Varkala beach is one of the most popular beaches in South India.

With a backdrop of red laterite cliffs, Varkala beach is one of the most popular places to visit in Varkala and the main drawcard for most tourists to this part of Kerala. Apart from swimming and sunbathing, one can enjoy various other activities such as paragliding and parasailing over the beach. The coastline stretches for about 10 kms from Papanasam Beach in the south to Kappil Beach in the north. A walk along the Varkala cliff tops is a great way to enjoy the views of the azure waters of the Arabian Sea and the golden sands of Varkala and is one of the top things to do in Varkala.

Other popular Varkala tourist places include sacred Janardhana Swamy Temple, believed to be more than 2,000 years old, and the hilltop Memorial of Shree Narayana Guru (1855-1928) at Sivagiri Mutt. Kappil Lake, which is located close to Kappil Beach in the north, is another popular site, while the desolate Anjengo Fort, the main garrison of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th and 18th centuries, is also a popular destination for many tourists. Besides, Varkala Tunnel and the Lighthouse are also interesting places that one should not miss.

Other popular things to do in Varkala include Kathakali demonstrations, elephant rides, village tours, and backwater trips. The town is famous for its natural springs with therapeutic qualities, and is also a centre for Ayurvedic treatment and yoga. Most schools and classes can be found along the cliffs; look out for signs along the path or ask your hotel for recommendations.

Below is a list of the popular places to visit in Varkala.


1. Varkala Beach

With its backdrop of red laterite cliffs, Varkala Beach has a very different landscape to most other beaches in India. Perched on top of these ruby-red cliffs, overlooking the beach, are several shops, restaurants and resorts that stand out amongst the coconut palms. The beach is a haven for sunbathing and swimming.


2. Varkala Cliff Tops

Varkala is well known for its ruby red laterite cliffs that form a scenic backdrop to Varkala beach. The Varkala cliff tops are the only ones to be found in southern Kerala that are adjacent to the Arabian Sea. Declared as a geological monument, these Cenozoic sedimentary cliff formations are a unique geological feature on the otherwise flat Kerala coast.


3. Sivagiri Mutt Varkala

One of the most popular pilgrimage centres in Varkala is Sivagiri Mutt, the Memorial dedicated to Shri Narayana Guru (1855-1928), Kerala’s most prominent guru. He was a great saint and social reformer who advocated “one caste, one religion, one god for mankind”.Built in 1904, Sivagiri Mutt is located 3 km (2 miles) from Varkala town at the top of the Sivagiri Hill.


4. Varkala Temple

Locally known as Varkala Temple, Janardhana Swamy Temple is a 2000-year old temple located on Beach Road close to Varkala Beach in Kerala. Janardhana Swamy is a form of Lord Vishnu to which this temple is dedicated. This is the main temple in Varkala and therefore attracts many pilgrims from the surrounding areas.


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