Are you tired of the mundane life that seems to never end? Are you craving for a break from the hectic routine and daily chores? Well, if you're nodding your head in agreement, then let me introduce you to the beautiful coastal town of Varkala! Situated in Kerala, India, this place is like a breath of fresh air amidst the chaos of everyday life.

The moment you step into Varkala, the stunning view of Papanasam beach will leave you awestruck. The clear blue waters, golden sands, and palm trees swaying in the breeze are picture-perfect. You can't help but wonder if this is what paradise looks like.

As you walk along the beach, you'll come across various shops selling souvenirs and local delicacies. Don't forget to try out some Kerala-style fish curry and appam, they're to die for!

But wait, it's not just about the beach and food. Varkala is also home to several ancient temples that are worth exploring. The Janardana Swamy Temple is one such temple that has a rich cultural history dating back to centuries.

And if all this wasn't enough to convince you, Varkala also has some fantastic adventure activities like paragliding and surfing! So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head over to Varkala for an unforgettable experience!

Table of Contents

History and Culture of Varkala

Located in the southern state of Kerala, Varkala is a charming coastal town that boasts of a rich history and culture. Legend has it that the town was formed when Lord Vishnu threw his legendary axe into the sea. The axe landed on a rock, which later came to be known as the Varkala Cliff.

The cliff is now a popular tourist destination and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea. Varkala is also home to several ancient temples, including the Janardhana Swamy Temple, which dates back to the 12th century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and attracts thousands of devotees every year.

Apart from its religious significance, Varkala is also known for its vibrant culture. The town hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Vishu Festival and the Onam Festival. During these festivals, locals dress up in traditional attire and perform various cultural activities such as dance and music.

One of the most interesting aspects of Varkala's culture is its cuisine. The town is famous for its seafood dishes such as fish curry and prawn fry. Visitors can also sample local delicacies like puttu (steamed rice cake) and appam (rice pancake).

Overall, Varkala's history and culture make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Kerala. With its stunning beaches, ancient temples, and delicious food, this charming coastal town has something for everyone!

How to Reach and getting around Varkala

Varkala is a beautiful coastal town in Kerala, India that attracts tourists from all over the world. When planning a trip to Varkala, it is important to consider the different options available for reaching this destination.

By Air:

The nearest airport to Varkala is Trivandrum International Airport, which is located about 50 km away. From the airport, tourists can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Varkala.

By Train:

Varkala has its own railway station which is well-connected to major cities in India. The Varkala Railway Station is located about 3 km from the town center and tourists can easily find taxis or auto-rickshaws to reach their hotel.

By Bus:

Varkala is well-connected by road and tourists can take a bus from nearby cities like Trivandrum, Kollam or Kochi. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates regular buses from Trivandrum and Kollam to Varkala.

By Car:

Tourists who prefer driving can rent a car and drive down to Varkala. This option gives them the flexibility of stopping at scenic spots along the way.

By Bike:

For those who love adventure, renting a bike and driving down to Varkala can be an exciting option. It allows them to enjoy the scenic beauty of Kerala as they ride towards their destination.

No matter which mode of transportation one chooses, reaching Varkala is quite easy and convenient. Each option offers a unique experience that adds value to one's trip.

Weather of Varkala

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Cool and Pleasant

Varkala, located in the southern Indian state of Kerala, experiences a tropical climate. The weather here is hot and humid throughout the year with occasional rainfalls. The monsoon season starts from June and lasts until September, bringing heavy rainfall which sometimes leads to flooding.

The best time to visit Varkala is during the winter months from October to February, when the weather is pleasant with clear skies and cool sea breeze, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. During this period, the temperature ranges between 20°C to 30°C, providing a perfect escape from the scorching heat of summer.

In contrast, summers in Varkala can be quite challenging as temperatures soar up to 35°C or more, leaving visitors feeling exhausted and uncomfortable. Therefore, it's best to avoid visiting during this season unless you're comfortable with hot and humid weather.

Overall, if you want to enjoy a relaxing holiday in Varkala, plan your trip during the winter months when the weather is at its best. Remember to carry light cotton clothes and sunscreen lotion as UV rays can be harsh during this time of year. So pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled vacation in Varkala!

Places to Visit in Varkala

  • Varkala Beach: Varkala Beach is a beautiful beach located in the southern part of Kerala, India. The beach is known for its clean and clear waters, stunning cliffs, and mesmerizing sunsets. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and surfing at this serene location.

  • Janardhana Swamy Temple: The Janardhana Swamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the oldest temples in Varkala. The temple has a beautiful architecture with intricate carvings and sculptures.

  • Kappil Beach: Kappil Beach is a secluded beach located about 7 km north of Varkala. The beach offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea and the backwaters. Visitors can relax on the sandy beach or take a boat ride on the backwaters.

  • Sivagiri Mutt: Sivagiri Mutt is a spiritual center founded by Sri Narayana Guru in 1904. The mutt attracts thousands of visitors every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage.

  • Anjengo Fort: Anjengo Fort was built by the British East India Company in the 17th century to protect their trade interests in Kerala. The fort has a museum that showcases artifacts from that era.

  • Varkala Cliff: Varkala Cliff is a natural formation that offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea. There are several shops, cafes, and restaurants on the cliff that offer delicious food and refreshing drinks.

  • Ponnumthuruthu Island: Ponnumthuruthu Island is an idyllic island located about 20 km from Varkala that can be reached by boat ride through luscious mangroves trees.The island has an ancient Shiva temple surrounded by lush greenery.

8.Edava Beach: Edava Beach is located south of Varkala ,and it's known for its serene beauty with clean sand beaches surrounded by coconut trees .It's one of the best places for taking photographs

9.Kaduvayil Thangal Dargah: Kaduvayil Thangal Dargah is an Islamic shrine dedicated to Kaduvayil Thangal who was a saint from Arabia.The shrine attracts many people from different backgrounds for its spiritual significance

10.Kerala Ayurvedic Massage Center: Kerala Ayurvedic Massage Center offers traditional ayurvedic massages and treatments for rejuvenation and relaxation.This center provides various types of therapeutic massages like Balinese massage ,Swedish massage etc.,which helps to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.

Note: As an AI language model I don't have personal experience so I have written these descriptions using my programming skills along with information available publicly online about these places.

Adventures Activities
  • Surfing at Soul & Surf
  • Parasailing in Varkala Beach
  • Scuba Diving in Kovalam
  • Relaxing Retreats
  • Varkala Beach[2] / Papanasham Beach
  • Thiruvambadi Beach
  • Kappil Beach Varkala
  • Beaches
  • Varkala Beach[2] / Papanasham Beach
  • Thiruvambadi Beach
  • Kappil Beach Varkala
  • Hilly Regions
  • Chadayamangalam
  • Brimore
  • Vithura
  • Food Options and Local Cuisine of Varkala

    Local Cuisine in Varkala

    Varkala is a coastal town in Kerala, India, known for its pristine beaches and unique cuisine. The local cuisine in Varkala is a blend of traditional Kerala cuisine with an infusion of international flavors. Some of the must-try dishes in Varkala include:

    1. Appam with Stew: A popular breakfast dish made with rice flour and coconut milk served with a vegetable or meat stew.
    2. Kappa and Fish Curry: Boiled tapioca served with spicy fish curry made with coconut milk and traditional Kerala spices.
    3. Meen Pollichathu: A flavorful fish preparation marinated in spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and grilled to perfection.

    These dishes are available at various restaurants and street food stalls across Varkala.

    Dining Options in Varkala

    Varkala offers a wide range of dining options that cater to different tastes and budgets. Here are three restaurants/cafes that are highly recommended:

    1. The Juice Shack: A popular cafe known for its fresh juices, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and vegan options. The outdoor seating area offers a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea.
    2. Darjeeling Cafe: A cozy cafe that serves delicious Tibetan food like momos, thukpa, and noodle dishes. The cafe also has a collection of books that customers can read while enjoying their meal.
    3. Fusion Restaurant: A multi-cuisine restaurant that offers Indian, Chinese, Continental, and seafood dishes. The restaurant has a rooftop seating area that provides an excellent view of the beach and the sunset.

    These restaurants ensure that visitors to Varkala have an unforgettable culinary experience.

    Best areas for accommodation in Varkala

    Varkala is a coastal town in the southern state of Kerala, known for its stunning beaches and religious significance. The town attracts a large number of tourists every year, and as a result, there are plenty of accommodation options available. Here are some of the best areas for accommodation in Varkala:

    1. North Cliff: This area is located at the northern end of Varkala beach and is known for its scenic views and laid-back atmosphere. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area, making it an ideal place to stay for foodies.

    2. Papanasam Beach: This beach is located south of Varkala beach and is known for its natural spring waters that are believed to have healing properties. The area has a relaxed vibe and is ideal for those looking to escape the crowds.

    3. Anjengo Fort: This historic fort is located on a hill overlooking the sea and offers stunning views of the coastline. There are several guesthouses in the area that offer a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of Varkala town.

    Now that we have explored some areas to stay in Varkala let's take a look at some properties that cater to different budgets:

    1. The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram Varkala (Luxury): This hotel offers luxurious rooms with views of either the Arabian Sea or lush gardens. The property also has an outdoor pool, spa facilities, and multiple dining options.

    2. Zostel Varkala (Budget): Zostel offers comfortable dormitory rooms as well as private rooms at an affordable price. The property also has a rooftop restaurant that serves delicious Indian cuisine.

    3. Lost Hostels (Hostel): This hostel offers dormitory-style accommodation with shared bathrooms at an affordable price. The property also has a communal kitchen, lounge area, and terrace with sea views.

    Overall, whether you're looking for luxury or budget accommodation in Varkala, there's something here for everyone. With plenty of areas to choose from, you're sure to find a place that suits your needs perfectly.

    Shopping in Varkala

    Varkala is a coastal town in Kerala, India, famous for its beaches and cliffside views. It is also a popular destination for shopping enthusiasts who want to experience the local markets and buy unique items. Here are some of the things you can buy, markets to visit, and things to avoid while shopping in Varkala:

    Things to Buy

    1. Handicrafts: Varkala is known for its exquisite handicrafts made of wood, coconut shells, and bamboo. You can find beautiful wall hangings, lamps, vases, and other decorative items.
    2. Spices: Kerala is the land of spices, and Varkala is no exception. You can buy high-quality spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and pepper at reasonable prices.
    3. Ayurvedic products: Ayurveda is an ancient science of medicine that originated in India. Varkala has many shops selling Ayurvedic oils, soaps, creams, and other products that are good for your health.
    4. Clothes: Varkala has many shops selling traditional Indian clothes such as sarees, dhotis, kurtas, and salwar-kameez. You can also find modern outfits made of cotton or silk.

    Markets to Visit

    1. Papanasam Beach Market: This market is located near the famous Papanasam Beach and sells a variety of products such as clothes, jewelry, handicrafts, souvenirs, and snacks.
    2. Janardhana Swamy Temple Bazaar: This market is located near the Janardhana Swamy Temple and sells items such as ayurvedic products, clothes (especially sarees), spices (especially black pepper), souvenirs (such as keychains), etc.
    3. North Cliff Market: This market is located near the North Cliff area and sells a variety of goods ranging from clothes (especially beachwear), bags (such as jute bags), handicrafts (such as paintings), souvenirs (such as fridge magnets), etc.

    What to Avoid

    1. Fake Items: Be careful while buying branded items such as watches or sunglasses from street vendors; they may be fake.
    2. Overpriced Items: Bargain before buying anything; otherwise you may end up paying more than what it's worth.
    3. Unhygienic Food: Avoid eating food from roadside stalls unless you're sure about their hygiene standards.
    4. Unlicensed Guides/Drivers: Don't hire unlicensed guides or drivers; they may cheat you or take you to places where they get commissions.

    In conclusion, shopping in Varkala can be a fun experience if you know what to look for and where to go. Make sure you follow our tips on what to buy, which markets to visit and what to avoid so that your shopping experience becomes memorable.

    Nightlife in Varkala

    Varkala, a popular tourist destination in Kerala, is known for its stunning beaches, peaceful atmosphere, and spiritual significance. However, the town also has a vibrant nightlife scene that attracts visitors from all over the world. The nightlife in Varkala offers a mix of traditional and contemporary experiences where one can indulge in some fun-filled activities and enjoy the town's vibrant energy.

    Three places to spend the night in Varkala are:

    1. The Juice Shack: This lively bar is located right on the beach and offers an excellent selection of cocktails and drinks. Visitors can enjoy live music performances while sipping their drinks and taking in the beautiful views of the ocean.

    2. Chill Out Lounge: This lounge is perfect for those who want to unwind and relax after a long day of sightseeing. The lounge offers comfortable seating, soft lighting, and a chilled-out atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy a variety of drinks and snacks while listening to some good music.

    3. Clafouti Beach Resort: This resort is ideal for those who want to experience luxury while enjoying Varkala's nightlife. The resort offers an elegant bar that serves premium wines, spirits, and cocktails. Visitors can also indulge in some delicious food from their restaurant while enjoying live music performances.

    Overall, Varkala's nightlife scene offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for some lively entertainment or a quiet place to relax with friends or family, there are plenty of options available in this charming town.

    Outdoor Activities in Varkala

    If you're looking to make the most of your time in Varkala, then you can't miss out on the outdoor activities that this coastal town has to offer. From surfing to hiking, there's something for everyone here. The best part? You get to enjoy all these activities while soaking up the beautiful scenery and warm weather.

    One of the most popular outdoor activities in Varkala is surfing. With its consistent waves and warm waters, it's no wonder why surfers flock to Varkala Beach. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of surf schools and rental shops where you can learn how to ride the waves or rent equipment for a day.

    Another outdoor activity that's worth trying is hiking. Varkala has some breathtaking hiking trails that take you through lush forests, scenic cliffs, and serene waterfalls. The most popular trail is the one that leads up to the top of Varkala Cliff, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Arabian Sea.

    Lastly, if you're looking for a more relaxed way to spend your time outdoors, then consider taking a yoga class on Varkala Beach. With its tranquil surroundings and gentle sea breeze, it's the perfect place to unwind and connect with your inner self.

    In short, exploring the outdoors is a must-do when visiting Varkala. Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, there's something for everyone here. So go ahead and try out these activities – who knows, they might just become one of your fondest memories of this beautiful town!

    Festivals and Events in Varkala

    Festivals and events play a significant role in the culture and community of Varkala. These celebrations are an opportunity for locals and tourists to come together, appreciate traditions, and have fun. Here are some of the festivals and events that take place in Varkala throughout the year:

    1. Onam (August/September): This is the biggest festival in Kerala, marking the homecoming of King Mahabali. Celebrations include a grand feast, cultural performances, and boat races.

    2. Navratri (September/October): This nine-day festival honours the goddess Durga with prayers, music, dance, and fasting.

    3. Diwali (October/November): Known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil with fireworks, sweets, and lighting lamps.

    4. Christmas (December): Christians in Varkala celebrate Christmas with midnight mass, carol singing, and feasting.

    5. New Year's Eve (December 31): Many hotels and restaurants in Varkala organise special events to welcome the new year with music, food, and drinks.

    6. Kerala Tourism Mart (September/October): This annual tourism fair brings together travel agents, hoteliers, tour operators, and other industry professionals to showcase Kerala's tourism potential.

    Apart from these major festivals and events in Varkala, there are also smaller celebrations such as temple festivals that happen throughout the year. It's worth checking with locals or tourism offices to know about such local events.

    Tips for Travelers while travelling to Varkala

    1. Research the festivals and events happening in Varkala before planning your trip as they can greatly impact your travel experience. If you are looking for a quieter time, avoid visiting during peak festival seasons.
    2. Pack Light, as Varkala is a beach destination with limited luggage storage options available. Pack essentials like sunscreen, swimwear, and light clothing to enjoy the beach vibes.
    3. Stay Hydrated and carry enough water bottles with you as the weather can get hot and humid. Avoid drinking tap water and opt for bottled water from reliable sources.
    4. Respect Local Customs while visiting religious sites or attending festivals in Varkala. Dress modestly, remove footwear before entering temples or holy places, and follow local customs to avoid offending locals.
    5. Take Precautions against insect bites by carrying mosquito repellents, using bed nets if required, and wearing long-sleeved clothing during evenings. Consult a doctor for vaccinations if needed.

    Varkala is a beautiful destination that offers visitors a chance to relax on pristine beaches while enjoying cultural events and festivals throughout the year. However, it's important to plan your trip carefully to make the most of your experience while staying safe and comfortable. By following these tips, you can enjoy all that Varkala has to offer without any worries.


    What is Varkala famous for?

    Varkala is famous for its beautiful beaches, especially the cliff beach. The cliff beach offers a breathtaking view of the Arabian sea and is also known for its mineral springs. Additionally, Varkala has several temples and ashrams that attract spiritual seekers from all over the world.

    How to reach Varkala?

    Varkala can be reached by air, train or road. The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport which is about 45 km away. Varkala railway station is well connected to major cities in India. One can also reach Varkala by road as it is well connected to other cities in Kerala.

    What are some popular things to do in Varkala?

    Some popular things to do in Varkala include:

    1. Enjoying a dip in the mineral springs
    2. Taking a stroll along the cliff beach
    3. Visiting the Janardanaswamy Temple
    4. Exploring the Anjengo Fort
    5. Taking a yoga class at one of the many ashrams

    What is the best time to visit Varkala?

    The best time to visit Varkala is from October to February when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities. However, if you want to enjoy water sports, then March to May would be a good time as the sea will be calmer during this period.

    What are some good places to eat in Varkala?

    There are several good restaurants in Varkala that serve delicious food. Some popular ones include:

    1. Darjeeling Café
    2. Abba Restaurant
    3. Café del Mar
    4. Clafouti Beach Resort

    Is it safe for solo travelers to visit Varkala?

    Yes, it is safe for solo travelers to visit Varkala. However, like any other tourist destination, it's always advisable to take necessary precautions and stay alert.

    Are there any budget-friendly accommodations available in Varkala?

    Yes, there are several budget-friendly accommodations available in Varkala that cater to all types of travelers. Some popular ones include:

    1. Zostel
    2. Puthooram Ayurvedic Beach Resort
    3. Vedanta Wake Up! - Helipad North Cliff
    4. The Lost Hostel

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