Varkala Beach: That stunning cliff beach of Kerala where you can wash away all your sins - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Varkala Beach: That stunning cliff beach of Kerala where you can wash away all your sins

The stunning cliff beach of Kerala at Varkala

The west coast of India is home to some sensational beach holiday destinations that are full of beautiful blue waters, gorgeous sands, coconut palms and relaxed settings. Some of them are special because of their backwaters, some are known for their estuaries and some are famous for their turtle nesting. Kerala’s iconic Varkala beach is known for its cliffs and for its 2000 year old temple.

Super gorgeous cliff beach of Varkala, Kerala

Varkala beach or Papanasam beach is one of those gorgeous locations where you can not only enjoy a relaxed beach holiday, but also wash away all your sins by taking a dip in its waters. Located about 50 kms away from Thiruvanthapuram, the capital of Kerala, this beach of Southern Kerala has multiple facets to its story. First and foremost are its cliffs that tower right by the beach. Varkala is the only location in Southern Kerala where you can find such cliff formations. Second, this beach is located super close to the 2000 year old Janardana Swami temple. May be, it is due to this proximity that you see brahmin pandits sitting under an umbrella on the beach offering to appease your ancestors and to help you absolve of all your sins. And a bath in the Arabian Sea here after such offerings are set to wash away all your sins. This is kind of similar to Papanasam temple in Tamil Nadu, but there it is the Thamarabharani river and here it is the Arabian Sea. And third, this beach owing to its cliff edge allows two kind of perspectives – one from the beach floor and the other from the top of the cliff for a bird’s eye view of the beach.

The Papanasam beach at Varkala, Kerala

The highlight of Varkala beach is its cliff edge walkway that is lined with Ayurveda centers, spas, tattoo studios, restaurants, cafes, hotels, guest houses, villas, resorts, souvenir shops, clothing shops and many more. While one can enjoy the beach and the water during the cooler times during the morning and evening, this cliff walkway is the perfect place to hang out during the mid day heat and during the night when this walkway comes alive with live music and lights.

Varkala beach and the cliffs that tower above it

If you are looking at your next beach holiday destination in India, I would recommend taking a look at Varkala beach. Apart from its amazing cliff beach and views, one can also experience the off beat locations of Southern Kerala and while at that can wash all your sins away. A win-win-win in my opinion!

Taking a stroll on the cliff overlooking Varkala beach

How to reach here:

Varkala is located somewhere between Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. The nearest airport (domestic and international) would be Thiruvananthapuram, about 50 kms away. The nearest railway is Varkala, which is located about 3 kms away. Excellent roads connect it with most other popular places in Kerala.

A day at Varkala beach, Kerala

Where to stay:

If you want close proximity to the beach while enjoying the best views, stay at one of the properties near the cliff walkway. If you wish to be a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the beach, then stay in any of the village homestays close by. For uber luxury accommodation, either opt for the 5 star hotels in Thiruvanthapuram or any of the luxury villas near Varkala.

Taking a walk on the scenic Varkala cliff beach in South Kerala

Nearby tourist attractions:

1) Kappil beach, where the beach is sandwiched between backwaters and the Arabian Sea (about 10 kms to the north)

2) Ponmudi hill station for fantastic panoramas of the Western Ghats (about 85 kms towards South East) and one of the most beautiful locations in India’s Deep South

3) Mountain railways of Kerala for one of South India’s oldest railways that pass right through dense forests (about 60 kms towards the North East)

4) Thenmala forest for waterfalls, wildlife and birding and for a truly offbeat location in Kerala (about 70 kms away)

5) Kerala’s oldest motorable suspension bridge at Punalur (about 50 kms away)

6) Ashtamudi Lake, that massive mountain of water near Kollam (about 50 kms to the north)

7) Kovalam beach (about 60 kms to the South)

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