Varkala is a quiet beach resort on the outskirts of Thiruvanthapuram. It has beautiful unspoilt beaches that are its USP, making it a preferred destination for those wanting to avoid the crowds at Kovalam. There are many attractions here apart from its gorgeous beaches. This temple town has a 2000 year old Vishnu Temple and the famous ashram- Sivagiri Mutt, which draws thousands of devotees each year making it a popular pilgrim destination.
This serene beach resort is rich in mineral springs and that makes Varkala is a great destination to unwind and rejuvenate your senses at one of the many health resorts and Ayurvedic massage centres.
How to Reach Varkala?
By Air : The nearest airport is the Thiruvanthapuram Airport located 36 km away. It is well connected both internationally and domestically and flights from South East Asia, Middle East and all major Indian cities operate to and from here. Some of the major international airlines that serve this airport are Emirates, Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Singapore Airlines and Oman Airways etc. and the national airlines are Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Indian Airlines.
By Rail : Trains coming from Thiruvanthapuram and Kollam like Ernakulam Express, Parasuram Express, Kerala Express, Bangalore Expressand Kanyakumari Express make a bee-line for Varkala Train Station, just 2 km from the Varkala.
By Road : Buses are available from both Kochi and Trivandrum. KSRTC buses are frequent and the can be boarded from the respective main bus stands. Buses may be crowded and are generally not very comfortable. You can also hire a taxi or drive down to this town.
Best Time to Visit Varkala
Winter (December to March)is the best time to travel to Varkala. As Varkala is located to the south of Kerala it experiences a hot and humid climate most of the year while winters are pleasant and comparatively cooler.
The summer season (March to May) is very hot and humid with the average temperature ranging from a low of 25 degrees to an average high of 35 degrees Celsius. Summer is followed by monsoons from June to December when Varkala receives a heavy amount of rainfall and has an average temperature ranging from 20 to 28 degrees Celsius. Summer and monsoons are unfit for travel climate wise because of the heavy rain and high temperatures and is considered to be the low season for tourists.
Winters are the perfect time to visit this city as the temperature begins to fall after the monsoons hit the city making the climate pleasant and suitable for travel. Due to the heavy monsoons prior to the winters Varkala becomes lush green, vibrant and alive and has the most splendidly beautiful landscapes. The average temperature in winters ranges from 22 to 28 degree Celsius. It is fit to go sightseeing and visit the glorious beaches.
Varkala’s most famous festival is the Janardhana Swami Temple Festival held at the Arattu temple in the month of March. This festival is celebrated over a period of 10 days with decorated elephants as a part of the celebrations. Varkala is the busiest during this time. Another festival celebrated in Varkala is the Karkidaka Vavu Bali festival where pilgrims come to take a dip in the sea to wash away their sins on a full moon night (Poornima).
Things to do in Varkala
In Varkala you will find that things to do revolve around the temples and beaches in the vicinity. Pay a visit to the renowned Janadharnaswamy Temple and is you are there during festivals it is particularly lively and colourful.
Relax on the beautiful beaches, get an ayurveda massage or treatment, and generally enjoy the laid back atmosphere of Varkala.
Places Near Varkala
There are numerousplaces near Varkala that one may visit on a day trip from here.
The closest place to visit from Varkala is Paravoor, which is only 12 kms away. The beautiful backwaters are spread across the village and are a viewing pleasure. There is a lake that touches the Arabian Sea, presenting a delightful sight. There are beautiful fruit orchards and some paddy fields along the way to this village, as agriculture is the main occupation of the people living in the village.
Another village near Varkala that is 15 kms away is Chirayinkeezhu. The Sarkara Devi Temple that is situated is an ethnic beauty.
The small town of Attingal, 20 kms away from Varkala by road is a quaint town with historical importance. The Attingal Palace is almost 600 years old and it is in this location that the first uprising against the British rule had taken place.
Kilimanoor Palace, located in the town of Kilimanoor, which is only 30 kms away from Varkala has a history of 300 years. Another place worth a visit is the Meenmutti waterfalls. Meenmutty temple is located near the waterfall. The river that leads to the waterfall is a home to various fishes.
Another important destination from Varkala, Kollam is 37 kms away from the city. It consists of the Kollam port, which was used as a trading centre by foreign and Indian traders. The port city has modern amenities and is well connected by roads.
Sree Manikanteswara Mahadeva Temple is located in the northern edge of Kottarakkara, 39 kms away from Varkala and is worth a visit for its charming and mixed-cultured architecture. Churches too are spread all over the town and are peaceful and harmonious place to visit. The harmony of European and Indian culture together creating a visual symphony is worth a look.
The capital city of Kerela Thiruvananthapuram and is 50 kms away from Varkala. The city is culturally vibrant. A visit to Thiruvananthapuram will summarise the whole state of Kerela as far as culture and lifestyle is concerned.
Kovalam is 77 kms away from Varkala and is a favourite destination for international tourists, who love beaches with the backdrop of coconut trees and lush foliage. The town is strongly influenced by Indo-European culture and is great for both romantic and adventure holidays with outdoor activities such as water sports and shacks for sunbathing and relaxing.
Hotels in Varkala – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Varkala ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.