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About Varkala

Varkala beach, 42 km away from Thiruvanathapuram, is the best spot along Kerala coast for watching sunset. The sight of the sun melting into the sea would blossom your poetic sense.The mineral water gushing from the hill is believed to have medicinal properties. The Varkala sands has become an ideal spot for confluence of cultures exotic and alien.

The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs. Varkala is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala, is near Varkala atop a hill named Sivagiri. High cliffs from mineral springs majestically rise is a scene typical of Varkala.


Legends say, that a king of the Pandyan dynasty was instructed by the Lord Brahma to construct the Janardhana Temple to relieve the king of his sins. The idol's location was prophesied to the king in his dream, it is believed. Thus for ages Varkala has been a pilgrimage destination and is in recent years a favored tourist getaway.

Main Attractions

It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000 year old Vishnu temple and the ashramam- 'Sivagiri Mutt' a little distance from the beach.

Hardly 2 km to the west, from the busy center of the town, the road ends at a picturesque spot of the beach- the papanasam which literally means a place that delivers one from sins. The lotus shaped beach provides a never to be forgotten for a thousand of Hindu pilgrims all over India, who flock together on new moon days and on special occasions to perform religious rites for the purification of the souls of their dear, departed fore fathers.What a magnificient sight nature unravels here on one side the sublime heights of the cliff and on the other, the ever-chanting ocean gently washing their feet! Natural water springs gushing out from the cliff are famous.


Janardhana Temple
Janardhana Temple
Just 1km to the east of the beach of Papanasam is the ancient temple dedicated to lord Janardhana. The reference to this temple in the oldest Hindu scriptures like Brahmananda Purana, the Skanda Purana and the Garuda Purana stand testimony to its antiquity and sacredness.The temple is believed to be more than 2000 years old. An inscription in the temple says it was renovated in A.D 1252

Sivagiri Mutt

The Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great Hindu reformer and Philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 - 1928) is also close by.The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days - 30th December to 1st January. Sree Narayana Guru propagated the ideology:"one caste, one religion and one god",in a society torn by the taboos of caste system.


Varkala Tunnel
Varkala Tunnel
Varkala Tunnel, situated 41 km from Thiruvananthapuram city is a century old tunnel under one of the cliffs in Varkala. It was once used for passing boats carrying goods and people between Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. The tunneling work started in 1869 and was completed in 1870. A big hole at the top of the tunnel provides plenty of light and air. Once a civil engineering marvel, now it is not used for commercial purposes