Varkala Tourism

Varkala Tourism

Varkala Info

  • State: Kerala
  • Famous for/as: Beach

Varkala is a famous beach destination situated in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. Varkala is a small town located about 53 km to the north – west of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and about 40 km to the south – west of Quilon.  Besides being a popular getaway for backpackers, Varkala is a well known religious destination also. 

History of Varkala

Varkala has a glorious past. During the Sangham era, Varkala had been a major port known by the name ‘Balitha’, the references of which can be found in Ptolemy’s Periplus as well. 

Anjengo Fort, a national heritage monument near Varkala, tells about the bygone era of trade settlement by the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the English East India Company. Anjengo Fort was built by the Dutch during the17th century to guard the coastline. Anjengo Fort had been the target of foreign powers for several centuries so that they could have a strong foothold in Kerala.  

During the pre – independence days of India, Varkala was a part of the state of Travancore. In 1956, Varkala became a part of the state of Kerala.

Things to do in Varkala

Among the several picturesque beaches of Varkala, the prominent one is the main Varkala Beach, which is also known by the name Papanasanam Beach. The beaches of Varkala have steep cliffs, natural springs, etc. These cliffs, termed as Varkala Formation, that are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea are declared as geological monuments by the Geological Survey of India.

Varkala has witnessed great developments in its infrastructure since the advent of the tourism industry. There has been a boom in the hospitality sector in Varkala in the recent years owing to the popularity of its beaches and various religious spots in the area.

The most significant religious spot in Varkala is Sree Janardana Swami Temple. Sree Janardana Swami Temple or Dakshin Kashi is more than 2000 years old. Other prominent places of attraction in Varkala are Varkala Tunnel, Ponnumthuruthu Island, Sivagiri Mutt, Kaduvayil Thangal Dargah, etc.

With the rise in Varkala tourism, the healthcare industry here has flourished well. Varkala is a famous centre for Ayurvedic treatments. Natural therapies and spa treatments have become very popular here. Backwater cruising at the estuarine stretch between Edava and Kappil is another popular activity in Varkala. There are many Varkala holiday packages that focus on similar treatments. 

Travelling to Varkala

Varkala is well connected by road to various cities. Tourists can choose to reach Varkala by buses, trains, flights and taxis. The nearest airport is located at Trivandrum, 45 km from the destination. The best time to visit Varkala Beach is from November to March.

Accommodation options in Varkala

Apart from budget hotels in Varkala like homestays and a few resorts, tourists also have luxurious options while visiting Varkala. 

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Travellers from Bangalore, Madurai

Best time to visit Varkala in the next six months

  • October
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Varkala Traveller Reviews

Read 22 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.9/7, 1
out of 465 Varkala reviews 22
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  • Explorer
  • Prasanth
  • Lives in Palakkad
  • 5 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  1786 readers

"Must visit place in Kerala and good night life"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
The accommodation was really good. We could enjoyed every moment when we were there. There are many restaurants open even in the late night. We can have a night walk at cliff. The restaurants were active from evening 6 Pm. All the restaurants had fresh sea food. The place is enjoyable enough for both domestic as well as foreign tourists. Restaurants have good lighting and candle night dinner every night. The shopping experience is very good too. There are shops for western outfits Tibetan ornaments and statues. It is like a Tibetan Street. The beach is very nice place and the bathe give you different experience. We did not want to come out of the beach even after the sunset. After sunset the beach will be closed. From morning 6 beach is active again.
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  • 2 votes

Sanjeev Madhav

  • Scout
  • Sanjeev Madhav
  • Lives in Kochi
  • 2 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  4548 readers

"A must visit if Kerala is on the agenda"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Awesome, if I were to sum it up in one word. Sadly however, the pristine beauty of the place owes itself to the fact that Varkala is yet to be discovered by the mainstream desi traveler. God help the place once that happens! The walkway along the cliff is dotted with quaint little eateries offering a spectacular view of the ocean. A must visit if Kerala is on the agenda.
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  • 3 votes

Kishore Kk

  • Scout
  • Kishore Kk
  • Lives in Visakhapatnam
  • 1 Review
  •  1894 readers

"Best beachside town in India !"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Jun 20, 2015
One of the lesser known beach destinations of India - I find Varkala to be amongst the best!!

It's a small sleepy town with a breathtaking cliffside beach. There are numerous shacks lining up to give you a 270 degree view of the Arabian Sea as you sip your favorite brews!

It has a 3 tiny beaches closeby and an ancient temple beside the papanasam beach. One can go to relax peacefully. To have a better vacation, leave your tablets and phablets at home and carry a book instead.

At times there are small but lively parties on the cliffside cafes in the moonlight. A must do thing on your list!
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  • Scout
  • Jose
  • Lives in Achhnera
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  2200 readers

"Recommended destination to visit"

  • 7/7
  • Posted May 21, 2015
Varkala is indeed a beautiful place. I recommend this destination for anyone who wants to kick back and have fun or just relax. There are so many facilities, including Ayurveda which is very calming. As I only spent 2 days there, I was not able to visit all the places of historical importance. But the places that I had visited were also very beautiful. A lovely place indeed. Its a place I would definitely visit more than once, its a great place for a family vacation.
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  • 1 vote

Uarvashi Maheshwari

  • Explorer
  • Uarvashi Maheshwari
  • Lives in Tonk
  • 9 Reviews
  •  53 helpful votes
  •  9615 readers

"Most Beautiful Beach in India"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Feb 27, 2015
I have visited varkala in month of october. It is 60 kms away from Trivandrum. It is one of the most beautiful beach in India. The atmosphere is very cool. Beach is also known as "papavinasam". Mostly you will find foreign crowd here. Beach is very beautiful. If you are newly married and bachelor then go and enjoy.
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  • 3 votes

Senthil Kumar

  • Scout
  • Senthil Kumar
  • Lives in Dindigul
  • 3 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  2886 readers

"Nice place in kerala"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Nov 28, 2014
Its a decent place for a family to enjoy. You can go and visit beach there and spend most of your time surrounding that place. There are many churches, shopping points where you can get good food to treat you in a better way. It is a good place for getting relaxed. Its not a kind of place where you can get all kind of entertainment. But for a decent trip you can choose this place. Dont forget to take your precautionary measures during any trips in general
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  • 2 votes

Swapnil Pednekar

  • Explorer
  • Swapnil Pednekar
  • Lives in Thane
  • 4 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  3451 readers

"A good place"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Nov 7, 2014
Small little town, that is worth a visit! I came in mid October so it was a little before peak season which was perfect for people who enjoy a more shanti vibe. The seafood and food in general was great, beaches were not crowded, and you can get a nice rooms close to the beach for very cheap. Great place for family's, solo travellers looking for a bit more peace, or couples.
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  • 2 votes


  • Scout
  • Shekhar
  • Lives in Agra
  • 10 Reviews
  •  10 helpful votes
  •  7312 readers

"The beauty of nature"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Sep 24, 2014
Varkala is a nice destination. Just remarkable god gifted nature, cliffs and beaches are mind blowing. It is good equally as Goa.
Varkala is such place for peace of mind for longer time. you can visit temple also.
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  • 2 votes

Priyam Goyal

  • Guru
  • Priyam Goyal
  • Highlander
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 95 Reviews
  •  901 helpful votes
  •  136959 readers

"Lovely Beach Town"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Aug 27, 2014
Varkala is a quite and lovely beach town. We stayed at the Gateway hotel which was half a kilometre from the beach.The Papanasam beach is a very picturesque beach though it can get a little crowded. The best attraction of Varkala, which is the 'Cliff'. This kilometre long stretch of cliff has many cafe and restaurants. It is lined with quaint curio shops. watching the sunset from a Sidewalk cafe at the cliff, sipping iced tea is a must. There are many eateries so food is not a problem. There are many Italian cafes' on the cliff. It is a relaxed place, perfect for a leisure holiday.
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  • 3 votes

Ms Veena

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  • Ms Veena
  • 4 Reviews
  •  8 helpful votes
  •  5245 readers

"Awesome refreshing trip for food lovers"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Aug 14, 2014
Beach and the food was the main attraction. The fresh catch they bring in every evening and the German bakery are must visits. Planning to go soon again. And very tranquil and safe too. Am saying this because we were a bunch of 6 girls who went for a weekend bash from office and the place just refreshed us like a mint lime soda :) Varikala, we are not done yet!!!!
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  • 2 votes

Ligi Siddharth    Kaushal Dev Ligi, Siddharth  , Kaushal and 818 other people have been to Varkala.
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Varkala Sightseeing

Best time to visit Varkala with family

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Varkala Packages

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Littoral Kerala 15500 Per Person 6 days & 5 nights VIEW DETAILS
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