Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

What To Do In Varkala – Kerala Beaches And Lazy Days


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Annamarie Seng



Varkala, situated in the southern state of Kerala, India, is a hidden gem nestled along the Arabian Sea. With its stunning cliffs, pristine beaches, and serene backwaters, Varkala offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and spiritual charm. This coastal town is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for leisurely vacations and rejuvenation.


Varkala is often referred to as the “Pamukkale of India” due to its unique geological formations. The majestic red cliffs overlooking the azure sea create a breathtaking backdrop for the pristine Varkala Beach, one of the most enchanting beaches in Kerala. The beach offers an idyllic setting for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying mesmerizing sunsets.


Aside from its scenic beauty, Varkala is also a significant pilgrimage site. The ancient Janardanaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, attracts devotees from far and wide. The Sivagiri Mutt, a spiritual center founded by the revered philosopher and social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, is another notable religious landmark in the area.


Additionally, Varkala is home to the Varkala Tunnel, a relic of the British era. The tunnel, originally built as a shortcut for transporting goods, now serves as a tourist attraction, transporting visitors to a bygone era.


Varkala also offers a range of activities for nature and adventure enthusiasts. The tranquil Kappil Lake, located a short distance from the town, is a perfect spot for boat rides and bird-watching. Edava Beach, just a few kilometers away, offers a serene and secluded atmosphere, ideal for picnics and unwinding amidst the sounds of crashing waves.


For history buffs, the Anjengo Fort, built by the British East India Company, offers a glimpse into Kerala’s colonial past. The fort, situated at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Anjengo River, showcases the architectural grandeur of yesteryears.


If you’re looking for a spiritual retreat, Varkala is renowned for its yoga and meditation centers. The picturesque Varkala Cliff, lined with shops, cafes, and guesthouses, is a popular spot for yoga enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance as you practice postures and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.


Getting to Varkala

Varkala is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, making it convenient for travelers to reach this coastal paradise. Here are the most common ways to get to Varkala:

  • By Air: The nearest major airport to Varkala is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, located approximately 37 kilometers south of the town. Several domestic and international flights connect Thiruvananthapuram Airport to major cities in India and abroad. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach Varkala.
  • By Train: Varkala has its own railway station, called Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in Kerala and other parts of the country. Trains from cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Chennai have regular services to Varkala. Once you arrive at Varkala Railway Station, you can easily find auto-rickshaws or taxis to reach your accommodation.
  • By Road: Varkala is well-connected by road networks, and several state and private buses operate regular services to and from Varkala. National Highway 66, also known as the Mumbai-Kanyakumari Highway, passes through Varkala, making it easily accessible by road. You can choose to drive to Varkala or hire a taxi from nearby cities like Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi.

Once you arrive in Varkala, getting around the town is relatively easy. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are readily available for local transportation. Bicycles and scooters are also available for rent if you prefer to explore the town at your own pace. Many accommodations in Varkala are within walking distance of the main attractions, including the beach and the cliff.


It’s worth noting that Varkala can get crowded during peak tourist seasons, so it’s advisable to plan your travel and book your accommodations in advance, especially if you’re visiting during holidays or festivals. With proper planning and a little bit of exploration, getting to Varkala and navigating the town can be a seamless experience.


Varkala Beach

Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam Beach, is the star attraction of this coastal town. With its pristine white sands, clear blue waters, and dramatic red cliffs, it offers a mesmerizing setting for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. Here’s what you can expect at Varkala Beach:


Stunning Views: As you step onto the sandy shores of Varkala Beach, you’ll be greeted by a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. The sight of the crashing waves against the towering cliffs creates an awe-inspiring spectacle that will leave you spellbound.


Sunbathing and Swimming: The beach is renowned for its sunbathing and swimming opportunities. Spread your towel on the soft sands and bask in the warm sun rays or take a refreshing dip in the gentle waters of the Arabian Sea. The beach is relatively safe for swimming, as there are no sudden drops or strong currents.


Ancient Beliefs and Rituals: Varkala Beach holds significant religious and spiritual importance. According to Hindu mythology, taking a dip in the waters of Papanasam Beach is said to wash away one’s sins and bring salvation. Devotees often perform rituals and offer prayers at the beach, making it a unique cultural experience.


The beach is flanked by the majestic Varkala Cliff, which extends along the coastline. Take a leisurely stroll along the cliff to enjoy stunning views of the beach and the vast expanse of the sea. The cliff is also lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, offering a perfect ambiance for relaxation and enjoyment.


Varkala Beach offers a range of water activities to add excitement to your beach visit. You can try parasailing, banana boat rides, or even take surfing lessons. Experienced instructors and equipment rental services are available along the beach to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


The cliff and the beach provide an excellent vantage point to witness breathtaking sunsets over the Arabian Sea. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky lights up in a myriad of orange, pink, and golden hues, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that will leave you in awe.


Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a romantic getaway, or a fun-filled day at the beach, Varkala Beach has something to offer everyone. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings, feel the therapeutic sea breeze, and let the serene ambiance of Varkala Beach captivate your senses.


Kappil Lake

Nestled a short distance from Varkala, Kappil Lake is a serene and picturesque backwater destination that offers a tranquil escape from the bustling town. Here’s what you can experience at Kappil Lake:


Natural Scenic Beauty: Surrounded by lush greenery and bordered by coconut groves, Kappil Lake presents a scenic setting that is truly captivating. The still waters of the lake reflect the surrounding landscape, creating a picturesque panorama that is perfect for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.


Boat Rides: The best way to explore Kappil Lake is by taking a boat ride. Traditional Kerala-style houseboats and speedboats are available for hire. Enjoy a peaceful journey as you cruise along the tranquil waters, taking in the sights and sounds of nature that abound in the area.


Bird-Watching: Kappil Lake is home to a diverse range of bird species, making it a paradise for bird-watchers. Keep an eye out for colorful kingfishers, majestic eagles, and flocks of migratory birds that visit the lake during certain seasons. The peaceful ambiance and captivating avian life make Kappil Lake a haven for nature enthusiasts.


Fishing: Fishing is a popular activity at Kappil Lake. If you’re interested in experiencing the local way of life, you can join the local fishermen and try your hand at catching some fish. The tranquil surroundings and the gentle rhythm of the lake will make your fishing experience both relaxing and rewarding.


Idyllic Beach: Adjacent to Kappil Lake is a secluded and pristine beach where the tranquil backwaters meet the roaring Arabian Sea. This untouched stretch of sand offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to unwind amidst the beauty of nature. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach or simply relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.


Sunsets by the Lake: The breathtaking sunsets at Kappil Lake are not to be missed. As the sun descends, casting vibrant hues across the sky, the still waters of the lake reflect the colors, creating a stunning spectacle. Sit back, relax, and witness the beauty of nature unfold before your eyes.


Visiting Kappil Lake offers a unique experience of tranquility and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking solitude, a romantic getaway, or an opportunity to explore Kerala’s enchanting backwaters, Kappil Lake is the perfect destination to unwind and reconnect with nature.


Janardanaswamy Temple

Janardanaswamy Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located in Varkala, Kerala. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple holds great religious significance and attracts devotees from all over India. Here’s what you need to know about Janardanaswamy Temple:


Historical Significance: The temple has a rich history that dates back over 2,000 years. It is believed to have been visited by revered saints like Adi Shankaracharya, who established the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. The architectural style of the temple reflects the traditional Kerala style of temple construction.


Religious Importance: Janardanaswamy Temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams, which are the holy abodes of Lord Vishnu according to Vaishnavism. The presiding deity in the temple is Lord Janardana, another name for Lord Vishnu. Devotees come here to seek blessings, offer prayers, and perform various rituals to attain prosperity, good health, and spiritual fulfillment.


Temple Architecture: The temple complex consists of a main shrine, dedicated to Lord Janardana, and other smaller shrines dedicated to various deities. The main structure is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. The tranquil atmosphere and serene surroundings of the temple create a peaceful ambiance for devotees and visitors alike.


Festivals and Rituals: The temple hosts several festivals throughout the year, which are celebrated with great joy and grandeur. The annual temple festival, known as Arattu, is the most significant celebration, attracting thousands of devotees. During this festival, the deity is taken out in a ceremonial procession to the nearby beach, where a ceremonial bath is conducted.


Another prominent festival celebrated at the temple is Sree Narayana Jayanthi, which commemorates the birth anniversary of Sree Narayana Guru. Devotees from all over Kerala gather at the temple to offer prayers and seek blessings. The temple becomes a hub of cultural activities, with traditional music and dance performances.


The Janardanaswamy Temple, situated on a hilltop, offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including the beach and the Arabian Sea. The serene ambiance and the spiritual aura of the temple make it a popular spot for meditation and introspection.


Whether you are a religious devotee or someone seeking a spiritual experience, a visit to Janardanaswamy Temple is a must when in Varkala. Immerse yourself in the divine atmosphere, witness the rituals and festivities, and feel the spiritual energy that emanates from this ancient temple.


Sivagiri Mutt

Sivagiri Mutt, situated on a picturesque hilltop in Varkala, Kerala, is a renowned spiritual and cultural center. Founded by the revered philosopher and social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, the mutt holds great significance for his followers and attracts pilgrims and tourists from far and wide. Here’s what you can expect at Sivagiri Mutt:


Legacy of Sree Narayana Guru: Sree Narayana Guru was a prominent figure in Kerala’s social reform movement during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He championed the causes of equality, education, and social justice, and his teachings continue to inspire people to this day. Sivagiri Mutt serves as a testament to his teachings and ideals.


Temple Complex: The main shrine in Sivagiri Mutt is dedicated to Sree Narayana Guru, with his idol enshrined within the sanctum sanctorum. Surrounding the main shrine are other smaller shrines dedicated to various gods and goddesses. The temple architecture displays a blend of traditional Kerala style and contemporary design elements.


Pilgrimage Site: Sivagiri Mutt is a significant pilgrimage site for followers of Sree Narayana Guru. Devotees come here to pay homage, seek blessings, and offer prayers. The peaceful ambiance of the mutt provides a serene atmosphere for spiritual contemplation and introspection.


Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP): Sivagiri Mutt is closely associated with the SNDP, a social organization founded by Sree Narayana Guru to uplift the marginalized sections of society. The mutt serves as the headquarters of the SNDP, and it continues to be instrumental in carrying forward the socio-cultural initiatives initiated by Sree Narayana Guru.


Pilgrimage Season: The most significant event at Sivagiri Mutt is the Sivagiri Pilgrimage, held annually from 30th December to 1st January. Thousands of devotees gather at the mutt during this time to commemorate the Mahasamadhi (the departure from the mortal body) of Sree Narayana Guru. The mutt comes alive with various cultural programs, religious discourses, and processions.


Navaratri Celebrations: Another notable festival celebrated at Sivagiri Mutt is Navaratri, a nine-night festival dedicated to the worship of the divine feminine. The mutt hosts special concerts, traditional dance performances, and religious rituals during this time. Devotees immerse themselves in the devotional fervor of the festivities.


Visiting Sivagiri Mutt offers an opportunity to experience the teachings of Sree Narayana Guru, witness the cultural richness of Kerala, and absorb the spiritual vibrations of the surroundings. Whether you are a follower of his teachings or simply seeking a place of tranquility and reverence, Sivagiri Mutt is a place where you can find solace and inspiration.


Varkala Tunnel

Varkala Tunnel, also known as the Varkala Coastal Tunnel, is a historic tunnel located in Varkala, Kerala. Built during the British colonial era, the tunnel holds both historical and architectural significance, attracting curious visitors and history enthusiasts. Here’s what you need to know about Varkala Tunnel:


Historical Significance: Varkala Tunnel was constructed in the late 19th century as a part of the now-defunct Trivandrum-Kollam railway line. The tunnel served as a railway connection between the two major cities, facilitating the transportation of goods and passengers. It stands as a testament to Kerala’s early railway infrastructure and the colonial legacy of the region.


Architectural Marvel: The tunnel’s architectural design showcases the engineering ingenuity of the time. The tunnel stretches for a distance of about 924 meters and is carved through the solid rocky cliffs of Varkala. The narrow entrance, dark interior, and the stone arches create an aura of mystery and intrigue.


Scenic Surroundings: The tunnel is located amidst breathtaking natural beauty, surrounded by towering red cliffs and lush greenery. As you approach the tunnel, you’ll be captivated by the stunning views of the Arabian Sea, making it a picturesque spot for photography and appreciation of nature’s splendor.


Walking Experience: Today, the railway line connected by the tunnel is no longer operational. However, visitors can still walk through the tunnel and experience a glimpse of the past. Walking along the darkened tunnel adds an adventurous element to your visit, as you explore a piece of history hidden beneath the cliffs of Varkala.


Coastal Connection: The tunnel was strategically built to provide a shorter and more convenient route for transporting goods and connecting coastal towns. It offered a direct link between the land and the sea, facilitating trade and commerce in the region. The historical significance of Varkala Tunnel further highlights the importance of Varkala as a coastal trading hub during the colonial era.


Visiting Varkala Tunnel allows you to step back in time and imagine the bygone era of British railway infrastructure. As you walk through the tunnel and appreciate its magnificent structure, you’ll gain insights into the region’s historical development and witness the harmonious blend of natural and man-made wonders that Varkala has to offer.


Edava Beach

Edava Beach, located just a few kilometers from Varkala, is a serene and secluded beach that offers a peaceful escape from the bustling crowds. With its untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Edava Beach is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Here’s what you can expect at Edava Beach:


Edava Beach is known for its pristine beauty and relative seclusion. Unlike the more popular beaches in Varkala, Edava Beach offers a tranquil retreat away from the crowds. If you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing beach experience, this is the perfect spot.


The beach is characterized by its golden sands, gentle waves, and the backdrop of palm trees and lush greenery. The serene ambiance and the panoramic views of the Arabian Sea make it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.


Edava Beach is unique in that it is also home to a network of backwater lagoons. These serene water bodies, surrounded by coconut groves, add an element of tranquility and charm to the beach. You can explore the lagoons by taking a boat ride or simply enjoy the peaceful views from the shore.


The beach and its surrounding lagoons attract a diverse range of bird species, making it a haven for bird-watchers. Keep an eye out for rare and migratory birds such as herons, kingfishers, and egrets. Edava Beach offers a fantastic opportunity to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.


The coastal location of Edava Beach means that it is a paradise for seafood lovers. Enjoy freshly caught fish and delicious seafood delicacies at the local eateries and beach-facing restaurants. Indulge in the flavors of the sea while enjoying the stunning views of the beach.


Edava Beach provides a beautiful setting for romantic walks along the shoreline. As the sun sets over the Arabian Sea, the beach transforms into a breathtaking canvas of vibrant colors. Take a leisurely stroll hand-in-hand with your loved one and witness the magic of the sunset.


Edava Beach is a hidden gem that allows you to experience the beauty of nature in a peaceful and serene setting. Whether you want to relax under the swaying palm trees, take a dip in the gentle waves, or simply unwind with the soothing sounds of the sea, Edava Beach is the perfect destination for a blissful beach getaway.


Anjengo Fort

Anjengo Fort, also known as Anchuthengu Fort, is a historical landmark located near Varkala in Kerala. Built by the British East India Company in the 18th century, the fort stands as a testimony to Kerala’s colonial past and offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Here’s what you can discover at Anjengo Fort:


Historical Significance: Anjengo Fort played a crucial role in the early colonial era, serving as a prominent trade outpost for the British East India Company. The fort was strategically located along the coast, providing a vantage point for overseeing maritime trade activities and safeguarding the interests of the British in the region.


Architectural Marvel: The fort showcases a unique blend of European and indigenous architectural styles. The structure is made of laterite and timber, reflecting the architectural preferences of the time. The remnants of the fort, including the thick walls, bastions, and cannons, give visitors a glimpse of the military infrastructure of the bygone era.


From the ramparts of Anjengo Fort, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the surrounding coastal landscape. Capture breathtaking vistas of the sea, the nearby backwaters, and the lush greenery that envelops the fort. The view alone makes the visit to Anjengo Fort worthwhile.


The fort houses a Historical Interpretation Center that provides visitors with detailed information about the fort’s history, the colonial era, and the trade activities that took place in the region. Exhibits, artifacts, and audio-visual presentations offer a deeper understanding of the fort’s significance in Kerala’s history.


Anjengo Fort is located on a beautiful stretch of coastline, adjacent to Anjengo Beach. After exploring the fort, you can relax on the sandy shores, take a refreshing swim, or enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst the scenic beauty. The tranquil ambiance of the beach adds to the charm of the historic fort.


Anjengo Fort is also closely associated with various cultural and historical events. The fort’s connection to early European traders and their interactions with the local community provides a fascinating insight into the cultural exchange that took place during that time. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of the region as you explore the fort’s heritage.


Visiting Anjengo Fort offers a fascinating journey back in time, allowing you to witness the remnants of a colonial era and appreciate the historical importance of the region. From the architectural marvels to the panoramic views and the cultural insights, Anjengo Fort promises an enriching and captivating exploration for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.


Ponnumthuruthu Island

Ponnumthuruthu Island, also known as Golden Island, is a tiny island located near Varkala in Kerala. Nestled amidst the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, this secluded island offers a serene and tranquil escape for nature lovers and explorers. Here’s what you can experience at Ponnumthuruthu Island:


Ponnumthuruthu Island is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by verdant coconut groves, emerald backwaters, and a lush green landscape. The tranquil surroundings and the serene ambiance make it a perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.


To reach Ponnumthuruthu Island, you need to take a short boat ride from the mainland. The boat ride itself is a memorable experience as you cruise through the serene backwaters, enveloped by the mesmerizing beauty of the surroundings. The tranquil waters and the gentle swaying of the boat add to the enchanting charm of the journey.


The main attraction on Ponnumthuruthu Island is the ancient Shri Subramanya Swami Temple. This temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Hindu god of war, is believed to be around 500 years old. The temple’s architecture showcases the traditional Kerala style with intricate woodwork and beautiful murals depicting mythological stories.


Ponnumthuruthu Island is a haven of tranquility and peace. The island provides a picturesque backdrop for relaxation, meditation, and spiritual contemplation. The quiet atmosphere and the rhythmic chants from the temple create a serene ambiance that is perfect for introspection and connecting with nature.


Ponnumthuruthu Island is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. The island is home to a variety of avian species, including migratory birds. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful birds like kingfishers, herons, and egrets that frequent the area. Bird-watching on the island offers a unique opportunity to admire these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.


Watching the sunset from Ponnumthuruthu Island is truly spectacular. As the sun sets over the backwaters, the sky is painted in hues of orange, pink, and golden, creating a mesmerizing scenery. Sit back, relax, and witness the magical transformation of the surroundings as the sun bids farewell for the day.


Visiting Ponnumthuruthu Island allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and spirituality. Whether you seek solitude, want to explore the cultural heritage of the temple, or simply want to connect with the stunning surroundings, a visit to Ponnumthuruthu Island is a truly rewarding experience.


Varkala Cliff

Varkala Cliff is a captivating elevated stretch along the Arabian Sea in Varkala, Kerala. With its stunning panoramic views, bustling atmosphere, and vibrant energy, Varkala Cliff has become one of the most popular attractions in the region. Here’s what you can expect when you visit Varkala Cliff:


As you walk along the cliff, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking vistas of the endless Arabian Sea. The picturesque scenery of the cliffs, the sparkling water, and the vast expanse of the horizon provide a stunning backdrop for memorable moments and breathtaking sunsets.


The cliff is lined with a wide array of shops catered to visitors, offering items like clothing, accessories, handicrafts, and souvenirs. After perusing the shops, you can unwind at one of the many cafes and restaurants dotting the area. Enjoy local delicacies, sip on a refreshing drink, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.


Varkala Cliff offers a range of accommodations, from budget guesthouses to high-end resorts perched right on the cliffs. Staying in one of these accommodations allows you to wake up to stunning views or even practice yoga to the backdrop of the Arabian Sea. The availability of various choices ensures a comfortable and enjoyable stay.


Varkala Cliff has become a popular destination for yoga enthusiasts and spiritual seekers. Many yoga centers and ashrams offer classes and retreats for all levels. Take part in a session of yoga or meditation to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul amidst the tranquil ambiance of the cliff.


The cliff provides easy access to the renowned Varkala Beach. Stairs and pathways lead down to the pristine sands, allowing visitors to enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and beachside activities. You can spend the day soaking up the sun, taking refreshing dips, or simply strolling along the shoreline.


Varkala Cliff is also a hub of cultural activities. You may encounter live performances of traditional music or dance, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region. The vibrant atmosphere, colorful displays, and melodious tunes add an extra layer of charm to your visit.


Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, food enthusiast, or a cultural explorer, Varkala Cliff offers something for everyone. Soak in the panoramic views, indulge in the local culture, and embrace the lively atmosphere as you immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of Varkala Cliff.


Ayurvedic Treatments

Varkala, Kerala, is renowned for its traditional Ayurvedic treatments, which offer a holistic approach to health and well-being. Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old Indian healing system, focuses on balancing the body, mind, and spirit. Here’s what you can expect when you indulge in Ayurvedic treatments in Varkala:


Ayurveda encompasses a wide range of treatments and therapies that have been practiced for centuries. In Varkala, you’ll find numerous Ayurvedic centers and resorts offering authentic Ayurvedic treatments performed by skilled practitioners who specialize in this ancient healing art.


Ayurveda treats each individual as unique, with specific needs and imbalances. When you visit an Ayurvedic center in Varkala, you’ll undergo a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor who will assess your constitution (prakriti) and determine any imbalances (vikriti). Based on this evaluation, customized treatment plans will be created to address your specific needs.


Ayurvedic massages are an integral part of the treatment process. These massages are performed using warm herbal oils infused with medicinal properties. The massages not only help to relax and rejuvenate the body but also improve blood circulation, relieve muscular tension, and promote overall well-being. Popular massage therapies include Abhyanga, Shirodhara, and Pizhichil.


Ayurveda utilizes various herbs, plants, and natural ingredients to create therapeutic medicines and remedies. These natural formulations are believed to have healing properties and are prescribed to address specific health concerns. Ayurvedic practitioners in Varkala may recommend dietary changes, herbal supplements, and lifestyle modifications to complement the treatments.


Ayurveda emphasizes the integration of yoga and meditation alongside treatments to enhance the healing process. Many Ayurvedic centers in Varkala offer yoga and meditation sessions that focus on breathing exercises, postures, and mindfulness techniques. These practices help in maintaining balance, improving flexibility, calming the mind, and promoting overall wellness.


Ayurveda places great emphasis on eliminating toxins and impurities from the body. Panchakarma, a popular Ayurvedic detoxification therapy, involves a combination of specialized treatments like massages, herbal steam baths, enemas, and nasal irrigation. These therapies aid in removing toxins, improving digestion, and restoring the body’s natural balance.


Ayurvedic treatments in Varkala provide an opportunity to experience the ancient wisdom of holistic healing in a serene and tranquil environment. Restore harmony to your body, mind, and spirit as you immerse yourself in the rejuvenating therapies and embrace a healthier lifestyle through Ayurveda.


Water Sports and Activities

Varkala, Kerala, offers a wide range of water sports and activities that allow visitors to make the most of its stunning coastal location. Whether you’re seeking adventure, thrill, or simply some fun in the water, Varkala has something to offer. Here are some exciting water sports and activities you can enjoy:


Surfing: Varkala’s consistent waves and favorable wind conditions make it a popular destination for surfing. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, you can find surf schools and rental shops along the beach that offer surfboards and instructors to help you catch the perfect wave.


Jet Skiing: Get your adrenaline pumping with an exhilarating jet ski ride along the coast. Feel the thrill as you speed through the waves, enjoying the stunning views and the refreshing ocean breeze. Jet ski rental services are available at Varkala Beach, allowing you to experience the excitement of this water sport.


Parasailing: Soar high above Varkala Beach and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the coastline with parasailing. You’ll be securely harnessed to a colorful parachute as a boat propels you into the air. Admire the breathtaking scenery below as you glide through the sky, feeling the rush of excitement and freedom.


Banana Boat Rides: Gather a group of friends or family and hop on a banana boat for a fun-filled adventure on the water. Hold on tight as the inflatable boat is pulled by a speedboat, bouncing and gliding across the waves. It’s a thrilling and laughter-inducing experience that all ages can enjoy.


Kayaking: Explore the tranquil backwaters and hidden lagoons of Varkala by kayak. Paddle through the calm waters, discover the rich biodiversity of the region, and witness the beautiful surroundings up close. Kayak rentals and guided tours are available, making kayaking an accessible and enjoyable water activity.


Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Dive into the underwater world of Varkala and explore its vibrant marine life. Don your snorkeling gear or scuba diving equipment and discover a colorful world beneath the surface. Snorkeling and scuba diving excursions, accompanied by professional guides, allow you to witness the fascinating marine ecosystem of the Arabian Sea.


Fishing Trips: Experience the traditional way of fishing in Varkala by joining a fishing trip. Embark on a boat with local fishermen, learn their traditional fishing techniques, and try your hand at catching fish. It’s an immersive and educational experience that provides insights into the livelihoods of the local community.


With its beautiful coastline and favorable water conditions, Varkala offers a plethora of water sports and activities to suit every taste. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply looking for some fun in the water, these activities allow you to make lasting memories while enjoying the natural beauty of the Arabian Sea.


Yoga and Meditation

Varkala, Kerala, is renowned for its serene and spiritual atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for yoga and meditation retreats. With its picturesque beaches, tranquil cliffs, and peaceful surroundings, Varkala offers the perfect setting for inner reflection and rejuvenation. Here’s what you can expect when exploring the world of yoga and meditation in Varkala:


Yoga Classes: Varkala is home to numerous yoga centers and schools that offer a variety of yoga classes for practitioners of all levels. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogi, you can find classes that focus on different yoga styles, including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Kundalini. Joining a yoga class allows you to enhance flexibility, build strength, improve posture, and find balance in body and mind.


Meditation Retreats: Varkala is a popular destination for meditation retreats that cater to individuals seeking a deeper sense of peace and self-discovery. Retreats are designed to provide a tranquil environment for intensive meditation practice, allowing participants to disconnect from the outside world and connect with their inner selves. Expert guidance from experienced meditation teachers ensures a holistic experience that nurtures mind, body, and soul.


The natural beauty of Varkala sets the stage for a blissful yoga and meditation practice. Rolling waves, gentle sea breezes, and the peaceful sounds of nature create a serene ambiance that promotes focus and relaxation. The pristine beaches, cliffside perches, and lush greenery offer tranquil spaces for yoga and meditation sessions, allowing practitioners to find solace and connection with their surroundings.


Imagine practicing yoga as the golden sun sets over the Arabian Sea, casting a warm glow on the surroundings. Many yoga centers in Varkala offer sunset yoga sessions on the beach or cliffside, providing a breathtaking backdrop for your practice. Bask in the serene beauty of the sunset, let go of the day’s worries, and embrace a sense of peace and tranquility.


Varkala also hosts various wellness workshops and retreats that combine yoga, meditation, and other holistic practices. These workshops may include sessions on pranayama (breathing exercises), Ayurveda, sound healing, and other integrative modalities. Participating in these workshops allows you to deepen your understanding of holistic well-being and gain valuable insights into leading a balanced and mindful lifestyle.


Varkala’s spiritual ambiance and the practice of yoga and meditation go hand in hand, creating a space for inner renewal, self-reflection, and personal growth. Whether you’re seeking stress relief, inner peace, improved focus, or overall well-being, Varkala provides an opportunity to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and find harmony within yourself and the surrounding environment.


Visiting Varkala for yoga and meditation offers a chance to immerse yourself in the age-old practices that promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Discover the transformative power of yoga and meditation as you embrace the serene surroundings, connect with like-minded individuals, and embark on a path of mindfulness and self-realization.


Shopping and Souvenirs

Varkala, Kerala, is not just a haven for natural beauty and spirituality, but also a delightful destination for shopping and finding unique souvenirs. The town and its bustling markets offer a wide variety of locally-made products that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region. Here’s what you can expect when it comes to shopping in Varkala:


Varkala is known for its vibrant arts and crafts scene. The markets in and around the town are filled with beautifully handcrafted items made by skilled artisans. From intricately carved wooden statues and sculptures to colorful textiles, pottery, and shell artifacts, you’ll find a wide range of unique handicrafts that are perfect for decorating your home or as thoughtful souvenirs.


Clothing stalls and shops in Varkala offer a variety of traditional garments, including sarees, lungis (a traditional skirt for men), and mundus (a traditional garment worn by men). You can also find fashionable items such as bohemian-style clothing, beachwear, and accessories like scarves and bags made from vibrant fabrics.


Kerala is famous for its aromatic spices, and Varkala is no exception. Spice shops in the town offer a wide array of spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and turmeric. You can also find Ayurvedic herbal remedies, oils, and skincare products made from natural ingredients, allowing you to bring a piece of Kerala’s renowned Ayurvedic tradition back home.


Explore the markets in Varkala to find an exquisite selection of handcrafted jewelry. From traditional gold and silver pieces adorned with precious stones to trendy fashion jewelry made from beads and shells, you’ll discover unique designs that capture the essence of Kerala’s artistic flair.


Kerala is known for its flavorful tea and coffee, and Varkala offers opportunities to purchase high-quality local varieties. Visit tea and coffee shops to sample and purchase packaged tea leaves, coffee beans, and aromatic blends. These make for ideal souvenirs for the caffeine enthusiasts in your life.


Varkala is home to many talented artists, and their creations can be found in local art galleries and shops. Paintings, wall hangings, and other forms of artistic expressions reflect the beauty of Kerala’s landscapes, culture, and spiritual traditions. Owning a piece of local artwork not only enhances your home décor but also supports the local art community.


When shopping in Varkala, it’s important to explore the local markets and interact with the friendly shopkeepers. Bargaining is often part of the shopping experience, so don’t be shy to negotiate prices. Remember, the treasures you take home from Varkala not only serve as reminders of your visit but also contribute to the local economy and help sustain the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the region.


Local Cuisine

Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of experiencing the cultural richness of Varkala, Kerala. The region’s culinary delights showcase the unique flavors, spices, and traditional cooking techniques that make Kerala cuisine renowned worldwide. Here’s a taste of the local cuisine you can savor in Varkala:


Seafood Extravaganza: Varkala’s coastal location means that a variety of fresh seafood takes center stage in its culinary offerings. From succulent prawns and fish curry to delectable crab masala and grilled lobster, seafood lovers will be in gastronomic heaven. The catch of the day is often cooked in traditional Kerala spices and coconut milk, creating a symphony of flavors.


Traditional Kerala Meals: Experience the flavors of Kerala through a traditional meal served on a banana leaf. Savor a spread of rice, sambar (lentil stew), rasam (tangy soup), thoran (stir-fried vegetables with coconut), aviyal (mixed vegetable curry), and a variety of spicy and tangy chutneys. The unique blend of spices and the harmonious combination of flavors make these meals a delightful culinary experience.


Appam and Stew: Appam, a fermented rice pancake with a soft, fluffy center and crispy edges, is a popular staple of Kerala cuisine. It is often enjoyed with a side of vegetable stew made with coconut milk, vegetables, and aromatic spices. The delicate texture of the appam and the flavorful stew create a comforting and satisfying meal.


Malabar Biriyani: The Malabar region of Kerala is famous for its flavorful and aromatic biriyani. Varkala offers a range of delicious biriyani options, typically made with fragrant long-grained rice, tender meat (usually chicken or mutton), and a blend of spices that infuses the dish with an irresistible aroma and taste.


Traditional Snacks: Kerala is known for its wide array of snacks, perfect for satisfying cravings between meals. Treat yourself to crispy banana chips, tasty kozhukatta (rice dumplings with savory or sweet fillings), fluffy idiyappam (string hoppers), and piping hot pazhampori (banana fritters). Wash it all down with a refreshing glass of spiced buttermilk known as ‘moru’.


If you’re lucky to visit during a festive occasion or special celebration, don’t miss indulging in a traditional Kerala Sadya. Served on a banana leaf, this elaborate feast features a plethora of vegetarian dishes, including various curries, pickles, pappadam (crispy lentil wafers), and of course, payasam (sweet pudding) to end the meal on a sweet note.


While exploring Varkala, indulge in the local cuisine to truly immerse yourself in the flavors and culinary heritage of Kerala. From seafood delicacies to traditional meals and mouthwatering snacks, every bite promises a delightful celebration of aromatic spices and authentic flavors that will leave you craving for more.


Nightlife in Varkala

Varkala, a town known for its laid-back and serene atmosphere, offers a unique and relaxed nightlife experience. While it may not have a bustling clubbing scene, Varkala provides a few options for nighttime entertainment and socializing. Here’s what you can explore during the nightlife hours in Varkala:


Rooftop Cafés and Restaurants: Many cafés and restaurants in Varkala offer rooftop seating, providing a picturesque setting to unwind and enjoy the evening hours. From these elevated spots, you can savour delectable local cuisine, sip on refreshing drinks, and savor the breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea or the cliffs illuminated by the moonlight.


Some establishments in Varkala host live music performances in the evenings, providing an opportunity to enjoy the best of the local music scene. Listen to soulful renditions of traditional Kerala melodies, or groove to the tunes of contemporary bands playing a variety of genres.


Varkala occasionally hosts cultural performances that showcase the vibrant traditions and art forms of Kerala. Look out for events featuring classical dance performances like Kathakali or Bharatanatyam, or traditional music concerts that highlight the rich musical heritage of the region.


Although Varkala’s markets tend to wind down in the evenings, some shops stay open late, allowing you to browse local handicrafts, clothing, and artwork at a more leisurely pace. Stroll through the markets, soak in the charming atmosphere, and perhaps find the perfect souvenir to take home.


Some beachfront accommodations organize bonfire nights on the beach. Join fellow guests around a crackling fire, share stories, and enjoy the warm glow under the night sky. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bond with fellow travelers and create cherished memories.


Varkala is also an ideal place for quiet and contemplative evenings. Indulge in a peaceful walk along the cliff, engage in meditation or yoga sessions, or simply find a serene spot on the beach to soak in the tranquility of the night. Varkala’s natural beauty provides a soothing atmosphere for reflection and relaxation.


While Varkala may not be known for its vibrant nightlife, it offers a unique and distinctive experience that aligns with the town’s serene ambiance. Whether you choose to enjoy rooftop dining, immerse yourself in cultural performances, or simply relax and appreciate the peaceful surroundings, Varkala’s nightlife ensures a memorable end to your day in this coastal paradise.


Nearby Attractions

Varkala, Kerala, is not just a destination in itself, but also a gateway to nearby attractions that offer diverse experiences and cultural insights. Here are some nearby attractions you can explore during your visit to Varkala:


Kappil Beach: Located a short distance from Varkala, Kappil Beach is a secluded and untouched beach destination. The tranquil backwaters meeting the Arabian Sea and the picturesque views make it a perfect spot for leisurely walks, picnics, and enjoying serene sunsets.


Ponnumthuruthu Island: Ponnumthuruthu Island, also known as Golden Island, is a tiny island near Varkala. Accessible by boat, the island offers a peaceful retreat amidst coconut groves and backwaters. Visit the ancient Subramanya Swami Temple and enjoy the tranquility of this serene gem.


Anchuthengu Fort (Anjengo Fort): Anchuthengu Fort, situated near Varkala, is a historical fort built by the British East India Company. Explore the remnants of the fort, learn about its colonial history, and enjoy panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the confluence of the river.


Ponnumthuruthu Island: Ponnumthuruthu Island, also known as Golden Island, is a tiny island near Varkala. Accessible by boat, the island offers a peaceful retreat amidst coconut groves and backwaters. Visit the ancient Subramanya Swami Temple and enjoy the tranquility of this serene gem.


Kovalam Beach: Just a short drive from Varkala, Kovalam is one of Kerala’s most popular beach destinations. With its crescent-shaped sandy beaches, pristine waters, and lined palm trees, it offers a vibrant atmosphere, water sports activities, and a vibrant nightlife scene.


Neyyar Dam: Neyyar Dam, located in the Western Ghats near Varkala, is a picturesque reservoir surrounded by lush greenery. Enjoy boating on the tranquil waters, visit the nearby lion safari park and deer park, and explore the rejuvenation and wellness centers located in the area.


Ponmudi Hill Station: Ponmudi, located around 60 kilometers from Varkala, is a charming hill station nestled in the Western Ghats. Known for its mist-covered hills, tea estates, and lush greenery, it offers opportunities for trekking, picnicking, and exploring scenic trails.


Exploring these nearby attractions from Varkala allows you to delve further into the cultural, historical, and natural aspects of Kerala. Whether you seek peaceful retreats, historical insights, or vibrant beach towns, the surrounding areas have something to captivate every traveler’s interest.



Varkala, Kerala, offers a unique and captivating experience that blends natural beauty, spirituality, and cultural richness. From the stunning cliffs and pristine beaches to the ancient temples and peaceful backwaters, this coastal town has something for every traveler. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a spiritual retreat, Varkala provides an enchanting setting that embraces your desires.


The town offers a myriad of attractions to explore, including the renowned Varkala Beach with its breathtaking cliffs and serene sands. Visit historical landmarks like the Janardanaswamy Temple and Sivagiri Mutt to immerse yourself in the spiritual heritage of the region. Indulge in Ayurvedic treatments, practice yoga, or embark on water sports adventures for a rejuvenating and adrenaline-pumping experience.


As you stroll through the markets, you’ll be tempted by the local handicrafts, textiles, spices, and jewelry. Treat your taste buds to the flavorful delights of Kerala cuisine, savoring the fresh seafood and traditional meals that reflect the region’s gastronomic heritage.


Varkala is also a gateway to nearby attractions such as Kappil Beach, Ponnumthuruthu Island, Anchuthengu Fort, and more, giving you the opportunity to explore the diverse natural and cultural wonders of the surrounding areas.


Whether you choose to relax on the beach, meditate on the cliffs, or indulge in thrilling water sports, Varkala promises an unforgettable journey filled with tranquility, adventure, and self-discovery. So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the charm of Varkala, and let its beauty, spirituality, and warm hospitality leave an indelible mark on your soul.