Nested at the bottom of a cliff, Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam Beach, can be accessed by a paved path that leads down to its golden sands. It gets strong winds and waves, making it the perfect spot to go surfing, parasailing and windsurfing, attracting beach bums from around the world. Even though it has a hippy bohemian vibe. Varkala is packed with history and legend. Home to the 2000 year old Janardana Swami Temple, also known as Dakshin Kashi, this is where large numbers of Hindus come to scatter the ashes of loved ones. The temple is close to the beach, whose waters are believed to wash away sins.
One of the key factors that set apart Varkala from other beaches of Sothern Kerala is the fascinating stretch of cliffs. Kerala coasts are generally flat in nature. Varkala alone is the only beach in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. “The Varkala Formation” as it is called by the geologists is declared by the Geological survey of India as a geological monument. On the sides of these cliffs we can see several beautiful spouts and spas.
Location: 51 km north of Thiruvananthapuram city in Thiruvananthapuram district and 37 km south of Kollam, south Kerala.
Varkala offers excellent accommodation facilities for tourists and is fast becoming a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centres.
Attractions: Beach, mineral water springs, the Sivagiri Mutt and a 2000-year- old Vishnu Temple.
Nearest railway station: Varkala, about 3 km away
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 57 km away