Varkala cliff is a famous beachfront which is a massive cluster of old times rock formations.Varkala is uprearing the popularity ladder with immense speed and has become a thriving place in the last couple of years. The laid-back town is situated around 40 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram which is the capital city of the state of Kerala. Varkala cliff is now challenging the upbeat hippy destinations of India like Goa and Gokarna with its surging popularity.It features some colossal rock formations, hillsides, balmy beaches, hidden ruins and forts along with cloistered lighthouses and placid lakes. The unique feature of Varkala cliff is that it appears as a dramatic horizon that is merging with the Arabian sea. The cliffs are also named as the Varkala Formation by the Geological Survey of India. Formerly named as Udayamarthandapuram after the king of Travancore, a colossal development to the coastal stretch was made.Moreover, the presence of 2000 years old Janardhan Swami Temple near Varkala cliff often earns it the title of Southern Varanasi. Beaches like Papanasam, Varkala, Odayam are the most cherished among the sunbathers. You can also tour some marvelous architecture such as Anjengo fort and Janardhan Swami Temple nearby. The backwaters of Kappil beach and Ponnumthuruthu island have the ability to engross you completely. Kappil Pozhi or Kappil lake has a great setting to also enjoy boating.Varkala cliff is declared as a geo-heritage site in India due to the unique sediments that laid adjacent to the Arabian sea. It is one of a kind formation on the rather flat coastal plains of Kerala which magnetizes backpackers and pilgrims from around the world.This quaint pilgrimage town is also known for its ayurvedic spa centers. Arattu is a holy bath festival that goes on for ten-days mostly in the months of March and April. The ancient Janardhana Swamy temple serves as the celebrating ground for this festival. Words fall short to describe the beauty of Varkala, it is a place that leaves you speechless.
About 12 km south of Varkala is the lush, secluded island of Ponnumthuruthu perfect for a secluded trip. The gateway to the island is a 30-minute tour through the backwaters from Nedunganda. At Nedunganda, the starting point is peculiar — the jetty and the walkway to the ferry are made up of coconut husk, mud and the waste of choir.The star attractions include a 100 years old Shiva Parvathi temple. The temple is situated amidst a thick coconut grove and gets decked up in lights during Sivarathri. The choir village on the other side can be visited by tourists. The majestic vistas of the ferry ride include husks waving through the backwaters and the greenery of land coming alive with fresh warm rays of the sun. With a plethora of flora and fauna, especially waterbirds and land birds like cormorants, egrets, and herons, the island is an enchanting delight for birdwatchers.Location: Ponnumthuruthu Island, Onnampalam Rd, Nedungada, Vettoor-cherunniyoor, Kerala 695312Timings: 5:30 am to 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Built by the Portuguese Missionaries, Saint Sebastian's Pilgrim Church Mongode is one of the religious places to visit in Varkala. Found on the banks of the backwaters of Varkala, with the dreamy ambience and serene location, this pilgrim centre for Christians is known for the procession of Saint Sebastian. The feast like procession is held every year in February.The church dresses up as colourful delight attracting bustling followers and visitors, also during Easter, Christmas and New year. The church feast is heavily visited by people of surrounding areas and hosted as a festival with attractions such as by boating, games, stage shows like dance, drama, magic.Location: Theresa Ln, Moongode P.O, Varkala, Kerala 695144.Timings: 6 am to 7 pm