Varkala

An amazing scenic destination and a waterside town, Varkala is located in the state of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram district. It is the merely a single place in southern part of the state where rocks are found close to the Arabian Sea. Popular for its natural fisheries and springs, and the samadhi of Kerala’s saint Sree Narayana Guru, Varkala is a coastal town with pristine beaches, hills, lakes, forts, lighthouses, all together making it a subtle bit of paradise in Kerala. It has a scent of freshness in its air, given the untouched beaches, surrounding hills, springs and fisheries.

Varkala has a lot of architecture too, to attract tourists such as the Janardhana Swamy Temple, Anjengo Fort, Vishnu temple and Sivagiri Mutt. Varkala reveals a splendid past. During the Sangham era, Varkala had been the most important port and is known as ‘Balitha’. There are numerous water spots and spas on the sides of the rocks and are well known among geologists as Varkala Formation.

Weather

March is the hottest month in Varkala with an average temperature of 29°C and the coldest is February at 27°C. The wettest month is June with an average of 341 mm of rain. The best months to visit are October, November, December, January, February and March.

How to Reach

The nearest International Airport from Varkala is Trivandrum International Airport, Thiruvananthapuram, roughly one hour drive from Varkala. Trivandrum International Airport is well connected to major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Varkala has its own Railway Station which is connected to all the major cities of Kerala. It is connected with the cities such as Trivandrum, Kochi, Coimbatore, Mangalore and Bangalore.

Key attractions/Sightseeing

Janardhanaswamy Temple: Located in Varkala, Janardhanaswamy Temple is 25 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram. It is one of the many ancient temples in Kerala. It is an ancient temple dating back to 2000 years and has been a Hindu pilgrimage site since the 12th Century. The temple is situated on the top of the hill facing Papanasam beach. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Hanuman and offers devotees an aesthetic as well as a spiritual ambience. Hindu pilgrims come to this temple to perform final rites for their deceased loved ones. Apart from its beautiful location and superb architecture, the temple is known for its grand celebration of Arattu festival that falls in March/April and attracts a lot of tourists.

Varkala Tunnel: A pictorial destination, Varkala Tunnel was built by the Britishers to establish an internal waterway for carrying out the trade activities. It is also known Varkala Turuthu. The tunnel took approx. 14 years to complete.

Sivagiri Mutt: Located in the city of Thiruvananthapuram district, Sivagiri Mutt is an extremely renowned holy destination to visit and is a famous ashram. This place was built by Shri Narayana Guru around the year 1904. The tomb of Shri Narayana Guru is a major attraction of this place attracting many tourists.

Sarkara Devi Temple: Sarkara Devi Temple is situated at Chirayinkeezhu, roughly 19 Km from Varkala and is one of the most antique temples of the region. The temple has earned cultural significance because of its Kaliyoot festival, organized in the month of March or kumbham, according to Malayalam calendar.

Kaduvayil Juma Masjid: The Kaduvayil Juma Masjid is one of the prime shrines and most visited places in and around Varkala. The shrine is popular not only amongst Muslim devotees, but also amongst tourists from far and away. It is dedicated to a Muslim saint, Kaduvayil Thangal, and is also popularly known as Kaduvayil Thangal Juma Masjid or Kaduvayil Palli. It is located on the National Highway 47, between Kallambalam and Attingal. The shrine is a great site for those in search of peace and tranquility along with history lovers.

Varkala Beach: Located 10 km away from the calm and quite hamlet of Varkala, Varkala Beach is a beautiful beach renowned for its solitude. Varkala Beach also known as the Papanasam Beach meaning ‘Destroyer of Sins’, is unlike any other beach in the area with impeccable beauty. This place is extensively famous for swimming and sunbathing. One can easily spot Dolphins all along the Varkala coast line. The beach is very popular for its small sea side shops and bug markets. The eating joints nearby offer some of the India’s best moth watering and affordable food.

Thiruvambadi Beach: Lying 1 km off Thiruvambadi road, this black sand beach adjacent to the North cliff is an ideal picnic spot amidst lush coconut groves to relax and unwind.

Edava Beach: Untouched and un-spoilt by tourist activities, the Edava beach is a virgin stretch circling a blue lagoon where sea and backwaters run parallel divided by a more-than-one km of straight road. There is also an estuary that connects the sea with the backwaters here.

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