Varkala is a small town located in Kerala along the Malabar Coast. It is one of Kerala’s lesser known and visited areas but is slowly finding its way onto the maps for its unique red sandstone cliffs that look over the Papanasum Beach. It has been a pilgrimage site for years and is most famous for the temple of Sree Janardhana Swamy and Sivagiri which is the resting spot for Sree Narayana Guru.
As one of the lesser frequented spots for local tourism, Varkala provides a serene and tranquil environment. Unlike many of the other coastal towns, the beaches of Varkala are not cluttered with tourists and beach goers.
Wellness in Varkala
Varkala is also known for its springs of mineral water that is believed to have medicinal properties. This has helped the destination position itself as a center for healing and wellness. One can find a number of resorts and wellness centers offering various kinds of Ayurvedic treatment and rejuvenation packages here. Yoga sessions are known to compliment many Ayurvedic treatments, and there are numerous workshops one can join that can be found along the cliff tops and the shore as they sink their feet into the sand. The sea breeze helps purify and strengthen breathing in Pranayama, an essential technique found in Yoga practices.
There have been numerous proposals for development of tourism that is being overseen by the government, all the while ensuring that the environment does not get affected. There are now stricter guidelines to be followed while issuing licences to Ayurvedic centers. Steps are being taken to help provide better facilities for tourists and there will be an increase in the number of tourism police personnel and lifeguards on the beach of Papanasam. Varkala received the best beach in India award. There are many quiet and hidden beaches that have plenty of palm trees. The shoreline and water is clean and clear.
Naturopathy, an old science of healing and lifestyle emphasizes on a healthy environment for the proper functioning of the body. It is an ancient and traditional science which integrates the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our natural constitution. It seems to be gaining popularity in the country and abroad. Varkala definitely seems to provide that environment.
Varkala is very easily accessible from Thiruvananthpuram International Airport, the nearest airport, 51 kms away. (1 hour drive).
The Varkala railway station is the nearest station that is 5 kms from Papanasm beach, which can be reached via an auto rickshaw or taxi.
The Varkala bus station offers efficient, government-run, air conditioned, low floored buses that operates several routes every hour. Bus services are also available from Varkala to many parts of South Kerala and Kanyakumari.
Getting around the resort area, which lies along two cliffs, north and south, overlooking the beach areas is easily accessible by foot.