The red laterite cliffs standing majestically on the Papanasham beach in Varkala a popular beach destination in Kerala will soon be declared a National Geological Monument by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).
The cliff, including both northern and southern ones, covering a total distance of 3 km exposes the sedimentary rock formation of the Mio-pliocene Age. As per GSI, Varkala was the only place in the west coast of India where sediments in the Mio-Pliocene Age (around 25 million years ago) had been exposed.
GSI is planning to construct two geological monuments in Varkala; one near the helipad where sandy clay and laterite are exposed and frequented by tourists and the other on the south cliff where all the lithounits are well preserved.
Once the national geological monument status is obtained, the effort of the GSI will be to declare the surrounding areas of the monument a national geo-park, which will be the first of its kind in India. And the Central government has sanctioned a sum of Rs.10 million for the preliminary works of a geo museum at Varkala.
The cliff will be the 27th national geological monument in the country and the second in the State after the Angadipuram Laterite in Malappuram district.