Varkala Thiruvananthapuram Tour
Silvery sands lined with coconut palms, healing touches of ayurveda and spa, sickness-purging mineral springs and an ashram to reconnect with your inner soul - Varkala presents all these and much more. It is not a wonder that the Beach was adjudged one of the 10 top seasonal beaches in the world. This paradise is located 50 km north-west of Thiruvananthapuram and 37 km south-west of Kollam. It is one of the major tourist centers in "Gods Own Country." Locally, the beach is called Papanashini because the water is considered sacred and many come to rid their souls of all sins and their bodies of impurities.
You will enjoy the laid back isolated ambience of Varkala. Soak in the beautiful surroundings, and apart from the usual sun bathing and swimming, try surfing, sailing, parasailing or scuba diving. While the rest of Keralas coastline is flat, Varkala is the only beach that has cliffs running adjacent to the entire one km length of the Beach. Thus, the cliff has been called Varkala Formation.
The Beach is also an important Hindu pilgrimage centre. Atop the Sivagiri hillock, at the southern end of the Beach stands the samidhi, the final resting place of the great social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, who propagated the ideology: "one caste, one religion and one god". Every year from 30th December to 1st January, throngs of devotees come to pay their respects to the guru. They combine this with a dip in the mineral water springs to cure their bodies of ailments.
Then there is the famous ashram, Sivagiri Mutt, also an important Ayurveda treatment centre. Apart from these, there is another 2000 year old shrine, Janardhanaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Temple stands on a cliff overlooking the Beach. Every year, during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam (mid July to mid August), crowds of people assemble here to offer "bali", a traditional ritual to help the soul of their deceased ancestors rest in peace.
Along with the temples, Varkala is equally famous for its ayurvedic resorts. There are several Ayurvedic massage centres around the beach with tempting offers of detoxification and rejuvenation through oil massages to improve blood circulation and immunity, removal of toxins and burn up extra fats. Nature Care Centre is the most popular of the lot.
To cater to the gastronomic desires of visitors, the Beach front is littered with several charming shacks and small restaurants. These places alone offer the rare opportunity to taste fresh seafood according to you own liking. Select one and ask the chef to prepare it for you. Also, there are excellent accommodation facilities from high class resorts to several homestays.