Varkala is a coastal town in Thiruvananthapuram that is known for the unique 15m high 'Northern Cliff' adjacent to the Arabian Sea. An ideal place to spend leisure time, the naturally beautiful ambience here attracts visitors from around the country. This beautiful town embraces many majestic attractions in its bosoms, including immaculate beaches, tall hills, pristine lakes, majestic forts and several other attractions. This ideal tourist spot is surrounded by greenery, beautiful meadows, deep puzzling valleys and dales.
This beach is undoubtedly the most popular attraction of Varkala. What segregates this beach from all the other beaches are its striking cliffs that fringe one end. This is the perfect beach to loosen up. There are several other places to explore here, including the Janardana Swami Temple. There is also a 2000 old religious institution dedicate to Vishnu and Sivagiri Mutt, which is an ashram built by Sri Narayana Guru more than 100 years ago.
Kappil Lake is one of the top places to visit in Varkala. An escape from the monotonous city life, this lake offers picturesque views of the surroundings. Located just six kilometers from Varkala town, there are boats available for rent here to let you enjoy the majestic waterway. Endless water stretching into the horizon, make the lake one of the best sightseeing spots in Varkala.
Ponnumthuruthu Island is another popular attraction of Varkala. The island is an uninhabited green space that is perfect for nature walks and bird-watching. A delight for the bird-watchers, the island is also an ideal spot to eye the migratory birds that halt here. The island also has a century-old temple dedicated to Shiva and Parvati.
Anchuthengu and Anjengo Fort
This is among the popular places to visit in Varkala. Built in the late 17th century, the Anchuthengu and Anjengo Fort is old and full of history. According to local legend, the British had a hard time pronouncing the town of Anchuthengu where the fort was built and called it Anjengo instead.
Janardana Swami Temple
Janardana Swami Temple is a popular place of worship dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is around 2,000 years old and still standing strong. The temple is popular for its celebration of Arattu Festival and is often referred to as the Varanasi of the South. Non-Hindus aren’t allowed inside the inner sanctum, but visitors can still explore the grounds and the facade of the temple.
Thiruvambadi Beach is another serene retreat known for its black sand. Nestled with lush coconut groves, the beach’s shoreline is perfect for leisurely strolls.
Odayam Beach is a pure stretch of soft sands between Thiruvambadi Beach and Cliff Beach. This is the perfect place to be if you want to explore the fun side of Kerala.
Serenity seekers can also visit the Sivagiri Mutt, a popular ashram of Shri Narayana Guru. Constructed around 1904, the ashram is mostly visited by devotees during 30 December to 1 January, when a grand annual festival is celebrated here. Many debates, vibrant processions, seminars, public meetings and cultural shows are organised here.
Other major attractions are
Best time to visit
Varakala has a tropical climate, which translates to hot and humid summers, heavy rain falls in monsoons and a pleasant winter season. Therefore, the best season to visit Varkala is the winter. The temperature remains salubrious between the months of October and March.
How to Reach
By Air: Trivandrum International Airport is the closest airport to the town (45 km from the town) catering both domestic and international flights.
By Rail: Varkala Railway Station is well linked to all the major cities.
By Road: Frequent KSRTC buses are accessible from both Kochi and Trivandrum.
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