Tours to Varkala, Hotels, Accommodation
Varkala is a small town. The charm of Varkala tourism lies entirely along the seashore.
The 2 km long cliff face stretches from the South Cliff to the Thiruvambady Beach at the northern end. What makes Varkala tourism truly special is that it offers all the pleasures of the more famous Kovalam without the chaos, crowds and hawkers.
Varkala is a dramatic location. Varkala is fringed by serene backwaters, cool natural springs and solitary beaches. This low-key development destination is much more appealing to spend a beach holiday than Kovalam.
The North Cliff has row of restaurants and small hotels. The view of the ocean from here is magical especially in sunset.
Varkala tourism and the beach are dominated by young backpackers. You also see young families and 50-something sharing the sand.
Arrival - Tours to Varkala
Varkala is on the outskirts of Thiruvananthpuram district. Varkala is located in 50km north of Trivandrum and 37km south of Kollam (Quilon).
Varkala beach is 4 km west of Varkala town. Town's mainline railway station - Varkala-Sivagiri - is served by express and passenger trains from Trivandrum, Kollam and other Kerala towns.
Varkala is just 15km away from NH-47 highway.
Papanasam in Malayalam means "sin destroyer". Varkala's beautiful white sand Papanasan beach is associated with ancestor worship. Devotees come here after praying at the ancient Janardhana Swamy Temple. A dip in the sea here is considered holy.
The wide view of crescent-shaped beach is heightened by the long stretch of red laterite cliffs. The beach is scenic and reactively relaxing.
Due to the religious association, western sun-worshippers are supposed to keep to the northern end of the beach.
Ensure your safety by keeping away from the no-swim zones marked with flags. The undercurrent is often strong, claiming lives every year.
Another attraction of Varkala tourism are the Dolphins. They are often seen swimming quite close to the coast. If you're lucky, you may be able to swim with them by arranging a ride with a fishing boat.
The cliff is an irresistible feature of Papanasam Beach. A natural spring, said to have curative properties, originates from the cliff. In any case climb the cliff to watch the sun set. It will make a perfect end to a perfect day.
North Cliff area is the focus of a well established tourist scene. Bamboo and palm-thatch cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops are filled in the edge of the cliff.
Several steep flights of steps cut into the rock provide short cuts to the sand below.
Heading in the opposite direction, South Cliff beach area is the place to sidestep the tourist scene of the North Cliff. Atmosphere here is wonderfully tranquil, especially around sunset.
You can walk there easily from the main beach front. You can also reach here via the back lane running past South Cliff's hotels and guesthouses.
Yoga and Ayurveda
Countless private ayurveda centres and yoga schools are operating in Varkala. As in Kovalam, many non-qualified practitioners have jumped on the bandwagon.
So it is wise to look around, and get travellers' recommendations before booking a treatment.
Look at the Kerala Tourism classified ayurveda centres at Varkala.
Olive Leaf Certified Ayurvedic Centres
Sanjeevani Ayurveda Centre
Opposite Govt. Guest House
Tel: +91 470 2609553
Akhil Beach Resort
Near Papanasam Cliff
Tel: +91 470 2600942, 2602341
Tel: +91 470 3206294, 2456232
Green Leaf Certified Ayurvedic Centres
Krishnatheeram Ayur Holy Beach Resort
Tel: +91 470 2601305
Keala Bamboo House
Mobile: +91 9895270993
Culture Performances and Varkala Tourism
The Varkala Cultural Centre, holds daily kathakali and bharatanatyam dance performances. Using live musicians instead of a recorded soundtrack, the show provides a pleasant and authentic enough introduction to the two types of dance.
In addition, the Funky Art Cafe hosts free recitals of Indian classical music, with tabala, sitar and vocals.
South of Varkala: Anjengo Fort
Anjengo was one of the most important bastions of the British East India Company, second only to Bombay. In 1690, the Attingal Rani allowed the British to build a fort here, and Anjengo was erected in 1695.
It served as the first signalling station for ships arriving from England. The fort functioned as a depot for the pepper and coir trade.
You can visit the gardens within and inspect the many tombstones.
North of Varkala: Odayam and Edava
North of Varkala the shoreline is less populated. There are many large houses in its hinterland of leafy lanes and palm groves.
You can comfortably walk the 2km from the north end of Varkala cliff to Odayam. Odayam is a village where a cluster of modest guesthouses has sprung up to service the small black-sand beach.
Edava is a busier settlement three or four kilometres further north. The shoreline of Edava holds a couple of idyllic, empty coves and more low-key accommodation.
From here an vast unbroken white-sand beach shining stretches towards the north almost to the horizon. The beach is backed by a lagoon.
Eating, Drinking and Night Life
Seafood lovers will enjoy Valrkala's cliff top cafe restaurants, which specialize in locally caught fish. You'll also find plenty of Italian, Thai and Mexican items on offer-but don't expect them to taste much like the real thing.
Once the restaurants finish serving, night life is generally relaxed. After 10pm, a druggy scene takes over at cafes such as the Funky Art, Rock 'n' Roll and the Chill Out Cafe. All these cafes host low-key parties through the season.
Varkala Accommodation-Hotels Varkala
Varkala has wide range of hotels and resorts. Most of the visitors choose hotels on the North Cliff with beautiful views. South Cliff also offers some better options.
North and South of Varkala have also many competitive choices.
More Pages About Varkala
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Other Accommodation - Luxury Reorts, Midrange Properties and Budget Accommodation in Varkala. More about Varkala. One of the finest beaches in Kerala. List major attractions the beach has to offer