Varkala attractions

Fort in Varkala

Anjengo Fort

Fringed by colourful fishers' houses, 12km southeast of Varkala, this laterite-and-concrete fort was built by the British East India Company in 1695. Anchuthengu village was one of the earliest British trading posts…
Hindu Temple in Varkala

Janardhana Temple

Varkala is a temple town and the Janardhana Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is the main event – with its roots dating back to the 13th century, this technicolour Hindu spectacle hovers above Beach Rd, reached by steep …
Beach in Varkala

Kappil Beach

About 8km north of Varkala, this long, beautiful and (so far) undeveloped stretch of golden sand is also the beginning of a mini network of backwaters. A two-hour seaside walk leads here along a gently undulating pa…
Island in Varkala

Ponnumthuruthu (Golden) Island

Around 10km south of Varkala, this acacia-filled island in the middle of a backwater lake conceals a Shiva-Parvati Hindu temple also known as the Golden Temple. The vibrantly coloured, century-old shrine is usually …
Ashram in Varkala

Sivagiri Mutt

Just east of central Varkala, Sivagiri Mutt is the headquarters of the Shri Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust, devoted to Shri Narayana Guru (1855–1928), Kerala’s most prominent guru and a leading social reformer. It's …
Beach in Varkala

Papanasham Beach

Ringed by rust-red cliffs, Varkala's main beach is a holy spot for Hindus, who for centuries have made offerings for passed loves ones and washed away worldly sins (assisted by priests) near the junction with Beach …
Aquarium in Varkala

Varkala Aquarium

Between Black Beach and Odayam Beach, Varkala's aquarium displays large tanks of exotic species – scorpionfish, angelfish, koi, the local karimeen – along a spiralling walkway. With detailed info boards, it's an int…
Beach in Varkala

Odayam Beach

This gold-hued stretch of sand, around 1km north of the North Cliff, makes a peaceful alternative to Varkala's main beach.
Beach in Varkala

Black Beach

A sandy little blonde-and-black beach just north of Varkala's North Cliff.
Hindu Temple in Varkala

Durga Temple

A colourful Hindu temple just inland from Varkala's North Cliff.