Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. 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.
The Papanasam beach (also called as Varkala beach), which is a few kilometers from Varkala town, is renowned for its natural fresh water springs. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to cleanse the body of impurities, and the soul of all sins; hence the name ‘Papanasam beach’.
A two thousand year old shrine of the Janardhanaswamy Temple stands on the cliff overlooking the beach, a short distance away. 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 at Varkala, 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 offers excellent accommodation facilities for tourists and is fast becoming a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centres.
Attractions: Beach, mineral water springs, the Sivagiri Mutt and a 2000-year- old Vishnu Temple.
Nearest railway station: Varkala, about 2.5 km away
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 50 km away
Arattukadavu Road, Aliyirakkam, Chilakkoor P.O