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Varkala Beach in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala

Updated on November 30, 2013

About Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram district Kerala

Varkala is a municipal town in the Thiruvananthapuram district located on the Arabian coast in the state of Kerala. The town is just about 50 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram the capital city of the Kerala State.
Varkala Beach is very famous for the tertian sedimentary formation cliffs found adjacent to the coast. These rock formation is a Geological feature and has been declared by the Geological Survey of India as a Geological Monument.
There are many water spouts or springs as they are also called. along the coast which are believed tohave medicinal properties. There are many health spas all over the place by the sides of these cliffs.

Papanasam / Black Beach

Varkala is also known as Papanasam Beach. There are hot springs found in the beach beside the cliffs. It is said and believed that if one takes a bath in the bubbly waters of the springs they will get relief from all of their sins. It is also said that they are relieved of all of their aches and pains as well as their diseases.

The part of the beach after the cliffs have black coloured sand because of the chemical Thorium. This part of the beach is called as the black beach.

Janardhana Swamy Temple

Janardhana Swamy Temple also known as Varkala Temple is placed close to the Papanasam Beach in Varkala. This is an ancient temple which is about 2000 years old. This is one of the oldest Vaishnavite shrines in India and is also known as the Dakshin Kasi.

The deity of this temple is Janadhana Swamy,which is a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple has an ancient bell placed there which was given by a captain of the Dutch vessel which got wrecked. All of them survived and so the captain felt thankful to the Lord Janardhana Swamy.

The other shrines at the temple are for the Lords Ganapathi, Shastha, Ananthan (Nagam) Shiva, Chandikesha and Hanuman. There is a ten day festival celebrated with Arattu on the day Uthram of the Malayalam month of Meenam every year.

Kappil Beach
Kappil Beach
Anjengo Fort, aerial view
Anjengo Fort, aerial view
Another view Anjengo Fort
Another view Anjengo Fort
Varkala Tunnel
Varkala Tunnel

Places to visit in and around Varkala Beach

Sree Narayana Guru Mausoleum is one of the famous places to visit in Varkala. Sree Narayana Guru wasa social reformer who established Sivagiri Mutt. Sree Narayana Gurukulam is also located there.

Boating in the Kappil Lake, one of the backwaters of Kerala, is enthralling and exciting. The Lake is located at about 4 kilometers from the Varkala Town. The Backwaters meanders through dense and swaying coconut palms before joining the Arabian Sea. The bridge over the lake is a point to watch the backwaters stretching along as well as the beautiful sunset over the Arabian Sea.

Anjengo Fort is located at about 12 kilometers from Varkala on the way to Kadakkavur. Kadakkavur is an island placed between the Arabian sea and the backwaters and a colonial settlement which saw Portuguese dutch and the English fight for the place in those days. The Fort has the historic significance of passing through the times of English East India Company, Dutch and the Portuguese. There are some tombstones and a garden at the Fort.

Varkala Tunnel is a popular tourist destination. Building this long tunnel was started in the year 1867 by the then Diwan of Travancore Sir T Madhava Rao. The tunnel took 14 years to complete and was finished in the year 1880 at the time of Diwan Sheshaya Sasthri.
There were two tunnels in that, one was 2370 feet long and the second one was 1140 feet long. As soon as the construction was completed the tunnels were used to ferry various types of goods.

Sivagiri Mutt and Samadhi of Sri Narayana Guru at Varkala

Sivagiri is a pilgrimage centre where one of the great reformers Sri Narayana Guru was enlightened and got salvation. His final resting place is located in Varkala and thousands of people wearing yellow coloured clothes come to Sivagiri / Varkala to pay homage. The pilgrimage takes place from 30th December to 1st January every year.

Sivagiri Mutt is located on the Sivagiri hill and was established in 1904. The Guru went in to a samadhi in 1928 and till now the pilgrimage is on to Sivagiri for those three days.

Shree Narayana Dharma Sangam is placed at the headquaters Sivagiri mutt and believes in the concept One Caste, One God and One Religion. This is an establishment of saints and disciples brought about by the Guru to propagate his principles.

The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuramin Varkala

The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram is perched on top of a cliff facing the Arabian Sea. The resort offers accommodation facilities in 30 rooms and suites with all the modern amenities.

Rooms are classified into Standard garden view rooms, superior sea view rooms and Deluxe suite sea view rooms. you can choose the one you would like according to your taste and budget.

Wifi internet facilities is available throughout the hotel, a well equipped banquet hall and a business centre and a bar located by the side of the pool are some of the amenities and facilities available at the hotel.

Contact Details

The Gateway Hotel Janardhanapuram
Near Government Guest House,
Varkala - 695 141,
Kerala, India

Tel: 91 470 6673300
Fax: 91 470 6673333

Hindustan Beach Retreat, Varkala

Hindustan Beach Retreatis situated on the beach at Varkala of the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.

There are 27 well appointed and well decorated rooms having beautiful views of the Arabian Sea. There is a swimming pool overlooking the sea, with a pool side barbeque offering you a variety of drinks and snacks.

The multi cuisine restaurant is also by the pool side offering delicacies from Indian, Chinese and continental fare. There is another sea food specialty restaurant located on the roof top over looking the sea.

Contact Details

Hindustan Beach Retreat
Papanasam Beach, Janardhanapuram P.O.
Varkala Thiruvananthapuram 695141
Kerala, India
Tel : 0091-470-2604254,55,56
EMail /

Deshadan Cliff & Beach Resort, Varkala

Deshadan Resort is a3 star hotel and is located at about 200 meters from the Papanasam Beach in Varkala. Among the 16 well furnished rooms 14 are pool side rooms and 2 family rooms.

Among the facilities at the resort you can have a swimming pool, a multi cuisine restaurant, a banquet hall which can accommodate 15 to 20 persons at a time, The resort has 12 noon as the check in and check out time.

Contact Details

Deshadan Ciff and Beach Resort
Kurakkanni Cliff, Varkala,
Kerala - 695141
Tel : 91- 470-3204242
Mob : 91-94474 59912
EMail :

How to reach Varkala Beach

Varkala is located in the Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala in the southern India. Thiruvananthapuram being the capital city of Kerala has an international airport. The airport is connected to many places in the Gulf, Singapore Sri Lanka and many others.

You can also reach Chennai, Kochi international airports and travel either by train / bus to Thiruvananthapuram. You can also get connection flights from any part of India to reach Thiruvananthapuram.

To reach Thiruvananthapuram by rail, you can get connection trains from all over India. From Jammu Tawi and Gauhati trains connect to Thiruvananthapuram. Varkala is a small station before Thiruvananthapuram (about 45 minutes of rail journey) where you can get down and take a cab / auto to reach the beach.

If you are travelling by road, National highways connect the city with various other cities likwe Mumbai, Bangalore , Chennai, Madurai etc. You can get private luxury buses also to reach the place.

Varkala Beach in Kerala


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    • profile image

      Latha Jayaprakash 4 years ago from Chennai

      Thank you very much

    • Susan Recipes profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Wow... Great hub on beautiful Kerala. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Latha Jayaprakash 4 years ago from Chennai

      Thank you very much. I love the place too

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      eljaype, I love beaches and Varkala Beach is really a beautiful destination for tourists. In otherwise flat coast line the nearby cliffs add beauty to this Beach. Thanks for sharing details about the spots around Varkala. Voted up.