Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam – Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach.
Varkala’s main beach is called Papanasam Beach – which means destroyer of sins. The beach is divided into two parts, with the southern area at the end of the road leading from the Janardhana Swamy Temple considered sacred to Hindus. It’s where they come to perform the last rites after close relatives have died. The tourist part of the beach is located further north, past the mineral spring, at the bottom of the cliff. There’s also another small beach with black sand (affectionately called the Black Beach) near the coconut grove where the cliff ends in the far north, past Papanasam Beach. Just further north of Black Beach, quiet Odayam Beach is just starting to be discovered and developed. Head there if you want peace and quiet away from the action. From there you can walk further north up a coastal path to Edava Beach.
Varkala offers excellent accommodation facilities for tourists and is fast becoming a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centres.