Beaches of India: Varkala Beach, Kerala

In our series covering the best beaches of India, we turn the spotlight on Kerala’s Varkala beach.

Varkala beach is known not just for its scenic beauty but also religious value. Also called Papanasam beach it is believed a dip in these waters can wash away your sins.


Varkala is a coastal town in Kerala. It is 50 kilometres from Trivandrum and 37km from Kollam. Kochi airport is roughly 180 kms away.

Varkala beach is a calm, clean and quiet place to swim, unwind and get a golden tan. But activities like paragliding can also be enjoyed here for the more adventurous. In addition to the beach there are plenty of other activities around Varkala.


The 2 mmillennial old Janardana Swami Temple is a revered temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. An ancient bell recovered from a Dutch shipwreck hangs at the temple. This is a popular spot for pilgrims attracted to the sacred waters.

The Varkala Tunnel is Varkala’s other most photographed site. A canal ride takes people through the tunnel. Building of this 924 ft long tunnel began in 1867 and was completed in 1881.


The Varkala Lighthouse is another popular site for visitors as it affords luxurious vistas of the region.

Small and quaint restaurants are found easily around the beach. Seafood is a particular speciality.


Heritage homestay run by royal family is an ancient property belonging to the Royal family of Kollam and offers a comfortable place to stay.

Delightful homestay with medicinal and aromatic plants is another homestay located in Kollam with rooms featuring tall wide windows to allow ample cool breeze from the backwaters, perfect after a day in the sun at the beach!

If you would like to include Varkala beach on your India itinerary contact our reservations team who will be happy to help you with your plans.

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