A small town located in Trivandrum, Varkala is famous for its Papanasam Beach and SivaGiri Mutt, which is believed to be the final resting place of saint and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. The Janardhanaswamy temple here, was built during the 12th century AD and since then, Varkala has been a Hindu Pilgrimage Centre.
However, the highlight of Varkala remains the Papanasam Beach with its rocky cliffs and the wide plateau atop the precipice which offers a wonderful view of the sea. It attracts many a foreign and local tourists during the months from December to March, which is the ideal time for a visit.
Dreams Beach Resort, Varkala is 3.5 kms away from the Varkala Railway Station. It is at a distance of approximately 51 kms from Trivandrum. The resort is at the following distances from other important centers in Kerala
It is believed that a group of devout pilgrims approached Narada, a saint according to Hindu Mythology, to confess their sins. Narada threw his Valkalam (cloth made out of the bark of a tree) and it landed at a place near the seashore, where he instructed his devotees to offer prayers. The place then came to be known as 'Papanasam' meaning ‘redemption from sins’. And over the years, the town came to be known as ‘Varkala’ (perhaps inspired from the word ‘Valkalam’)
It is believed that a group of devout pilgrims approached Narada, a saint according to Hindu Mythology, to confess their sins. Narada threw his valkalam (cloth made out of the bark of a tree) and it landed at a place near the seashore, where he instructed his devotees to offer prayers. The place then came to be known as 'Papanasam' meaning ‘redemption from sins’. And over the years, became ‘Varkala’ (perhaps from the word ‘Valkalam’)
Varkala, the tranquil seaside destination located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, is soon becoming a favorite destination among tourists from India and abroad, owing to its cliff-edged beaches offering a magnificent view of the sunrise and sunset. The long stretch of sandy beaches, towering red laterite cliffs with mineral springs, the Janardhana Temple, Sivagiri Mutt, Anjengo Fort etc are some of the major attractions at Varkala.
Well-known for its legendary tales and natural beauty, Papanasam Beach is a popular tourist destination that attracts thousands of tourists every year. The place is also famous for its Nature Cure Centre which provides Ayurvedic and Yoga treatment therapies.
About 2000 years old, the temple is said to be built after a Pandyan King came to the site to do penance for a crime he committed. Legend has it that the Lord pardoned the King and in return asked him to build a temple at the site. The temple atop the hill is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Hanuman. Non-Hindus are not allowed into the inner sanctum of the temple, but are permitted to walk around it.
Located 3 kms east of the Janardhanaswamy temple, the Sivagiri Mutt is devoted to Social Reformer, Sree Narayana Guru (1855-1928) who advocated the doctrine of 'One caste, one religion and one God’ for humanity. Every afternoon, ‘sadhya’ (feast) is served at the mutt for just Rs.10. The Sivagiri Gurusamadhi, Sivagiri Sarada Mutt & Sivagiri Vaidika Madom are close by.
The Anjengo Fort stands on ‘Anjengo’, a piece of land sandwiched between the backwaters and the sea. Built in 1695 by the Portuguese, this fort served as the main garrison of the Dutch East India Company during the 17th and 18th centuries. There are several tombstones at Anjengo, with the earliest one dating back to 1704.