Ah, Varkala! You’re revisiting a captivating coastal town known for its stunning cliffs, serene beaches, and rich cultural heritage. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of what Varkala offers:

Coastal Gem with Dramatic Cliffs:

  • Varkala, unlike most beaches in Kerala, boasts striking reddish cliffs that rise majestically along the Arabian Sea coastline. These cliffs, known as the Varkala Formation, are a geological wonder and a national geo-heritage monument. They offer panoramic views of the ocean and create a unique backdrop for the town.

Beach Paradise:

  • Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam Beach, is a popular spot for relaxation and recreation. The sands here are a unique black color due to the presence of thorium, although it’s perfectly safe for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Enjoy a variety of water activities like swimming, surfing, and parasailing.
  • Laze on the beach, soak up the sun, and listen to the soothing sound of waves.

Ayurvedic Haven:

  • Varkala is renowned for its numerous Ayurvedic centers, offering traditional treatments for rejuvenation and holistic well-being.
  • Immerse yourself in the ancient practice of Ayurveda with massages, herbal remedies, and yoga sessions.

Spiritual Significance:

  • Varkala holds spiritual significance for Hindus. The Janardhana Swami Temple, a 2000-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, attracts devotees throughout the year.
  • Papanasam Beach is believed to have holy waters with the power to cleanse sins.

Hippie Culture and Laid-back Vibe:

  • Varkala has a touch of hippie culture, with numerous cafes, shops selling bohemian souvenirs, and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • In the evenings, the cliffs come alive with vibrant music and entertainment options.

Other Points of Interest:

  • Visit the Sivagiri Mutt, a monument dedicated to the social reformer Sree Narayana Guru.
  • Explore the local markets and shops, experiencing the vibrant culture and picking up souvenirs like handicrafts, spices, and cashew nuts.
  • Take a day trip to nearby attractions like the Anchal (Honeycomb) Lake or the Palaruvi Falls.

Getting There:

  • Varkala is well-connected by road to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital city of Kerala, and other major towns.
  • The nearest railway station is Varkala Railway Station.
  • The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TRV) in Thiruvananthapuram.


  • Varkala offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses and homestays perched on the cliffs to luxurious resorts catering to all budgets and preferences.

Overall, Varkala presents a captivating destination for beach lovers, culture enthusiasts, and those seeking a touch of spiritual serenity. The unique cliffs, pristine beaches, Ayurvedic centers, and laid-back vibe make Varkala a place to unwind and create lasting memories on your Kerala itinerary.

Do you have any specific aspects of Varkala that you’d like to explore further? Perhaps you’re interested in:

  • The history and significance of the Janardhana Swami Temple
  • Trying out Ayurvedic treatments for rejuvenation
  • Experiencing the nightlife and entertainment options on the cliffs
  • Learning more about the geology of the Varkala Formation cliffs
  • Planning a day trip to nearby attractions like Anchal Lake or Palaruvi Falls