Varkala, Xplro, Kerala

Varkala: Special Coastal Retreat Beyond Backwaters

Kerala’s southwestern coastline cradles a place of unparalleled beauty and serenity – Varkala. A world away from the throngs visiting Kerala’s famed backwaters and tea estates, Varkala offers a distinct charm, whispering of tranquil beaches, dramatic cliffs, and a timeless bond with nature.

As waves lap rhythmically at the golden sands and the sea breeze carries the scent of salt and spices, visitors fall under the spell of this coastal paradise. Varkala’s stunning vistas, rejuvenating atmosphere, and rich cultural tapestry showcase Kerala’s diverse natural beauty and vibrant heritage.

Join us on a journey to the heart of Varkala. We’ll uncover hidden treasures, explore breathtaking landscapes, and immerse ourselves in experiences that make Varkala a must-visit for those seeking solace and inspiration in nature’s embrace. From the majestic cliffs offering panoramic Arabian Sea views to the pristine beaches where time seems to stand still, Varkala beckons adventurers, seekers, and dreamers to embark on an unforgettable voyage of discovery and enchantment.

How to reach:

  • Air: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, roughly 54 kilometers away, serves Varkala. Taxis and buses are readily available for the 1.5-2 hour journey, depending on traffic.
  • Train: Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station provides convenient access from major cities like Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kozhikode. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are available at the station to take you to your destination within Varkala.
  • Road: Well-maintained highways connect Varkala to major Kerala towns. Take NH66 (previously NH47) from Kochi or Thiruvananthapuram for a scenic 3-4 hour drive (depending on your starting point).
  • Getting Around: Varkala offers easy navigation. Auto-rickshaws and taxis handle short trips, while bicycles and scooter rentals allow you to explore at your own pace. Frequent local buses provide an affordable option for venturing further and discovering nearby attractions.

Best time to visit:

  • Peak Season (November – March): Ideal weather with cool temperatures and clear skies makes this the prime time for exploration, beach lounging, and water sports.
  • Summer (April – May): As temperatures rise and humidity climbs, crowds thin out and accommodation rates drop. Prepare for warmer weather with sun protection and hydration if you choose to visit during this time.
  • Monsoon (June – September): Intermittent rain transforms the landscape into a verdant paradise. Waterfalls flourish, and Ayurvedic treatments are popular. While heavy showers may not be ideal for everyone, the tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty attract some visitors.
  • Shoulder Season (October & Early November): A sweet spot between monsoon and peak season. Lush surroundings meet cooling temperatures, creating a peaceful escape for those seeking fewer crowds.


Varkala Beach:

Varkala Beach, Kerala, Xplro

Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam Beach, embodies natural beauty and tranquility. This scenic coastline unfurls along the Arabian Sea, framed by dramatic cliffs that rise majestically behind the golden sands and turquoise waters. Beyond sunbathing and swimming, the beach serves as a sanctuary. Immerse yourself in the ocean’s healing aura, listen to the rhythmic waves lapping at the shore, and witness breathtaking sunsets that transform the sky into a canvas of fiery orange and soft pink. Whether seeking quiet reflection or lively conversation, Varkala Beach caters to all desires. It’s a timeless haven for travelers yearning for peace and rejuvenation by the sea.

Varkala Cliff:

Varkala Cliff, Kerala, Xplro

Crowning the cliffs above the Arabian Sea, Varkala Cliff goes beyond breathtaking vistas. It’s a vibrant cultural and culinary scene teeming with energy and unique experiences. Charming cafes, bohemian shops, and guesthouses line the cliff, creating a relaxed atmosphere perfect for wandering and unwinding. From sipping fresh coffee with the sound of waves crashing to savoring seafood delicacies as the sun dips below the horizon, Varkala Cliff tantalizes the senses and feeds the soul. Sunbathers, foodies, and shopaholics alike will find endless pleasures and unforgettable moments amidst this dramatic coastal landscape.pen_spark

Janardanaswamy Temple:

Janardanaswamy Temple, Kerala, Xplro

Whispering tales of Kerala’s rich heritage, Janardanaswamy Temple stands as a monument to the region’s religious traditions. This ancient shrine, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, stretches back over two thousand years. Dravidian architecture graces the temple, its intricate sculptures and ornate carvings narrating sagas of devotion. As you enter the complex, reverence washes over you. The air hums with the scent of incense, and the murmur of prayers fills the halls. Whether a pilgrim seeking blessings or a traveler enthralled by the mysteries of Indian spirituality, Janardanaswamy Temple offers a timeless experience. It transcends the boundaries of time and space, leaving an enduring mark on all who visit.

Sivagiri Mutt:

Sivagiri Mutt, Kerala, Xplro

Ensconced amidst the verdant embrace of Sivagiri Hill, Sivagiri Mutt radiates spiritual enlightenment and social reform. Founded by the revered Sree Narayana Guru, this sacred ashram beckons devotees, disciples, and truth-seekers from all corners. The tranquil setting, imbued with a meditative hush, unfolds panoramic vistas that invite introspection. Here, visitors can embark on a transformative journey – a chance to connect with their inner selves and experience profound moments of clarity. Whether attending a discourse on spirituality, participating in a meditation session, or simply absorbing the serene atmosphere, Sivagiri Mutt transcends the everyday, leading one towards a deeper understanding of the self and the cosmos.

Kappil Beach and Backwaters:

Kappil Beach and Backwaters, Kerala, Xplro

Kappil Beach and Backwaters, a secret paradise tucked away from the throngs, beckons with its pristine embrace. Here, the tranquil backwaters, fringed by swaying palms and vibrant mangrove forests, paint a mesmerizing canvas behind the golden sands and turquoise waters. Glide along the labyrinthine channels on a leisurely boat ride, immersing yourself in the area’s rich biodiversity. Whether basking on the beach, picnicking by the serene backwaters, or simply capturing the sunset’s magic, Kappil offers a tranquil escape. Time seems to slow here, replaced by moments of pure serenity.

Anjengo Fort:

Anjengo Fort, Kerala, Xplro

Anjengo Fort, a stoic sentinel of Kerala’s colonial past, whispers tales of bygone eras. Erected in the 17th century by the British East India Company, this coastal fortification served as a pivotal trading post during colonial times. Today, its weathered yet well-preserved ruins stand as a testament to Kerala’s maritime history. Explore the fort’s intriguing architecture, cannons standing guard, and crumbling ramparts that frame panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. Let the sea breeze and salty air transport you back in time, as you imagine life during the colonial era. Whether you’re a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or simply a curious adventurer, Anjengo Fort promises a captivating journey through time, leaving an indelible mark on your memory.

Edava Beach:

Edava Beach, Kerala, Xplro

Edava Beach, a secluded gem veiled from the usual tourist bustle, beckons with tranquility and natural charm. Coconut palms and casuarina trees fringe this pristine shoreline, creating a haven for relaxation and reconnection with nature’s rhythm. Gentle waves whisper against the shore, soft sand caresses your feet, and a calming breeze carries worries away. Here, time seems to stand still, inviting introspection, romantic moments, or simply a quiet escape to soak in the sea’s beauty. Edava Beach promises an idyllic sanctuary that rejuvenates body, mind, and spirit.

Ponnumthuruthu Island:

Ponnumthuruthu Island, Kerala, Xplro

A short boat ride from Varkala whisks you away to Ponnumthuruthu Island, a jewel untouched by time. Also known as Golden Island, this emerald islet unfolds a sanctuary of lush greenery, swaying coconut palms, and tranquil backwaters. A centuries-old Shiva Parvathi Temple rests at its heart, a place where devotees seek blessings amidst the serene whispers of nature. Explore winding pathways, become a silent observer while birdwatching along the backwaters, or simply surrender to the island’s peaceful embrace. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a spiritual seeker, or a trailblazer craving unique experiences, Ponnumthuruthu Island offers a blissful escape, transporting you to a world woven from natural beauty and soul-stirring serenity.

Local Experiences:

Ayurvedic Rejuvenation: Discover the power of Ayurveda at wellness centers. From massages to detox programs, find holistic treatments using natural remedies for complete rejuvenation.

Deepen Your Practice: Experience inner peace with yoga and meditation retreats. Led by experienced instructors in serene settings, these sessions enhance mindfulness and rejuvenate your spirit.

Culinary Adventure: Delve into Kerala’s cuisine with hands-on cooking classes. Learn to prepare traditional dishes using fresh ingredients and fragrant spices, gaining cultural insights and culinary techniques.

Fishing Village Immersion: Explore the local way of life by visiting coastal fishing villages. Interact with villagers, witness traditional fishing methods, and join them on their boats for an authentic experience.

Cultural Extravaganza: Immerse yourself in Kerala’s traditions with Kathakali dance dramas and Kalaripayattu martial art displays. Witness captivating performances showcasing the region’s rich artistic heritage.

Spice Trail: Embark on guided tours of spice plantations. Learn about the cultivation and processing of spices, engage your senses with fragrant aromas, and taste freshly plucked spices.

Craft Your Way: Participate in cultural workshops and demonstrations. From pottery making to bamboo crafts, gain insights into Kerala’s artistic heritage through hands-on experiences.

Village Homestay Experience: Immerse yourself in local life with village homestays. Stay with families, participate in daily activities, and share meals for a taste of Kerala’s warmth and hospitality.

Memorable Evenings: Enjoy beach bonfires under the stars. Roast marshmallows, share stories, and gaze at constellations, creating lasting memories amidst Varkala’s natural beauty.

Eco-Discovery: Explore Varkala’s diverse ecosystems with eco-tours and nature walks. Led by knowledgeable guides, these adventures offer opportunities to spot wildlife, learn about conservation, and appreciate Kerala’s ecological treasures.

Travel tips:

  • Pack Smart: Varkala’s warm, humid climate calls for light, breathable clothing like cotton shirts, shorts, and dresses. Pack a swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for beach days.
  • Hydration is Key: Especially during hotter months, drink plenty of water. Carry a refillable bottle and consider buying bottled water from trusted sources to stay healthy.
  • Beach Respect: Maintain modesty when not swimming, avoid loud noises and music, and dispose of trash responsibly to preserve Varkala’s beautiful coastline.
  • Monsoon Maneuvers: If visiting during monsoon (June-September), pack waterproof clothing and shoes. Stay updated on weather forecasts and advisories for potential disruptions.
  • Culinary Delights: Savor Kerala’s flavors! Try seafood curries, appams, dosas, and banana leaf meals. Enjoy fresh seafood at beachside restaurants overlooking the ocean.
  • Negotiate Savvy: Don’t hesitate to negotiate prices, particularly at markets and with auto-rickshaws. Be respectful and fair, considering local livelihoods.
  • Safe Travels: Opt for licensed taxis, auto-rickshaws, or reputable car rentals for getting around. Be prepared for crowded public buses and plan accordingly.
  • Cultural Awareness: Respect local customs. Remove shoes before entering temples and cover shoulders and knees at religious sites. Be mindful of cultural sensitivities and seek permission for photos, especially in rural areas.
  • Sun Sense: Protect yourself! Apply sunscreen regularly, seek shade during peak sun hours, and wear protective clothing. Take breaks indoors or in shaded areas to avoid sunburn and heatstroke.
  • Travel Secure: Consider travel insurance to cover emergencies, medical expenses, and trip cancellations. Check coverage for medical evacuation, especially if you plan adventurous activities or travel during monsoon season.


Unwind in the timeless beauty of Varkala, Kerala. Immerse yourself in rich culture and soulful experiences, from tranquil shores and majestic cliffs overlooking the Arabian Sea to Ayurvedic treatments, yoga on the beach, and delectable Kerala cuisine. Every moment in this coastal paradise is infused with serenity and wonder. Explore cultural landmarks, connect with the warm and hospitable locals, and bask in Varkala’s natural splendor. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or spiritual rejuvenation, Varkala welcomes you. Plan your transformative journey with a detailed travel guide on


  1. When is the ideal time to visit Varkala?
    • The prime time to visit Varkala is from November to March, offering a pleasant climate for beach exploration and outdoor activities.
  2. What’s the distance between Varkala and Thiruvananthapuram Airport?
    • Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is around 54 kilometers away from Varkala, approximately a 1.5 to 2-hour journey by road.
  3. Are there budget-friendly accommodations in Varkala?
    • Yes, Varkala provides various budget accommodations including guesthouses, homestays, and hostels to cater to travelers on a budget.
  4. Which local delicacies should I try in Varkala?
    • Varkala offers a variety of must-try dishes such as fresh seafood curries, appams with stew, Malabar biryani, and traditional Kerala desserts like palada payasam.
  5. Are water sports available in Varkala?
    • Yes, Varkala offers water sports activities like surfing, parasailing, snorkeling, and stand-up paddleboarding for adventurous visitors.
  6. Can I rent a scooter or bicycle to explore Varkala?
    • Absolutely, scooter and bicycle rentals are available in Varkala, allowing visitors the freedom to explore the town and its environs at their own pace.
  7. What are the nearby attractions from Varkala?
    • Popular attractions near Varkala include Anjengo Fort, Kappil Beach and Backwaters, Ponnumthuruthu Island, and the historic town of Alleppey.
  8. Is Varkala suitable for solo travelers?
    • Yes, Varkala is welcoming and safe for solo travelers, offering various accommodations and activities conducive to meeting fellow travelers and locals.
  9. Are there eco-friendly initiatives in Varkala?
    • Indeed, Varkala has numerous eco-friendly initiatives like beach clean-ups, waste management projects, and sustainable tourism practices to preserve its natural beauty.
  10. Can I learn yoga or meditation in Varkala?
    • Certainly, Varkala provides yoga and meditation classes and retreats conducted by experienced instructors, allowing travelers to learn and practice these ancient disciplines in serene environments.
  11. What’s the significance of the Sivagiri Mutt in Varkala?
    • The Sivagiri Mutt is a renowned spiritual center founded by Sree Narayana Guru, attracting devotees and seekers globally for its teachings of spiritual enlightenment and social equality.
  12. Is it feasible to visit Varkala for a day trip from Thiruvananthapuram?
    • Yes, it’s feasible to make a day trip to Varkala from Thiruvananthapuram, allowing visitors to explore main attractions like Varkala Beach, Janardanaswamy Temple, and the Varkala Cliff within a day.

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