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Varkala, in Kerala, is a stunning beach destination.

Kerala is famous for its beaches, lagoons, and silvery sands. Sun-drenched beaches in northern and southern Kerala attract tourists. Kappad, Darmadam, and Muzhapilangad are Northern Kerala’s main beaches, whereas Kovalam and Varkala are Southern Kerala’s. Varkala, a beach resort, is different from other beaches. Topography and atmosphere differ from Kovalam.  Varkala is quieter than Kovalam despite receiving a lot of tourists. Varkala is a pilgrimage destination with Sivagiri Mutt and historic temples like Janardhana. The stunning cliffs distinguish Varkala from other southern Kerala beaches. Kerala beaches are flat. Varkala is the only southern Kerala beach with Arabian Sea cliffs.  The Geological Survey of India classified the Varkala Formation a geological monument.  Beautiful spouts and spas line these rocks.

Varkala is a small, quiet town on the edge of the district of Thiruvananthapuram. It has a beautiful beach, a Vishnu Temple that was built more than 2,000 years ago, and the Ashramam – Sivagiri Mutt, which is not far from the beach.

The Papanasam Beach, also called Varkala Beach, is 10 km from Varkala and is known for its natural spring. Which is thought to be good for medicine and healing? People think that a dip in the holy water at this beach will clean the body of dirt and the soul of all sins. This is why the beach is called “Papanasam Beach.”

The Janardhanaswamy Temple is a shrine that has been there for 2,000 years. It is on the rocks above the beach, not far away. The great religious reformer and teacher Sree Narayana Guru (1856–1928) started the Sivagiri Mutt, which is also nearby. During the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days, from December 30th to January 1st, thousands of followers come to visit the Guru’s Samadhi, which is where he died and was laid to rest. “One caste, one religion, and one God” was an idea that Sree Narayana Guru spread in a society that was torn apart by the taboos of the caste system

Major Tourist Attractions

Varkala Beach


Varkala Beach, also called Papanasam Beach, is a beautiful stretch of sand about 10 km from the quiet village of Varkala in Kerala. It is known for being quieter than other beaches in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, which are used for business. The Arabian Sea looks different against the hills of Kerala because these peaks are made of sedimentary rock and can’t be found anywhere else along Kerala’s flat coast.

The beach is split into two parts. The Hindu temple Janardhana Swamy Temple is at the end of the road that leads to the southern part of the beach. But if you are a tourist, you should go to the north end of the beach, right at the base of the cliff, where there is a natural mineral spring.

People believe that the water at Varkala Beach has healing and healing powers. People believe that a dip in the hoy water will clean the body of all dirt and sins. This is how the beach got its name, Papanasam Beach, which means “Destroyer of Sins.”

Sunsets at Varkala Beach are especially beautiful, and they make you want to take a peaceful walk along the beach. Also, if you like fish, this place is like heaven for you. Some of the most delicious and cheap food in India can be found at the restaurants nearby.


The only place in southern Kerala with rocks right next to the Arabian Sea is Varkala beach. Geologists have given these rocks the name Varkala Formation because they are made of tertiary sediments. The Geological Survey of India says that they are an important geological site. On these rocks, there are water spouts and spas.

Things to see and do close by

Near the Beach is where the Janardana Swami Temple is. It is known for the Arattu event, which lasts 10 days and happens twice a year. 

Another thing to see is the Sivagiri Mutt, which is on top of the Sivagiri hill. The Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station is where you can catch a train.

At Varkala Beach, you can ride a boat, go parasailing, jet ski, or ride a horse for fun and excitement. There are also cafes and restaurants, but no places that serve booze.

Ponnumthuruth Island


Ponnumthuruthu Island, which is near Varkala and is caressed by the Anjengo Backwaters, is one of the most beautiful places in Kerala where no one lives. The island is 20 kilometres from Varkala and can only be reached by a special dock from Nedunganda Village. It is five acres in size and is surrounded by the calm waters of Akathumuri lake.

There is also a cute Shiva-Parvathi Temple there that is 100 years old. People come here for the rustic feel, the nice people, and the beautiful scenery. Ponnumthuruthu, also called Golden Island, is a stop in Thiruvananthapuram that you can’t miss.

Shivagiri Mutt


Travel about 3 km from Varkala town and you will reach one of the most popular pilgrim destinations of Kerala – Sivagiri Mutt. It is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham, an organization of the great reformer Sree Narayana Guru’s disciples and followers.

The Mutt campus sprawls over an area of 200 acres and you will surely be attracted by the distinctive multi-tiered white terraces of the mutt, once you enter there.  Situated at an elevated plateau, the mutt is considered sacred. It is here that the social reformer and sage Sree Narayana Guru breathed his last in 1928. The Samadhi or the final resting place of the Guru is situated on a hillock here and it attracts thousands of pilgrims. There is also the Guru’s residence and it displays his personal belongings.

You can also see a Sharada temple here. The main idol, Goddess Saraswati, here was consecrated by the Guru himself.

The temple's design and aspects that make it stand out

The Guru planned and built the Sivagiri Sarada temple. It is in the shape of an eight-pointed star. The windows in this Sarada temple were very unusual for a temple. The Guru called it Sarada Mutt, and he wanted to give it to Saraswathy, the Goddess of Knowledge. The goddess sits on a white flower, which is a symbol of how knowledge grows on purity.

The practises are also not the same as those in other temples. While other temples do things like nivedyam (offering food to the deity) or abhishekam (pouring oil, ghee, and other things on the idol), the Sharada temple doesn’t do any of these things. Instead, worshippers can just sing songs to the goddess. Guru, who was a writer and artist, wrote Janani-navaratna Manjari to praise the Goddess.

In addition to blessing a symbolic idol and avoiding all tantric rituals, the Guru demanded that the temple’s grounds be kept clean. His followers still follow what the Guru said, so the temple is very different from other shrines around the world.

Kappil Lake


Kappil Lake is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. It is 8 km north of Varkala and is surrounded by coconut fields and trees. This peaceful waterway flows gently into the Arabian Sea. There is a bridge that goes across the lake. From the bridge, you can see the lake step up towards the blue sky, which is a beautiful sight. It’s a place where you can find both backwaters and a beach. Land and water working together in a magical way, people fishing from small boats, and an island covered with coconut trees are all images that will stay with you forever.

Janardhanaswami Temple

One of the most well-known and important sites is the Janardhana Swamy Temple in Varkala.Varkala is in the Indian state of Kerala, in the district of Trivandrum.This Janardhana Swamy temple has been around for more than 2,000 years. But some writings inside the temple show that it was fixed up by the Umayamma queen, who was in charge of the area in the late 1700s. The main god at the Janardhana Swamy temple in Varkala is Lord Vishnu. The conch shell, the wheel, the club, and the pot are all on this idol’s four arms. In addition to the main sanctum, the door to the sanctum sanctorum has painted statues of Shiva, Hanuman, and other gods.

How to Get to the Janardhana Swamy Temple in Varkala

The Varkala Railway Station is 3 Km from the Temple, which is the closest one.

The closest airport to Varkala is the Trivandrum International Airport, which is about 57 km away.

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