have any scope round here.

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