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Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

The beaches at Varkala have very strong currents; even experienced swimmers have been swept away. This is one of the most dangerous beaches in Kerala, so be careful and swim between the flags or ask the lifeguards for the best place to swim.

Indian male gawkers are starting to discover the bikini-clad attractions at Varkala. However, with police patrolling beaches to keep male starers a-walkin’ and the hawkers at bay, there had been no serious incidents when we were there. It still pays to dress sensitively, especially if you’re going into Varkala town.

It seems like every man and his dog has an Ayurvedic-related product to sell, from treatments, to massage, to Ayurvedic tea and even Ayurvedic toilets. Most people aren’t qualified practitioners – it’s best to ask for recommendations before you go get herbalised. Women should always be treated by a female practitioner.