Top things to do

Island in Varkala

Ponnumthuruthu (Golden) Island

About 10km south of Varkala, this island in the middle of a backwater lake is home to the Shiva-Parvati Hindu temple, also known as the Golden Temple. It's closed to non-Hindus but the main reason to venture down he…
Hindu Temple in Varkala

Janardhana Temple

Varkala is a temple town and Janardhana Temple is the main event – its technicolour Hindu spectacle hovers above Beach Rd. It’s closed to non-Hindus, but you may be invited into the temple grounds where there is a h…
Multicuisine in Varkala

Trattorias

Trattorias sounds Italian and has a decent range of pasta and pizza, but the menu is equally pan-Asian and Indian and the food consistently good. This was one of the original places here with an Italian coffee machi…
Cafe in Varkala

Coffee Temple

For your early morning coffee fix it's hard to beat this place at the start of the North Cliff trail, where the beans are freshly ground, there's fresh bread and a daily paper. The menu also features crêpes, baguett…
Aquarium in Varkala

Varkala Aquarium

Varkala's new aquarium, between Black Beach and Odayam Beach, has large tanks, viewed from a spiralling walkway, that are full of exotic species including piranha, sea snakes, scorpion fish and the local karimeen. A…
Ashram in Varkala

Sivagiri Mutt

Sivagiri Mutt is the headquarters of the Shri Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust, the ashram devoted to Shri Narayana Guru (1855–1928), Kerala’s most prominent guru. This is a popular pilgrimage site and the resident swa…
Multicuisine in Varkala

God's Own Country Kitchen

This fun place doesn't really need to play on Kerala Tourism's tagline in its name – the food is good, there's a great little upper-floor deck and there's live music some nights in season.
Multicuisine in Varkala

Café del Mar

It doesn't have the big balcony of some of its neighbours, but Café del Mar is usually busy thanks to efficient service, decent coffee and consistently good food.
Beach in Varkala

Kappil Beach

About 9km north of Varkala by road, Kappil Beach is a pretty and, as yet, undeveloped stretch of sand. It's also the start of a mini network of backwaters.
Indian in Varkala

Wait n Watch

The top-floor restaurant and bar at this ugly beachfront hotel block offers tasty-enough Indian fare and seafood, but the main reason to take the elevator is for the view from the balcony (with just a few tables) ov…