Varkala, A touch of Europe!

Varkala, A touch of Europe!

Varkala is a coastal town and municipality in Thiruvananthpuram district of Indian state of Kerala. Varkala has many exquisite places in its natural basket that has an inexplicable charm.

A suburban town of Tiruananthpuram, Varkala is the exclusive town that boasts of cliffs adjacent to Arabian Sea. These Cenozoic sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological feature on the otherwise flat Kerala coast, and are a topic of discuaaion for the geologists, called Varkala Formation. It has been declared as a  geological monument by the Geological Survey of India. These cliffs are further glorified by the surrounding spas and spouts.

Varkala touch of europe

Varkala touch of europe

Mythological Beliefs- As the belief goes, Pandyan King was instructed by Lord Brahma to build a temple at this very place to redeem him of his sins.

Another legend says that once a group of pilgrims approached Saint Narada and asked him a way to do penance for their sins. He threw his valkalam (a loin cloth made from the bark of a tree), which fell on this enigmatic land and thus this place got its name as Varkala. He, also instructed the tourists to offer their obeisance at the Papnasam river (literally meaning redemption from sins).

Hypnotizing spots in Varkala-

  • Varkala Beach- Varkala Beach, better known as Paapnasam beach is a paradise for swimmers and a heaven for sun bathing. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kerala. The evening view of the sunset is divine. The black part of the soil are rich in thorium oxide, this kind of soil is a specialty of Kerala.

Some sections of Varkala Beach are used for for performing cremation rituals. Being named as the Paapnasam beach, this place has a faith attached to it for being a holy place that can provide redemption from sins.

Varkala Beach

Varkala Beach

Despite the cremation going on at one side, this beach attracts a good number of swimmers both from Indian origin and foreign visitors.

  •  Paravur: Land of backwaters, estuary and beaches : Paravur is another municipal town near Varkala, that boasts of estuary and backwaters. It has a myriad of backwaters and lakes surrounding the town. Paravur has a lake named after it, the Paravur lake is one of the emerging tourist destinations in the district which fascinates visitors.

Paravur: Land of backwaters, estuary and beaches

Paravur: Land of backwaters, estuary and beaches

  • Kappil Lake-  Stretched over an area of (2.5mi) north of Varkala town. This serene estuary meanders through dense groves of coconut before merging into the Arabian Sea. The bridge over the lake is quite a vintage point, the picture-perfect view that it offers is impeccable. The backwater gloriously stretching white and grey to the distant blue horizon. The tranquility and sanctity of this place can be experienced via an enticing boat ride.

Kappil Lake

Kappil Lake

  • Anjego Fort-  Situated near Varkala, it is a place of historic importance anf immense natural bliss. This fort is the legacy left behind by the mighty changers from Europe who had once inhabited this place. This place treasures the remnants of Portuguese and Dutch and eventually the British East India Company.

It is now a protected site, a National Heritage Monument. The extremely beautiful uthalpuzhi lake is situated in Anjengo.

Anjego Fort

Anjego Fort

  • Varkala Tunnel-  Varkala tunnel is a popular tourist attractions. It is a long stretched tunnel i.e 924 ft long tunnel built in 1867 by Sir T Madhav Rao, the dewan of Travancore. Varkala Lighthouse is another tourist highlight in the vicinity.

Varkala Tunnel

Varkala Tunnel

Religious Fascinations in Varkala-

  • Janardana Swami Temple- This temple is a highly revered place for the staunch believers of Vaishnav cult of Hinduism. Going around 2000 years back, this temple is adjacent to paapnasam beach, where people take a holy bath and then visit this temple to offer obeisance.

Janardana Swami Temple

Janardana Swami Temple

  •  Shivgiri Mutt- A famous ashram of Shri Narayan guru, and also home for his tomb, The Samadhi receives devotees in huge numbers.

 

Some other religious places that finds great reverence in this place are Sarkara Devi Temple and Kaduvayil Juma Masjid.

Varkala is a place that can boast of its natural abundance and also places with immense religious significance. This place offers a memorable experience!

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