15 Places to Visit in Varkala, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Among the dense coconut meadows, the scenic effervesces, the vivacious high necked cliff and the coastal ambience of Kerala, there are many places to visit in Varkala.The serene calm beaches like Odayam Beach make for a splendid gateway. The adventure seekers can try Kayaking at Kappil Beach or paragliding at Varkala Beach. 

In the balmy backwaters near Kappil Lake or near Nedunganda, one could reinvigorate.The architectural splendour can be studied in tourist attractions like the historic Janardana Swami Temple and the Ashramam at Sivagiri Mutt located at a distance from the beach.

Varkala and places around it provide a scenic breather, a refreshing environment and a calm arena away from the hustle of urbanisation. The temperate tranquillity amidst the holy land makes Varkala a favourite amongst tourists.

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About 5 km away from Varkala beach is a unique red stone cliff which is popular amongst Varkala tourist places. The Cliff is filled with excellent restaurants to cherish wholesome cuisine from across the world. It is especially famous for freshly caught fish preparations. This busy location has a local flea market with souvenirs shops. With a paranoiac view of the beach and the coastline, the hues of the fantastic sunrise and sunset can be enjoyed over a cup of coffee. 

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About 12 km south of Varkala is the lush, secluded island of Ponnumthuruthu perfect for a secluded trip. The gateway to the island is a 30-minute tour through the backwaters from Nedunganda. At Nedunganda, the starting point is peculiar — the jetty and the walkway to the ferry are made up of coconut husk, mud and the waste of choir.

The star attractions include a 100 years old Shiva Parvathi temple. The temple is situated amidst a thick coconut grove and gets decked up in lights during Sivarathri. The choir village on the other side can be visited by tourists. The majestic vistas of the ferry ride include husks waving through the backwaters and the greenery of land coming alive with fresh warm rays of the sun. 

With a plethora of flora and fauna, especially waterbirds and land birds like cormorants, egrets, and herons, the island is an enchanting delight for birdwatchers.

Location: 
Ponnumthuruthu Island, Onnampalam Rd, Nedungada, Vettoor-cherunniyoor, Kerala 695312

Timings: 
5:30 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
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Built by the Portuguese Missionaries, Saint Sebastian's Pilgrim Church Mongode is one of the religious places to visit in Varkala. Found on the banks of the backwaters of Varkala, with the dreamy ambience and serene location, this pilgrim centre for Christians is known for the procession of Saint Sebastian. 

The feast like procession is held every year in February.The church dresses up as colourful delight attracting bustling followers and visitors, also during Easter, Christmas and New year. The church feast is heavily visited by people of surrounding areas and hosted as a festival with attractions such as by boating, games, stage shows like dance, drama, magic.

Location: 
Theresa Ln, Moongode P.O, Varkala, Kerala 695144.

Timings: 
6 am to 7 pm
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Located in-between the Black Beach and Odayam Beach in a three-story building with a spiral staircase is one of the fascinating Varkala tourist places - Varkala aquarium. The aquarium hosts big chunks of exotic species including scorpionfish, angelfish, koi and the local karimeen. 

The marine species are placed along the spiral walkway.The aquarium is highly educational, especially for the kids, with detailed information sections. The top floor of the building has an open tank where all the species are placed. 

The scenic Varkala cliff is visible from the building area, and the lush of sea breeze can be churned upon from the walk-way. The aquarium makes for an exciting diversion from the beach.

Location:
 Odayam Hatchery, Thiruvambadi Beach, Thiruvananthapuram, Varkala, Kerala 695141 

Timings:
 10 am to 6:30 pm.
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Navigating through the coastal villages of Kerala and at a distance of 15 km from Varkala is the Chilakoor Beach. The beach is dotted with some good resorts to make the stay more comfortable.The spectacular journey through villages is a precursor to the enchanting views that the casuarina groves engulfing the beach bring to the visitors. 

One could watch time slow down while the golden rim of the horizon wears the serene atmosphere as the sun escapes to a new day lingering the essence of the warm evening near the beach.

Location: 
Aliyirakkam, Chilakoor Beach, Varkala, Kerala 695141.

Timings: 
Sunrise to Sunset.
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Fringed with casuarina trees, located near Bekal Fort in Kasaragod, Kappil Beach is a gorgeous stretch of vacant shoreline almost like a private beach location. There are no public shacks or stalls. Amid the Arabian sea rushing on the rocks and the almost still white sands,  one could just lay down or play a few beach games.

With clear waters and uninhabited atmosphere, visitors came to Kappil Beach to relax or just submerge into the water. The beach is accessible by prime resorts in the area. Seasonally, Kayaking is hosted on the Beach. 

Location: 
Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 695141, India.

Timings:
 Sunrise to Sunset.
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Spread over 200 acres of hilly terrain, the Sivagiri Mutt is placed on a high platform and is the only quaint holy places to visit in Varkala. It has provided spiritual sustenance to thousands of people over the years. The Sivagiri Hills, where the Sivagiri Mutt is located, was selected by Sree Narayana Guru to create the commune after he fell in love with the vast landscape and ambience of Varkala. 

The teaching of the Guru include that of a singular faith, i.e. one caste, one religion and one God. The disciples and followers of the Guru run the headquarters of Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham at the Sivagiri Mutt. This pilgrim centre has the Samadhi of the Guru and an elementary school which was created to bridge caste lines. 

The octagonal shape Saradha (Saraswathi) Temple resonates with the teaching, the prayers can be recited as per the devotees' preference- some choose sacred hymns, other chants. With the lessons and spiritual ambience, the vibe of the place is magical. 

The Mutt is heavily visited during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage on December 30th - January 1st and during Gurus Birthday and Samadhi in August and September. Pilgrims from different parts of Kerala gather at the Samadhi dressed in yellow shades.

Location: 
Sivagiri Mutt, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695141

Timings: 
5:00 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
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Located on the Varkala Beach is the beautiful site of Balimandapam, one of the popular pilgrim locations amongst Varkala tourist places. Balimandapam facilitates pilgrims to perform Vavubali ritual at Papanasam.  Vavubali rituals are performed by individuals on the vavubali day to appease the spirit of their ancestors. The centre is popular during the Karkitakam(July-August) when hundreds of devotees visit the shrine.

The Mandapam can accommodate about 50-60 pilgrims performing their rituals, at a time. The Centre for Performing Arts and a traditional ‘Bali mandapam’ was built a few years ago keeping the traditions and mind and ensuring that it does not obstruct the view of the architectural splendour of the Janardana Swami Temple and also to blend with the beauty of the beach. With rich cultural roots, Balimandapam is a religious tourist place to visit.

Location: 
At Varkala Beach.

Timings: 
10 am to 6:30 pm.
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One of the pristine stretches in North Varkala is the Edava Beach. With tourists just realising the serene beauty of this location, the virgin land is engulfed by a blue lagoon - the sea and backwaters placed next to each other and divided by a small stretch of land. 

An estuary located nearby, famous in the monsoon, links Edava-Nadayara Lake to the Arabian sea. With rains, the water gushes out of the lake and reaches the sea; spectators from surrounding villages come to watch phenomenon.Apart from the clam inheritance, the Beach also has surfing spots to invoke the adventurous souls.

Location:
 Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695311. 

Timings:
 Sunset to Sunrise.
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About 2000 years old, the Janardhana Swami Temple is located on a steep hill at the entrance of the beach road. Facing the Papanasam beach, the temples’ proximity to the sacred water adds to the spiritual context.The temple reeks of architectural splendour and aesthetic appeal. The sanctum sanctorum is spectacular - it is circular, surmounted by copper sheets in a conical dome shape and wooden carvings of the nine planets on the ceiling.

The pilgrims are welcomed by a magnificent banyan tree and idols of numerous serpent gods and goddesses. The lower part of the mandapa found before the temple has an inscription engraved dating back to 1252. The entrance hosts radiant idols of Garuda, Hanuman and Lord Shiva. Devotees folk to the temple to pray to Lord Vishnu.

The main temple festival Arattu attracts a lot of visitors in March and April. During Karkidaka Vavu, the priests help devotees to pay homage to their ancestors.In the evenings, the architecture comes to life when the oil trays in the granite posts, hanging from the ceilings hold lighted wicks.

Location: 
Near Papanasam Beach, VarkalaVarkala, Kerala 695141

Timings: 
5:30 am to 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
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For perfect seclusion, Thiruvambadi Beach is one of the pleasant places to visit in Varkala.Thiruvambadi or the Black Sand Beach is located 1 km off Thiruvambadi Road, adjacent to the North Cliff. The serene ambience of the clam location makes it an ideal picnic spot and a weekend gateway to unwind and relax.

With no disturbances, the gentle undulating tides, the lust coconut grooves swaying across and charismatic, friendly locals help visitors rejuvenate. This Beach makes for a perfect escape from the rush and hush of the permeate urban life.

Location: Thiruvambadi, Kurakkanni - Odayam road, Varkala, Kerala 695141.

Timings: 
Sunrise to Sunset.
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At Kappil Lake, the tranquil ambience without deterioration of the world can soothe the nerves, and the views can redeem calmness from urban life. The lake is bordered by lush green fanning coconut groves trees. This serene estuary steam cascades gently into the wide Arabian Sea. 

The picturesque views include that of a bridge built across the lake that faces the charming envelopes of the sun-kissed blue horizon and that of the locals engrossed in fishing using small exotic country vessels like boats alongside the coconut grove island marking a magical interaction of land and water. 

Located at a distance of 8 km north of Varkala, Kappil Lake is a place where backwaters and beach walk hand in hand. Visitors can take a small 30-minute boat ride to absorb the natural beauty and one of the serene places to visit in Varkala.

Location: 
Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 695141, India.

Timings: 
12:00 am to 10:00 pm.
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The Odayam Beach lies a few km ahead of Thiruvambadi beach and Cliff Beach. About 2kms away from the Varkala beach is this small oasis of splendour. With views more spectacular than the main Varkala beach and without the tourists hustle, the Odayam Beach is a calm surrender to the serene seeking souls. 

There are a plethora of places close to the beach which the visitors can stay in.

Location: 
Odayam Beach Road, Varkala, Kerala 695311.

Timings: 
Sunrise to Sunset.
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Anjengo Fort is one of the historical places to visit in Varkala. The majestic architectural marvel is located on the secluded realms of the Varkala Beach. The Fort has backwaters on the other side, and the charm of the location is elevated with the coconut grooves added to the shorelines. 

The historic Anjengo Fort is said to be the first trade settlement used by the East India Company in Kerala. Anjengo or Anjuthengu was a small stretch of land, and when fort got its names, there were five coconut trees around the area. 

The calm surrenders of the historically relevant Fort make for a beautiful picnic spot or a location to get mesmerised into the fishermen diligently going about their work, following the age-old traditions and customs.

Location: 
Anchuthengu, Kerala 695309

Timings: 
9:00 am to 6:30 pm.
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Varkala Beach is a sublime landscape with natural spring water. It is a beautiful stretch of sand renowned for its solitude. At the backdrop of crystal blue waters is the unique cliffs with sedimentary formation peaks. Sunsets at the Varkala Beach are pristine and excellent for a peaceful walk or a game of football along the beach. 

This beach is one of the adventures places to visit in Varkala with access to water sports like paragliding and surfing amongst others.The beach is also called as 'Papanasham' which means to wash away sins and the sacred water at Varkala is said to have medicinal and curative properties. 

It is therefore believed that a dip in the beach cleanses the body of impurities and the soul of all sins. Apart from the cliff, the beach also hosts the Balimandapam. The landscape can be enjoyed by the resorts found all across the location.

Location:
 Varkala Beach Rd, Varkala, Kerala.

Timings:
 Sunrise to Sunset.

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