Varkala (Malayalam: ) is a coastal town and
municipality in Thiruvananthapuram district situated in the Indian state of Kerala.
is located 51 kilometres (approx. 32 miles) north-west of Thiruvananthapuram city(Trivandrum).
Varkala is the only place in southern Kerala where one can find
adjacent to the Arabian sea. These
tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological
feature in the otherwise flat Kerala coast, and is known among
geologists as Varkala Formation
and a geological monument
as declared by the Geological Survey of India. There are numerous
water spouts and spas on the sides of these cliffs.
beach resort, Varkala is also famous for its 900 year old Janardana Swami Temple which is an
important Vaishnavaite shrine in India
and is referred to as Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the
The temple is located close to the
beach, which is considered to have holy waters
which wash away sins, and is also an important Ayurveda
treatment centre. The temple has an
ancient bell removed from a shipwreck, donated by the captain of
the Dutch vessel which sank near Varkala without causing any
Another major landmark in Varkala is the Sivagiri
Mutt, established by the great social
reformer Sree Narayana Guru
hill-top mausoleum of Sree Narayana Guru is one of the most famous
monuments in Kerala. The adjacent hills house the East-West University of
and Sree Narayana Gurukulam
Another important feature of Varkala is the now dilapidated
, part of the TS Canal
, which was an important waterway during
Varkala is a well-known tourist destination. The town has excellent
telecommunication facilities, an average-rated water supply system,
fire station, several post offices and police station. The town
boasts of government-run modern medicine, ayurveda,and nature cure
hospital in addition to over 10 private hospitals, clinics and some
dental clinics.The government-run nature cure hospital is also
functioning near the Papanasam cliff.
The District Ayurvedic Hospital is also located in Varkala.
Varkala is the second most important railhead in the district of
Thiruvananthapuram, after the Thiruvananthapuram Central
. Varkala is an important hub for neighbouring
places like Attingal, Kadakkavur, Edava, Kallambalam , Kappil, Parippally and Kilimanoor.
Varkala now has a high literacy rate af above 90%.
According to the 2001 census
Varkala has a population of 42,273. Males constitute 49% of the
population and females 51%. Varkala has an average literacy rate of
78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is
77%, and female literacy is 79%. 11% of the population is under 6
years of age.
The people of Varkala are generally employed in the service sector.
number of them work outside India, mainly in the Middle East, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, the USA and the
Tourism started thriving by the end of last
century at the Varkala beach(Papanasam), which was earlier famous
for Vavu Beli, a Hindu custom performed at the beach. Another beach
is at Tiruvambadi, one kilometre away and en-route the old palace.
There is a helipad close to the beach. Scores of ayurvedic massage
parlours are there adjacent to the beach.
image:Varkala_hut.JPG|Varkala Beach HutImage:Varkala Beach High
Temple entranceImage:sivagiri.jpg|The landmark hill-top mausoleum
of Narayana GuruImage:Varkala beach.JPG|Varkala
BeachImage:Varkala_natural_spring.JPG|One of the natural water
spouts in the beach
Varkala assembly constituency is part of Attingal