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Kerala's new destination Varkala, is a perfect place for those who like to holiday in a calm and serene atmosphere. Varkala is a seaside tourist resort and spa. A small town 55km north of Thiruvananthapuram, it is also an important religious place for the Hindus. The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs. Varkala is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. It is the final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala, is near Varkala atop a hill named Sivagiri. High cliffs from mineral springs majestically rise is a scene typical of Varkala. There is a nature cure centre adjacent to the beach.

Climate in Varkala : In the south of India it's never really cool, but pleasantly warm in winter. After the 'cool' season temperatures begin to rise in February and by April it's unbearable.

Places to See in Varkala :

Papanasam Beach : Varkala beach is the best spot along Kerala coast for watching sunset. The sight of the sun sinking into the sea would stimulate your poetic sense.

Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple : Varkala also houses a leading pilgrim centre in Kerala. The 800-year old Janardhana temple, dedicated to Ayyappan and Hanuman, atop the hill has brought a sobriquet for the region, Southern Kasi (Benares). Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter the inner sanctum but can hang around the temple.

Sivagiri Mutt : The Sivagiri Mutt - a religious site was founded by Sree Narayana Guru (1856 - 1928) the renowned philosopher and social reformer of modern Kerala. The Sivagiri Mutt is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham, a religious organization established by the Guru to propagate his concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God'. The 'Sivagiri Pilgrimage' is usually conducted between 30th December and 1st January every year.

Anjengo Fort : It is a 17th century fort built by the Dutch for guarding the coastline their-important trading centre.

Varkala Tunnel : It is a popular tourist highlight. It was a 924 ft long tunnel built in 1867 by T. Mahadeva Rao the Dewan of Travancore, and took 14 years to complete.

Kaduvayil Thangal Dargah : It is another place of pilgrimage that houses the shrine of a famous local Muslim saint.

How to Reach Varkala :

Air : Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is about 46 km from Varkala and is the nearest airport.

Rail : The railway station is 3 kms from the beach.

Road : Varkala is 54 km away from Thiruvananthapuram and 37 km away from Kollam. Varkala is about 90 minutes away by a bus journey and is a perfect place to stay for a night or more or an afternoon when traveling between Alappuzha or Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.

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