Varkala, beach with a curative touch

Kerala, the well known south Indian state, despite its tiny frame boasts of beautiful beaches in plenty. Here is a beach that may not find immediate mention among the top Kerala seashores, but it’s quite charm and secluded ambiance automatically draws visitors without publicity.

This is the beach at Varkala, a town located about 54 kilometers north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. What makes this beach an immediate eye-catcher is its peculiar landscape.

Generally the seashore landscapes of Kerala are much plain but, here a rocky cliff just ends near the beach which is adjoined by a clear sand bed – an amazing combination hardly seen in any other beach destinations in the state.

This contrasting beauty of cliff-sand-sea combination makes this spot a photographer’s delight.

Varkala beach’s specialty doesn’t end with this. More than being a sunbathing and swimming-friendly beach, this is regarded as a ‘beach with a curative touch’! Rightly so as the neighboring cliff contains mineral streams which are said to possess medicinal properties.

Thus bathing is more than leisure here and now lots of Ayurveda (India’s ancient form of treatment that has answer to many incurables) massage centers are functioning near the beach.

This seashore area is a holistic spot too. The ‘Janardana Swami Temple’, a few thousand years old shrine of Vaishnavites (followers of Lord Vishnu) stands near the beach. Right from earlier times, devotees coming to this temple take bath in the beach waters due to its sacred & curing environs, as it is believed that this will cleanse the sins of a lifetime – thus earning the beach the title ‘Papanasam’ (‘Remover of all sins’). People also perform ‘Vavu Bali’ (Hindu ritual to honour their relatives who have departed this world) at the beach.

Landscape beauty, healing touch, holy ambiance…. plus breathtaking sunrise / sunset views… that’s the modest Varkala beach. The Discovery channel acknowledged this splendid spot by including it in the ‘top 10 seasonal beaches in the world’.


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