Varkala’s Major Beach is Varkala beach also known as the Papanasanam Beach. This beach is characterized by long winding stretch of cliffs adjacent to the gushing waves of the Arabian Sea, which makes for a picturesque view. Along the length of the cliff is the paved foot path, with quaint shops, hotels and coconut trees on either side. There are many other beaches along the stretch, like the Black Beach (named due to the black sand), Odayam Beach and Edava Beach. These beaches are perfect for swimming or to just laze around in the lap of nature.
Janardana Swami Temple
This temple is a short walk away from the cliff. The original temple was a Vishnu shrine, but was torn down by the tidal waves. Many years later a Pandyan King rebuilt it as his penance to Lord Brahma. This temple is now 2000 years old and it attracts a lot of pilgrims. Facing the Janardana Swami Temple is the southern part of the Papanasanam Beach. Papanasanam means destroyer of sins. The devotees bathe here, with the intent of washing their sins away.
Just 3 kilometers away from the Janardana Swami Temple, located on the Sivagiri Hill, is the Sivagiri Mutt. Founded by Sree Narayana Guru, it is a famous ashram as well as the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust. Sree Narayana Guru was a famous philosopher and social reformer, who passed away in the year 1928, and his tomb is located in the premises. Sivagiri Mutt attracts plenty of devotees during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage which is held from 30th December to 1st January.
Also known as Varkala Turuthu, this tunnel was built by the British as a trade route. The construction of the 924 feet long tunnel began in 1867 and took fourteen long years to complete. During the pre- independence times, this tunnel played a crucial role in the transportation of ferry goods as well as people, from Thiruvananthapuram to Kollam.
Located 4 kilometers from the Varkala town is the Kappil Lake. Surrounded by the dense coconut grooves, the lake provides a sublime view of the backwaters as it merges to eternity with the horizon. Boating is another way one can explore these serene backwaters. Kappil Boat Club set up by the Kerala Tourism Board, gives out pedal and motor boats on hire.
This is an amazing place for History enthusiasts and is an ideal place to walk around and explore. This fort was built between the 17th and 18th Century and owned by the East India Company. Today parts of this fort are in ruins and these ruins are a testimony to the fighting that happened between several foreign powers that wanted to establish themselves in Kerala. This fort also houses a cemetery; the oldest burial grave dates back to 1704.