Set amid a beautiful setting about 10 km away from the calm and quiet hamlet of Varkala, Varkala Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand renowned for its solitude unlike other commercial beaches of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Also known as the Papanasam Beach meaning 'Destroyer of Sins', is unlike any other beach in the area with impeccable beauty. The water of Varkala Beach is regarded to own medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the hoy water is said to cleanse the body of impurities and all sins and thus the name Papanasam Beach meaning 'Destroyer of Sins'. The beach itself is divided into two parts, the southern area of the beach lying at the end of the road leading from Janardhana Swamy Temple regarded as sacred by Hindus. However, if you are a tourist, the north part of the beach right at the bottom of the cliff is worth going renowned for its natural mineral spring.
The sublime beauty of Varkala beach is one of a kind. The backdrop of crystal blue waters against the cliffs of Kerala is a unique one since these sedimentary formation peaks are not found anywhere in the otherwise flat coastline of Kerala. These cliffs are the venue for spas, spouts, sunbathing and relaxing swims which are quite popular among visitors and if you're lucky you might also spot a few dolphins frolicking around. Sunsets at the Varkala Beach are especially pristine and call for a serene walk along the beach. Also if you are a seafood lover, then the place is a paradise for you.The eating joints nearby offer some of the India's best moth watering and affordable food.
The golden sand of Varkala Beach is ideal for a typical beach holiday and has a wide variety of interesting activities for every brand of travellers. While sightseeing and sunbathing are the best ways to enjoy the pristine beauty of this charming destination, you can also enjoy a host of thrilling adventure sports such as windsurfing, parasailing, paragliding and snorkelling. If you wish to skim the waters of the Arabian Sea, surfing here at Varkala Beach is just the right fit for you. You can rent good quality surfing gear from Surf and Soul school and head onto your own little adventure.
If spending serene quality time with yourself is on your mind, you can indulge in soothing Ayurvedic and yoga treatments from the famous Yoga and Ayurveda centres here. Meditation and self-awareness sessions are regularly held here which are a welcome break from the stress and anxiety of daily life. Apart from these, art/creative workshops are also offered over here. DOn't forget to dig into some amazing local seafood dishes which are quite easily available here at the various small-time shacks nearby.
Varkala Beach lies in close proximity to a number of local attractions. Some of these include:-
1. Janardhana Swami Temple: A holy shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Janardhana Swami Temple is a 2000-year-old temple which is a revered religious centre.
2. The Sivagiri Mutt: The Sivagiri Mutt is an ashram dedicated to Sree Narayan Guru who was a champion of equality among all regardless of religion and caste. It lies at a distance of 2.5 kilometres from the beach and is thronged by visitors in good number.
3. Papanasham Beach and Cliff: This destination is a pristine beauty that overlooks white sandy beaches, scintillating waters and mighty cliffs. In addition to being a site of majestic natural beauty, Papanasham Beach and Cliff is also a major heritage centre that has many historical values. The cliff also has a fresh water spring that is believed to absolve the sins of anyone who takes a dip in its holy waters.
Other popular destinations in and around the region include Sivagiri Tunnel, Anchengo Fort & Light House Thiruvambadi Beach, Kappil Beach, Paravoor, Chirayinkeezhu, Attingal, Kilimanoor, Kollam, Kovalam, and Thiruvananthapuram.
Needless to say, the charming beauty of Varkala Beach makes it a favourite holiday spot for many. In keeping with the demand, a number of amazing resorts and hotels have opened in and around the region. Some of the most popular accommodation facilities here include The Gateway Hotel, Indraprastha Beach Resort, Clafouti Beach Resort, Krishnatheeram Ayur Holy Beach Resort, Akhil Beach Resort, Akhil Beach Resort, Hindustan Beach Retreat and Bluewater Beach Resort. Amenities such as AC rooms, Ayurvedic spa & a yoga centre, bike rentals, outdoor pool, restaurants and bars are available in these facilities.
Amelie Nelppura Beach Resort
Starting from INR 7,500
The Gateway Hotel Varkala (A Taj Hotel)
Starting from INR 10,250
Although Varkala is a tropical paradise, yet the best time to enjoy the beach at its best is between the months of late December and March. The weather is dry and sunny with temperature hovering around 30 deg C. Avoid travelling during the months of April and May when climate is hot and humid.
Getting around the small town of Varkala, which is mainly 3 km inland, is pretty easy. One can easily hire an auto-rickshaw to commute between the places. Other than that, exploring the place on foot is also quite popular among the tourists.
1. Being a holy town, serving alcohol at shacks is prohibited.
2. Power cuts are quite common so carry a flashlight.
3. Do not swim too far and beware of strong currents at the beach.