12 Most Famous Places to Visit in Varkala – 2024

places to visit in varkala

Varkala, in Kerala, India, offers enchanting places to explore. Start with Varkala Beach for its stunning cliffs and peaceful shores. Then, visit the Janardanaswamy Temple, a sacred Hindu site. Take a refreshing dip in the mineral-rich Papanasam Beach waters. the serene Varkala Tunnel and its unique history. Finally, indulge in the local cuisine at Varkala’s charming eateries. These attractions make Varkala a delightful destination for all travellers. For nature lovers, explore the Kappil Lake and its backwaters. The Anjengo Fort showcases colonial architecture and history.

Here are some of the 12 Most Famous Places to Visit in Varkala

1. Varkala Beach

2. Varkala Cliff

3. Janardhana Swami Temple

4. Ponnumthuruthu Island

5. Sivagiri

6. Varkala Light House

7. Vishnu Temple

8. Kappil Beach

9. Varkala Aquarium

10. Water Sports In Varkala

11. Edava Beach

12. Anjengo Fort

13. Sivagiri Mutt

1. Varkala Beach

places to visit in varkala

Varkala Beach is a stunning and popular coastal destination located in the town of Varkala in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Varkala Beach is renowned for its unique location along a dramatic cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea. The scenic cliffs provide breathtaking views of the sea and make it an ideal spot for photography and relaxation. Varkala is also known for its natural mineral springs which are believed to have medicinal properties. Visitors often take a dip in these springs, which are known as “Papanasam Beach,” to cleanse their sins and heal ailments.

The beach is considered sacred by Hindus, and many pilgrims come here to take a holy dip in the sea. Unlike some of the more crowded beaches in India, Varkala Beach offers a relatively serene atmosphere, And It’s a great place to savor fresh seafood and watch the sunset. You can shop for souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts at the numerous shops and stalls along the cliff, Varkala Beach is a picturesque and spiritually significant destination that offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and a peaceful atmosphere, making it a must-visit place for travelers in Kerala.

  • Best Time To Visit Varkala Beach: October to February.
  • Varkala Beach Temperature: 27-31°C.
  • Varkala Beach Entry Fees: ‌No entry fees.
  • Varkala Beach Timings: 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and 04:00 PM to 09:00 PM.
How to Reach Varkala Beach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala-Sivagiri Railway Station- (2 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) International Airport- (55 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Stand- (3 km).

2. Varkala Cliff

places to visit in varkala

The Varkala Cliff is a natural formation of sedimentary rock that rises majestically along the Arabian Sea coastline. It creates a stunning elevated overlook of the sea and the Varkala Beach below. Visitors to the Varkala Cliff can enjoy panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. It’s a popular spot for tourists to take in the breathtaking sunsets, making it a picturesque location for photography.
q2 A paved promenade runs along the cliff, allowing visitors to stroll along the edge while enjoying the views. making it a vibrant and bustling area. Dining at these establishments while overlooking the sea is a unique and enjoyable experience.

The Varkala Cliff holds spiritual significance for Hindus, as it is believed to be the final resting place of the sage Narada, who meditated here. There is a small shrine dedicated to him on the cliff. The serene and peaceful ambiance of the Varkala Cliff makes it an ideal spot for relaxation and meditation. Many visitors come here to unwind, practice yoga, or simply enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.

  • Best Time To Visit Varkala Cliff: October to March.
  • Varkala Cliff Temperature: 27-33°C.
  • Varkala Cliff Entry Fees: ‌No entry fees.
  • Varkala Cliff Timings: Open 24 hours.

How to Reach Varkala Cliff

  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala-Sivagiri Railway Station- (2 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) International Airport- (55 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Stand- (2.5 km).

3. Janardhana Swami Temple

places to visit in varkala

The Varkala Cliff is a natural formation of sedimentary rock that rises majestically along the Arabian Sea coastline. It creates a stunning elevated overlook of the sea and the Varkala Beach below. Visitors to the Varkala Cliff can enjoy panoramic views of the Arabian Sea. It’s a popular spot for tourists to take in the breathtaking sunsets, making it a picturesque location for photography.
q2 A paved promenade runs along the cliff, allowing visitors to stroll along the edge while enjoying the views. making it a vibrant and bustling area. Dining at these establishments while overlooking the sea is a unique and enjoyable experience.

The Varkala Cliff holds spiritual significance for Hindus, as it is believed to be the final resting place of the sage Narada, who meditated here. There is a small shrine dedicated to him on the cliff. The serene and peaceful ambiance of the Varkala Cliff makes it an ideal spot for relaxation and meditation. Many visitors come here to unwind, practice yoga, or simply enjoy the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.

  • Best Time To Visit Janardhana Swami Temple: October to March.
  • Janardhana Swami Temple Temperature: 28-34°C.
  • Janardhana Swami Temple Entry Fees: No entry fees.
  • Janardhana Swami Temple Timings:  04:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and 05:00 PM to 08:00 PM.

How to Reach Janardhana Swami Temple

  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala Railway Station- (3 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport- (55 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Station- (3 km).

4. Ponnumthuruthu Island

places to visit in varkala

Ponnumthuruthu Island is situated in the Kollam District of Kerala, approximately 20 kilometers from the city of Kollam. It is Nestled in the beautiful Ashtamudi Lake, one of Kerala’s largest and most enchanting backwater lakes. The island is renowned for its ancient Shiva temple, the Sri Subramanya Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, and it attracts pilgrims and devotees seeking blessings and spiritual solace. Ponnumthuruthu Island is known for its lush greenery, dense coconut groves, and tranquil backwaters. It offers a serene and peaceful environment, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking a quiet retreat.

The islanders are known for their traditional way of life, including fishing and coir-making. and unwind in a tranquil natural setting. Many visitors spend their time here simply enjoying the peace and serenity of the backwaters. The island’s natural beauty, including its lush landscapes, temple architecture, and serene waters, makes it a fantastic spot for photography enthusiasts. Visiting Ponnumthuruthu Island offers a unique blend of spirituality, nature, and cultural experiences.

  • Best Time To Visit ‌Ponnumthuruthu Island: October to March.
  • ‌Ponnumthuruthu Island Temperature: 24-30°C.
  • ‌Ponnumthuruthu Island Entry Fees: ‌No entry fees
  • ‌Ponnumthuruthu Island Timings: 5:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
How to Reach ‌Ponnumthuruthu Island
  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala Railway Station- (7 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport- (30 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Stand.

5. Sivagiri

places to visit in varkala

Sivagiri is a renowned pilgrimage center and a significant cultural and spiritual landmark located near Varkala in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Sivagiri is most closely associated with the social reformer and philosopher Sri Narayana Guru, who lived during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a sacred place for his followers and devotees. The Sivagiri pilgrimage is an annual event that takes place on December 30th, commemorating the Guru’s Samadhi (the day he attained spiritual liberation). Thousands of devotees and followers gather at Sivagiri during this time to pay their respects and participate in various spiritual and cultural activities. The heart of Sivagiri is the Sivagiri Mutt, which is both a monastery and an ashram.

Sri Narayana Guru promoted the idea of “One Caste, One Religion, One God for Humanity.” In line with this philosophy, the Sarva Dharma Sammelan (All-Religion Conference) is held at Sivagiri annually, The Sivagiri pilgrimage circuit includes a visit to the Sivagiri Mutt, Sri Narayana Guru’s Samadhi (final resting place), and several other associated shrines and meditation centers in the vicinity. Sivagiri stands as a symbol of Sri Narayana Guru’s philosophy of social reform, spiritual enlightenment, and unity among diverse communities. It is a place where people from various walks of life come together to celebrate his teachings and continue his legacy of social justice and equality.

  • Best Time To Visit Sivagiri: October to March.
  • Sivagiri Temperature: 27-33°C.
  • Sivagiri Entry Fees: ‌ No entry fees.
  • Sivagiri Timings: 05:30 AM to 12:00 PM.

How to Reach Sivagiri

  • Nearest Railway Station: Kadakavur Railway Station- (8 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum Airport- (35.5 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Stand.

6. Varkala Light House

places to visit in varkala

The Varkala Light House is strategically located atop a towering red cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea, providing stunning panoramic views of the coastline and the sea. It is situated near the famous Varkala Beach. The lighthouse is an impressive structure, characterized by its distinctive red and white stripes. It stands as a tall cylindrical tower made of concrete and is a fine example of lighthouse architecture. The lighthouse and its surroundings offer fantastic opportunities for photography. Many visitors capture the picturesque scenes from this vantage point.

The lighthouse is a popular spot for watching the sunset over the Arabian Sea. The vibrant colors of the setting sun, combined with the scenic backdrop, make it a must-visit place for sunset enthusiasts. Adjacent to the lighthouse, there is a small museum that provides insights into the history and functioning of the lighthouse. The Varkala Light House is easily accessible from Varkala Beach, making it a memorable destination for travelers visiting the area.

  • Best Time To Visit Varkala Light House: October to March.
  • Varkala Light House Temperature: 25-34°C.
  • Varkala Light House Entry Fees: INR 25 to enter + INR 20 for the camera.
  • Varkala Light House Timings: 03:00 PM to 05:00 PM.
How to Reach Varkala Light House
  • Nearest Railway Station: Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station- (11 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport- (35 Km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop:  Varkala Bus Stop.

7. Vishnu Temple

places to visit in varkala

There are numerous Vishnu temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the principal deities in Hinduism, across India and other parts of the world. Vishnu temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver and protector in the Hindu trinity of gods. The central focus of these temples is the sanctum sanctorum (Garbhagriha), Vishnu temples exhibit various architectural styles, with intricate carvings and sculptures. The idol of Lord Vishnu is typically made of stone, metal, or other sacred materials. Lord Vishnu is often depicted with four arms, holding symbols that represent his attributes, such as a conch shell (sankha), a discus (chakra), a mace (gada), and a lotus flower (Padma). Vishnu temples celebrate various festivals dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Some of the most important ones include Vaikuntha Ekadashi, Rama Navami, and Janmashtami (the birth of Lord Krishna). These festivals involve special prayers, processions, and celebrations. Vishnu temples can be found in various settings, Some Vishnu temples are part of larger pilgrimage circuits, where devotees visit multiple temples as part of a sacred journey. Famous pilgrimage circuits include the Char Dham Yatra in India. Examples of renowned Vishnu temples include the Tirupati Balaji Temple in Andhra Pradesh, the Badrinath Temple in Uttarakhand, and the Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala, among many others.

  • Best Time To Visit Vishnu Temple: October to March.
  • Vishnu Temple Temperature: 29-34°C.
  • Vishnu Temple Entry Fees: ‌ No entry fees.
  • Vishnu Temple Timings: 04:00 AM to 08:00 PM.
How to Reach Vishnu Temple
  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala Railway Station- (14 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram Airport- (40 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Temple Junction Bus Stop.

8. Kappil Beach

places to visit in varkala

Kappil Beach is situated at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Edava Narayana Lake, creating a unique and beautiful natural setting. The beach is known for its serene and unspoiled atmosphere. The beach is renowned for its backwater lagoon, Edava Narayana Lake, which is separated from the Arabian Sea by a narrow strip of land. The combination of the lake and the sea creates a mesmerizing landscape. Kappil Beach is a popular spot to watch the sunsets over the Arabian Sea. The vibrant colors of the setting sun, allow them to explore the backwaters and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

The area around Kappil Beach and the backwaters is home to various bird species, making it a good spot for birdwatching. Fishing is a common activity in the area, and you may see local fishermen at work. You can also try your hand at fishing if you’re interested. There are walking trails and pathways along the backwaters and the shoreline, Kappil Beach is often considered a hidden gem in Kerala, offering a serene and unspoiled environment where you can unwind, connect with nature, and enjoy the tranquil waters of the Arabian Sea and the backwaters.

  • Best Time To Visit Kappil Beach: October to March.
  • Kappil Beach Temperature: 27-34°C.
  • Kappil Beach Entry Fees: ‌No entry fees.
  • Kappil Beach Timings: 10:00 AM to 06:30 PM.

How to Reach Kappil Beach

  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala Railway Station- (7 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport- (55 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Station.

9. Varkala Aquarium

places to visit in varkala

Aquariums typically feature a variety of exhibit tanks that showcase aquatic life. These tanks can vary in size and house different types of marine or freshwater organisms, such as fish, corals, invertebrates, and aquatic plants. Some aquariums are actively involved in conservation efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats. They may also engage in breeding programs to help restore populations of threatened aquatic species. Many modern aquariums have research facilities where scientists and marine biologists conduct studies on aquatic life.

Some aquariums participate in marine animal rehabilitation and rescue efforts. They provide care for injured or stranded marine animals, nurse them back to health, and release them back into the wild when possible. Aquariums are popular recreational attractions and tourist destinations. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of marine life up close, making them a great place for family outings and tourist experiences.

  • Best Time To Visit Varkala Aquarium: October to February.
  • Varkala Aquarium Temperature: 27-34°C.
  • Varkala Aquarium Entry Fees: ‌ INR 30 per Person.
  • Varkala Aquarium Timings: 10:00 AM to 06:30 PM.

How to Reach Varkala Aquarium

  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala Railway Station- (4 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) International Airport- (44 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Stand.

10. Water Sports In Varkala

places to visit in varkala

Varkala’s coastline provides ideal conditions for surfing, especially during the monsoon season when the waves are more consistent. Parasailing is a thrilling water sport that allows you to soar above the Arabian Sea while being towed by a speedboat. Jet skiing is a high-speed water sport where you ride a small, motorized watercraft on the open sea. It’s a fun and adrenaline-pumping experience for adventure seekers. Explore the serene backwaters and estuaries near Varkala by going kayaking. It’s a peaceful and eco-friendly way to enjoy the natural beauty of the area while paddling through calm waters.

Discover the b The clear waters of the Arabian Sea offer opportunities to spot colorful marine life and coral formations. While scuba diving isn’t as popular in Varkala as in some other coastal destinations in India, there are diving operators who offer introductory dives and certification courses. You can explore the underwater world and possibly encounter marine creatures. Enjoy a fun-filled ride on an inflatable banana-shaped boat that is pulled by a speedboat. SUP is a popular activity in Varkala, especially in the calm backwaters. Paddleboarding allows you to enjoy the tranquillity of the backwaters while getting some exercise. You can take a traditional catamaran ride along the coastline.

  • Best Time To Visit Water Sports In Varkala: October to March.
  • Water Sports In Varkala Temperature: 26-29°C.
  • Water Sports In Varkala Entry Fees: ‌Skiing- INR 450 onwards, Parasailing- INR 1000.
  • Water Sports In VarkalaTimings: 08:00 AM to 07:00 PM.

How to Reach Water Sports In Varkala

  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station- (2 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram airport- (40 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Kannur Bus Stand.

11. Edava Beach

places to visit in varkala

Edava Beach is situated in the coastal village of Edava, which is part of the Varkala municipality in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. It is approximately 9 kilometers north of Varkala Beach. The beach is known for its natural beauty, featuring a long stretch of golden sand, lush coconut palm groves, and pristine blue waters of the Arabian Sea. Edava Beach is bordered by the Edava Narayana Lake on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. This unique geographical feature creates a serene estuarine environment and offers picturesque views.

The backwaters and the surrounding areas of Edava Beach are home to various bird species. Birdwatchers can spot both migratory and resident birds in the region. Fishing is a common activity in the area, and you can often see local fishermen at work. you can still enjoy activities like swimming and kayaking in the calm waters. You can savor local Kerala cuisine at the small eateries and stalls near the beach, and unspoiled environment where you can relax, connect with nature, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Arabian Sea and the backwaters.

  • Best Time To Visit Edava Beach: October to March.
  • Edava Beach Temperature: 26-34°C.
  • Edava Beach Entry Fees: ‌No entry fees.
  • Edava Beach Timings: 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM.
How to Reach Edava Beach
  • Nearest Railway Station: Frkilometreskala Beach Railway Station- (5 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport- (55 Km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Stand.

12. Anjengo Fort

places to visit in varkala

Anjengo Fort has a rich historical background and is one of the oldest European-built forts in India. It was originally established by the British East India Company in the 17th century as a trading post. The fort was later taken over by the Dutch in the 18th century, who played a significant role in its development. The name “Anjengo” is derived from the local Malayalam word “Anchu Thengu,” which means “five coconut trees.” It was strategically positioned to guard the trading interests of the British and later the Dutch along the Malabar Coast.

The fort features typical colonial-era architecture, with thick walls, cannons, and watchtowers. The fort is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, offering picturesque views of the coastline and the sea. It’s a great place for a stroll and for enjoying the sea breeze. Anjengo Fort is relatively less crowded than some other tourist destinations in Kerala, The fort is open to tourists and is a popular historical site in the region. It offers an opportunity to step back in time and explore India’s colonial history.

  • Best Time To Visit Anjengo Fort: October to March.
  • Anjengo Fort Temperature: 27-34°C.
  • Anjengo FortEntry Fees: No entry fees.
  • Anjengo Fort Timings:  09:00 AM to 05:00 PM.
How to Reach Anjengo Fort
  • Nearest Railway Station: Varkala Station- (12 km).
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport- (35 km).
  • ‌Nearest Bus Stop: Varkala Bus Stand.
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FAQ’s:

Q1. Which is the best time to visit Varkala?

Ans: October and March.

Q2. What is Varkala famous for?

Ans: The hill-top mausoleum of Sree Narayana Guru is one of the most famous monuments in Kerala state.

Q3. How many nights in Varkala?

Ans:  3 Days and 2 Nights.

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