Coax a truce with the fierce sea cliffs and Varkala rewards you with unbridled romance with the sand, sea and sun! The languid Varkala with its quintessential Goan vibe offers you a great chance to rejuvenate, revive and reawaken your spirit.
It is hardly a 4-hour drive from Cochin, giving you the ultimate off-road driving experience. Home to 2000 years old shrine of Lord Vishnu, Varkala is a place where a hallowed aura seeps into the hippie-ness of a typical beach holiday. Yes, an unusual combination. Coming here preserves the sense of your Kerala sojourn, you’ll feel. Basking in the gasp of tropical air while sipping cool tender coconut, it is possible to experience it all in a mere couple of days.
When a line of highland cliffs comes into view coupled with the salty sea-scent, it means you have reached the destination. The breathtaking bluffs that perpetually blaze with old world charm and a tinge of mischief greet you into this hamlet; these sea cliffs are perhaps the reason why this place is saved from the suffocating overdevelopment that its more popular sister, Kovalam beach has been enduring. Yet, it can appeal to your quirky side with its long stretches amber shores, cuddling the foot of the cliffs. Popular Bob-Marley numbers pound your ears as ceaselessly as the waves hit the coast. Utterly lethargic and slipshod ambience! What more can you ask for?
You would love to swim here, especially if you love to battle with fierce waves. But beware, this beach is not free of deadly and unpredictable coastal rips. Swimming is even forbidden in some areas. Sometimes it is best to while away the feisty time of the sea exploring the culinary offerings of the place. You can walk down to Edava beaches, which is not far off.
For shopaholics there are quaint Tibetan shops lined haphazardly in a corner. Roadsides along the coast literally spill with quaint eat outs colonized by epicureans smitten with the seafood cuisine there. Trattoria restaurant atop a cliff is worth a visit just for the stunning seascape views! Rock n Roll bistro unleashes a moth-to-flame magic on party animals with its ceaseless live music and continental delicacies. D Mars café is yet another candle-lit wonder, where you can partake in a spot of people watching while sipping cappuccino.
Soul seekers and history buffs have another lure here. The Sivagiri Mutt, perched atop the Sivagiri Hills, is founded by the world famous philosopher Sree Narayana Guru. Perhaps, the perpetual influx of devotees is the root reason for the emergence of so many Ayurvedic health resorts and spas? Go for a traditional Ayurveda massage, be it at the Gurukula or the Sanjeevani retreat here, to rejuvenate yourself.
Possibly the most exciting prospect in the spiritual side of this place is to have a dip in the iconic holy natural spring here. It is supposed to purge your body and mind of all impurities and sins. Hence the sobriquet to Varkala beach, Papanashanam, which means destroyer of evil. Whether you believe in this or not, it gives a peek into some of the mythical beliefs and therapeutic legacy, prevalent in this part of the country.