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Varkala, the final resting place of the great social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, is near Varkala, atop a hill called Sivagiri. The 2000-year-old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple where Hindu pilgrims flock to perform the final rites for the deceased and the Nature Cure Centre are the other main attractions here. A century-old tunnel is yet another landmark. The Varkala Kathakali Centre near the North Cliff organises Kathakali and Mohiniattom performances in the evenings. Visitors can watch the make-up process of the artistes and a performance backed by English commentary.

Tourist Attractions in Varkala

Papanasham Beach (10 mts from Varkala):
A dip in the Papanasham sea is considered holy. A remarkable feature here is the long stretch of red laterite cliffs fringing the beach. The cliff-top is an ideal place to watch the spectacular sunset. A natural spring, said to have curative properties, originates from the cliff.

Janardhana Swamy Temple:
Believed to be two thousand years old, the current structure dates back to the 12th century. The deity of the temple is Vishnu and Hindu pilgrims come here to perform final rites for the deceased.

Sivagiri Mutt:
200 acres of sanctified land, this is the final resting place of the most eminent leader, saint and social reformer of Kerala, Sree Narayana Guru. SNDP (Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam), the organization he founded for the upliftment of backward classes, is headquartered here. The Mahasamadhi of the revered guru is located on top of a hillock. Further down is the guru’s residence, where his humble belongings are kept on display.

Thiruvambady Beach: (1 km from Thiruvambady Road) Calm and serene, this solitary beach is adjacent to the North Cliff. Thiruvambady or the Black Sand Beach is an ideal place for those seeking peace and solitude and can be easily reached by climbing down the cliff or driving down a kilometre.

Kappil Beach and Backwaters: (53 km from the city and 8 km north of Varkala) A confluence of the sea, river and the backwater, this secluded, picturesque spot is worth visiting. The Priyadarshini Boat Club here offers boating facilities.

Anjengo Fort: (20 km south of Varkala) Originally built by the Portuguese as a depot to store merchandise, it was converted into a fort by the British. Sandwiched between the sea and the backwaters, the fort premises shelters ancient tombstones and a garden.

Ponnumthuruthu Island: (20 km from Varkala) A delightful getaway surrounded by the Anjengo backwaters, this uninhabited isle is accessible by boat from the makeshift jetty at the nearby Nedunganda Village. A 100-year-old Siva-Parvathi Temple, rebuilt a decade back, is situated here and the entire island is temple property.

How to Reach Varkala