Varkala Beach, A Must Visit Beach In Kerala
Kerala fondly called as ‘God’s Own Country’ is famous for its vast and far-stretched sandy beaches, visitors to Kerala often have a beach or two in their list of ‘Things to see in Kerala’. While Kerala is blessed with innumerable beaches there will always be one or two which are possibly always the best and must not be missed.
Varkala beach in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala is one such wonder that must not be missed. Varkala beach is also known as Papanasam beach, it is believed that taking a dip in this holy beach washes away all your sins and bodily impurities. The beach is located 51kms north of Thiruvananthapuram city and along the coast of Arabian Sea and part of the Indian Ocean; Varkala beach is the only beach in the southern part of Kerala extending for 500 meters where cliffs are seen bordering the Arabian Sea, this unique environmental feature makes Varkala noticeable among tourists. Another highlight of the beach is its black coloured sand which covers a portion of the beach; black colour is basically caused by a radioactive substance, thorium oxide the isotopes of which are found in different parts of Kerala identified by its black colour.
Varkala beach in Kerala, one of the cleanest beaches is best known for its natural hot spring which contains therapeutic and healing properties. And if you are lucky, you might just spot a dolphin or two; the beach is a perfect spot for engaging in a relaxing and serene time with your loved ones and nature; have a peaceful walk along the beach, enjoy the sunset, take a refreshing dip in the cool waters, enjoy the good midnight breeze, have a picturesque view of the flora covered tall cliffs overlooking the beach, take pleasure at the sight of swaying coconut trees atop the cliff, paragliding, surfing and more. Varkala beach is one of the most preferred romantic getaways for couples, and a tranquil spot for tourists who enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
Varkala beach, a must visit beach in Kerala offers the best Ayurvedic treatments and massage centres, numerous resorts, home stays, budget inns and apartments, hotels and restaurants, snacks and juice shops and more. On the cliff over a long stretch of more than a kilometre is an array of shops. September to February is the time that offers a pleasing temperature and hence experiences a major crowd from different parts of the world.
A little further away from the beach is the Varkala Tunnel, a 924 ft long tunnel that took 14 years to complete and built by the Dewan of Travancore, Sir T. Madhava Rao in 1867. Varkala is also a major pilgrim centre visited by devotees from different parts of India, e.g.: Shree Janardhana Swamy temple, a 2000 year old Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu and Hanuman overlooking the beach atop the hill, Sivagiri Mutt, a major pilgrim and religious retreat centre situated on top of the hill was found by saint, philosopher and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, his tomb is also located here which gathers tourists from afar.
Anjengo fort & light house situated close to the beach is also a prominent tourist site; the fort was built by the Portuguese in 1695 the remnants of which can still be seen even today, is also accompanied by a 130 foot tall lighthouse nearby, Old Portuguese style churches, century old convent and school, cemetery containing tombs of British and Dutch sailors and soldiers, the oldest of which dates back to 1704. Hence for these reasons Varkala beach, a must visit beach in Kerala is one which gathers quite a lot of tourist attention compared to other beaches.