Varkala situated 50km north of Thiruvananthapuram, popular coastline resort and religious destination. Welcome to its pristine beaches and natural springs.
Varkala, with its unique geological formations, shimmering beaches and natural springs invites tourists for relaxation and natural therapies. Amongst its religious fervors, is the 2000-year-old Janardanaswamy Temple. It is a hotspot for Ayurveda. Facing the Arabian Sea, it calls you for soaking up the sun, swimming and adventure sports. Tempted? Allow us to take you on a tour to Varkala.
History of Varkala
The captivating coastline city was a part of the Travancore state during the British Raj. In 1956 when the state of Kerala was formed, Varkala became a city of Kerala. According to the Hindu mythology, a group of pilgrims for confession of their sins approached saint Narada. He threw a cloth prepared from a tree bark and it landed near the seashore. He instructed the pilgrims to offer their prayers here. This was the beginning of Papanasam, which later came to be known as Varkala.
Tourism in Varkala
Tourism started thriving at the end of 20th century at the Varkala, earlier famous for a Hindu custom – Vayu Beli. Arrays of Ayurvedic massage parlors are flanking the beach.
Varkala Beach accessed by swarms of tourists for a swim in its clear, blue waters and attaining a perfect tan on its shores. Absorb the magnificence of God’s creation in the sunset. This popular tourist destination has amassed several small restaurants and snack shops near the beach.
Edava-Nadayara Kappil Lake, 4 kilometers (3.75 miles) north of Varkala Town, is a tranquil estuary filled with coconut groves before merging into the Arabian Sea. Take a boat ride or climb the bridge to view the picturesque backwater stretching to the distant blue horizon.
Anjengo Fort holds historical reminisce amidst the marvelous landscape. Built by the Dutch in the17th century for guarding this important trading centre; the fort forebears the footprints of Portuguese and English settlements, as well. Inside the fort is a cemetery dating back to 1704. Today, it is under the protection of National Heritage Monuments.
Varkala Tunnel and the lighthouse is a popular interest to tourist. The 924 ft long tunnel built by the diwan of Travancore, T.Mahadeva Rao, 1867, took 14 years to complete.
Cruise your way to the breath-taking Ponnumthuruthu Island, and pay a visit to ancient Shiva-Parvathy Temple.
Heal and rejuvenate your body with the Ayurvedic therapies and massages. Several clinics within the city walls exclusively offer massage treatments during the peak season. Relax your overworked mind, by enrolling for meditation classes at the Sivagiri Mutt.
The captivating backwater cruises are available between Edava and Kappil stretch, 6 km north of Varkala.
For vacationers seeking spiritual healing can visit the various religious centers including Janardhana Swami Temple Pond, Sarkara Devi Temple and Sivagiri Mutt.
Janardana Swami Temple is a 2000-year-old Vaishnavite shrine that attracts thousands of pilgrims. It also offers a unique historical view; a large bell washed up on the shore from the wreck of a Dutch merchant vessel is at display insides the temple.
Area: 15.42 km2 (6 sq mi)
Elevation/ Altitude: 190m (623 ft)
Geography: North Latitudes: 8.73° East Longitudes: 76.71°
Climate: Tropical Monsoon. Summer Temp: 35°C Max 25°C Min, Winter Temp: 28°C Max 22°C Min.
Languages: Malayalam, English, Dutch, French
Best Season: December-February
Tourist Attraction: Beaches, Adventure Sport, Temples