Varkala is a charming seaside town of Kerala in the Trivandrum district. It is the only town in Kerala where 15 m towering cliffs are present adjacent to the majestic Arabian Sea. The surging popularity of Varkala is mainly due to its hippies and laid back lifestyle. Varkala is often in the itinerary of foreign and local tourists who wish to explore Kerala's famous Bohemian beach town.
Located almost 41 km from Kerala's capital town, Varkala is fondly famous for its exquisite beaches, golden sands, ancient shrines, amazing watersports and is a paradise for local souvenir shoppers. The sole reason why Varkala is becoming one of the amazing Kerala destinations is its Varkala North Cliff area, where restaurants are dotted on the cliff along with several souvenir shops. This coastal town of Kerala is a great place to watch the days happily turning into weeks.
Why Visit Varkala?
Varkala is the place to go because it rewards the dramatic setting of landscape, sand, and sea. The beaches here have more to offer than the average shoreline. It is also known as the temple town due to the sacred Janardhana Swami Temple near the Varkala Cliff Beach, also called Papanasam Beach. The temple dates back 2,000 years ago and is dedicated to Lord Vishu - the universe's preserver and protector. For Hindu devotees, it is a sacred place where devotees perform rituals for their deceased relatives. Apart from its beaches, the architectural splendor of Varkala will engross you completely. The presence of pristine lakes, lush green hills and Ayurveda resorts makes Varkala one of the best destinations to visit in Kerala.
How to Reach Varkala
By all the three means - air, train, and road, Varkala is well connected from the major cities and towns of the nearby states. There is no airport in Varkala and the nearest airport is Thirivanthampuram - Trivandrum International airport. It operates several international flights to and from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. While, major metro Indian towns like Jaipur, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad have strong flight connectivity with Trivandrum. The rail connectivity of Varkala is amazing as this amazing offbeat Kerala destination has its own railhead - Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station. This principal railway junction connects Varkala with metro Indian cities listed above. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC buses) runs from Trivandrum, Kochi, Munnar, and other surrounding towns.
How to Get Around Varkala
Varkala is a peaceful and small town, and you can even explore it on foot. The most convenient way to get around Varkala is to hire a car and driver, take a taxi/local tuk-tuk. Rental cars and motorbikes can be obtained in Varkala.
Best Time to Visit Varkala
Traveling to Varkala is excellent all year round, but if you dream of enjoying the abundance of outdoor activities on beaches, and cliffs, then the best time to visit Varkala is in the winter season from October to February. If you want to attend the local Arattu Festival in Varkala, then summer is another great time to visit Varkala from April to June. But summer marks the humidity in this coastal town. The most preferred time for backpackers to explore Varkala is in the monsoon season from July to September. This period marks the monsoon, and Varkala gets wrapped in lush greenery. Locals indulge in the festive gathering of the Onam and Karkidaka Festival during monsoon months. However, your beach activities plan might get hamper, but there are several other interesting things to do in Varkala.
Places to Visit in Varkala
Kerala's reputation of "God's Own Country" is well managed by Varkala. The coastal strips of this beach town are hugged by picturesque cliffs. Its shoreline commemorates cleaner and quieter beaches. Varkala is a coastal paradise of India in every sense. It is gaining popularity amongst honeymooners and leisure travelers. Varkala is a hippie hamlet of Kerala. There are some amazing beach view resorts in the town that draws international tourist attention. Spend some time in tranquility at Kappil Beach, learn about Anchuthengu And Anjengo Fort's ruins, make your evening memorable at Kappil Lake, and observe the rituals at Sivagiri Mutt. Fulfill your wanderlust by visiting Varkala Cliff, which overlooks Varkala Beach. The cliff of Varkala is considered an important Geographical site too! Other absolute best places to visit in Varkala are Vishnu Temple, Chilakoor Beach, Janardana Swami Temple, Varkala Lighthouse.
Things to Do in Varkala
There are a plethora of things to do in Varkala, which allows you to have a memorable vacation. Its golden sand beaches are delightful for water sports like scuba diving, parasailing, banana boat, jet skiing. Kerala is a historical and spiritual hotbed that attracts spiritual travelers. You will be impressed with the Kathakali dance performances at local festivals. Varkala cliffs are amazing for shutterbugs to fuel their Instagram game. When you are hanging in Varkala, you will have a good time taking yoga lessons and rejuvenating your mind with Ayurvedic treatments. Most international tourists come to Varkala because they find it a peaceful alternative to commercializedIndia's coastal towns.
How many days are enough to visit Varkala?
2-3 days are sufficient to visit Varkala and explore the best of this beautiful beach town.
Average Varkala Trip Cost
INR 8000 - INR 12000 (approx.) per person is the average budget for visiting Varkala.
Note: *Prices are subject to change according to your style of travel.
Accommodation in Varkala
You would not have to stress about accommodation in Varkala as it has several beach resorts that promise the best of customer-centric amenities. Varkala is famed as an offbeat destination, and several types of accommodation could be found, from Airbnbs to luxury hotels and even homestays. Choose to stay in modern and traditional cultured accommodation in Varkala, which overlooks the Varkala cliffs. The best international standard resorts in Varkala includes Hindustan Beach Retreat, Beach and Lake Ayurvedic Resort, Blue Water Beach Resort, etc.
Where to Eat in Varkala
Varkala is an eater's delight. Beach shacks are one of the best places to eat in Varkala. Just like other towns of Kerala, Varkala is known for its authentic South Indian food. You must eat satisfying Idli, Sambhar Dosa, Utpam on your trip to Varkala. There are tons of restaurants and beach shacks in Varkala that serve lip-smacking seafood. Pin these places to eat in Varkala; Cafe Nomad, Soul Food Cafe, Caffé Italiano, Darjeeling Cafe.
Shopping in Varkala
There is no way you can possibly leave Varkala empty-handed. Enjoy guilt-free splurging at Seaside Cliffs, Beach Bazaar, Khadi Store for buying coconut and coir products, aroma oils, cotton yoga mats, silver jewelry, strap trousers, and more. Your shopping spree in Kerala couldn't be completed until you become a shopaholic in the Varkala market and bring Kerala culture back to your home.
Useful Tips For Varkala
- Follow the basic etiquette and respect the culture of Kerala.
- Enjoy watersports safely under professional supervision.
- Varkala is excellent to visit all year round, so plan accordingly.
- Book your accommodation near the beachside and amidst lush greenery
- While visiting the beach shack, carry enough cash but be safe from pickpockets.
- Maintain the reputation of God's Own Country and act as a responsible tourist