The silvery stretches of sand and the calm ambience on the beaches are the highlights of Varkala as a tourist destination. 'Papanasam' is one of the main beaches here and it is not only an important tourist spot but it also has religious significance. It is believed that a dip in the waters here will wash away all the sins (papam) and hence the beach obtained its name. Hindus find it a very auspicious place and ashes collected from the cremation grounds are immersed at the sea here. They believe that the sins of the deceased will be washed away and the soul gets moksha or eternal salvation through this ritual.
Ambience at the beach
Adjacent to the white sandy beaches are the pink laterite cliffs, which stand there like sentinels guarding the sea. The cliffs surround the beach and it is the ideal getaway for anyone who wants to escape from the hullabaloo of the urban life. Bordered by coconut palms and blessed with an idyllic serenity, the beach has a laid back ambience and it is often a traveller’s pleasure and rejuvenation point. You can collect sea shells; take a stroll on the sand enjoying the unending stretch of blue waters or lie down on the laid back sun kissed beach. It is the ideal spot for a sunbath or for a perfect view of sunset. The golden orange on the sky after the sunset will surely make you bow before the greatest artist, Nature. The outline of the fishing boats that appear on the horizon in this golden yellow background will surely spur the artist in you.
Cliffs – peculiarities
Varkala is the only place in southern Kerala where the cliffs guard the sea. According to geologists, these tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological features. It is a geology monument which is called `Varkala formation’ among geologists. The natural spring gushing out the laterite cliff is believed to have medicinal quality, as it contains various minerals. Its therapeutic effect draws a lot of visitors to the spot and people take a dip in this spring in order to get cured of various diseases.
The cliff is extensive and it has a winding footpath atop lined with hotels, shops etc., and the wide plateau on top provides a panoramic view of the surroundings.
Climb on the hilltop and you will feel like in the midst of a village festival. Numerous shops which sell beads, curios, Tibetan charms, books, Rajasthan dresses and curios can be seen here. You can get a tattoo done or relish a delicacy looking at the sea from an eating joint here. You can also visit the bamboo village or just stand at the edge of the cliff enjoying all the serenity that the area harbours.
Adventure sports and shopping
If you are a traveller looking for some adventure, the beach also provides some scope for it. You can indulge in a number of adventure sports like parasailing, scuba diving and paragliding. You can also try your hand at deep sea fishing or can shop at the stores on the beach and can collect some wonderful souvenirs or curios. A range of sea food delicacies are available at the restaurants, which are sure to tickle your taste buds.
|Sarkara Devi Temple||Sivagiri Mutt|