Monday, July 15, 2024

Tourism      Beaches      Kerala     Thiruvananthapuram    

Varkala Beach

Place : Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Highlight : A beautiful beach with rocky cliffs and coconut groves which is a pilgrimage destination as well
Best time to visit : September to May
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Varkala Beach, is a very secluded beach situated at a distance of 51km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. The beach lying on the south west coast of India, is also known as Papnasam beach and is an important Hindu center of pilgrimage. Hundreds of Hindu devotees perform 'Vavubali', a ritual performed for the ancestors soul to rest in peace, on the new moon day of the Malayalam month Karkidakam. There is a belief that a dip in the holy waters of this beach will purify your body and soul, washing out all your sins. The beach offers its visitors a perfect beach holiday plus Ayurvedic treatments, Yoga and meditation courses.

Varkala Beach is an ideal location for those looking for a relaxed and quieter holiday. The beach with its brown sand, panoramic landscape and seascapes is a tropical paradise. Today, this beach attracts hundreds of locals, as well as tourists, all year round. 

The main attraction of the beach is that it provides lovely sunset views over the Arabian Sea. The sunset at Varkala Beach is absolutely astounding with the sun dipping slowly down the horizon and the sky filled with red and orange hues. The beach is surrounded by high rocky cliffs and coconut groves. There are two main cliffs, the North and the South. The cliffs are steep and rugged and are made of red brown stone. Waves crash on the off-shore rocks.  The blend of the cliffs, brown sand and the sea makes the beach an outstanding sight. The stone blocks on the beach protect from erosion and the invasion of the grounds by water.

Swimming can be fun here. But the waves are quite strong and usually break very close to the beach. Apart from swimming and sunbathing, the beach offers a variety of beach activities including volleyball, water sports such as Parasailing, Scuba diving, wind surfing etc.

Varkala town is not on the beach side but a little away.  Besides the main beach, there are several smaller beaches further north with black volcanic sand. The smaller beaches are serene and provide more privacy. The beach coast is lined with souvenir shops and restaurants. Vendors in their small stalls selling a wide variety of decorative items, mainly conch shells and beads adds colour to the place.

There are a number of tourist attractions close to the beach.  The mineral water springs near here are known for their medicinal properties and many people come here to drink and bath in the water from the springs. There is the Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa and Hanuman, atop a hill believed to be between 800 - 2000 years old. Devotees visit this temple to seek divine blessings. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the inner sanctum. Sivagiri Mutt founded by the Hindu Philosopher and reformer Sree Narayana guru and his Samadhi here attracts a large number of devotees every year during the end of December. A Nature Centre and a 2000 year old shrine of Lord Vishnu, are the other attractions near the beach.