By Abhigna Ghosh
The gaiety time charms a remarkable vacation in Kerala. The shower of peace hikes up the scenic beauty of God’s own country which you will definitely not yearn to miss it. Kerala is also one of the well-admired tourist spots that enchant tons of visitors each month. So, if you are looking for solace from the chaotic urban life then mainstream tourist places of Kerala might be your ideal destination. But there are quite a few spots in Kerala that are hidden from the oversaturated tourism industry and worthy to come upon.
In early November, in the search of a little peace from the bustling city life, I packed my bags and set out on a journey to Varkala- India’s priceless hidden gem.
Varkala is a tiny hamlet in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This quaint coastal city of the South is the ideal spot for a quick solo trip. The hilly terrains of the coast region blend beautifully with the calm blue sea. Along with the natural scenic beauty, the place is also famous for its historical heritage structures dating back to the British rule. Varkala is also well-known for a century-old Shiv-Parvati temple that attracts tons of visitors each month. Whether it’s the staggering beauty of nature, historical essence or a pilgrim spot, Varkala has something for everyone.
Things To enjoy In Varkala
- Have a Dip In The Clear Water
Upon reaching Varkala, the first thing which I visited was the Varkala beach. Its beauty lies in the rare blend of hilly terrains meeting the dynamic sea. Luckily, I had my swimsuit packed with me so I had a dip into the pleasantly cool water. The crystal azure-hued water is also famous for having its own natural spring which is believed to have medicinal properties.
Speaking of beaches, you should also visit the Kappil beach and witness the heavenly gorgeous blue waves from the Arabian ocean crashing against the spotless light-hued beach. I visited the Kappil beach after taking a dip in the Varkala beach so I wasn’t very keen on swimming again. But the beach is perfect for taking a stroll on the cool sand, reading a book with a glass of cocktail, and watch the dazzling sunset and that’s exactly what I did. But if you want, then you can certainly swim in the Arabian sea and enjoy a sunny day in the crystal blue water.
- Explore The Local Heritage Spots
After a leisureful day at the beach, I decided to explore the city better and visit the popular tourist places. I started with the Anjego fort and the lighthouse which are known to be important historic structures dating back to the British rule in India. Keeping aside its historic importance, the ancient formations with a fancy British-styled structure is certainly a feast to one’s eyes. After that, I set off to the Ponnumthuruth island which is one of the most beautiful uninhabited islands in Kerala. What I really liked about this island is that it offers a pristine view of turquoise-hued water and hundreds of migratory birds flocking together. After enjoying the visual treat, I also paid a visit to the 100-year-old Shiva-Parvathi Temple situated in the heart of the island. The entire ambiance will surely fill you up with devotion and tranquility.
- Relish The Adventurous Water Sports & The Local Culture
I love adventures and anything that makes my adrenaline rush is always at the top of my list and for people like me, Varkala offers the perfect opportunity.
I started my adventure with parasailing followed by a pleasant banana boat ride. You can also try jet skiing on the sparkling water. The best part is that these activities do not only just make you see the beauty of the ocean better but also at the same time, they are completely safe.
After a tiring day of enjoying watersports, I headed to the Varkala culture center on the North cliff. If you want to witness the city’s authentic culture then this place is a must-visit. I spent my evening enjoying their traditional Kathakali dance performance by trained artists and ended my day with an authentic South-Indian meal. When in Varkala, make sure you do not miss out on their special seafood dishes. The fresh fishes from the sea tossed with fresh veggies and spice is a treat you will surely not want to miss.
Route To Reach Varkala
I took a flight from Kolkata to Thiruvananthapuram which is the closest airport to Varkala, located about 45 km away from the city. After that, I boarded one of the KSRTC buses to reach my destination.
For traveling via road, you will need to reach Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi first and from there you can board a KSRTC bus or hire a private taxi to Varkala.
For traveling via train, you will require to take a train from your city to Thiruvananthapuram and then board a train to the Varkala train station which is situated at a distance of 2kms from the main city.
Finest Time to Visit Varkala
I chose to visit Varkala in the month of August but the ideal time to visit this place is during the winters. During the months of November to March, the weather is pleasant and the bright blue sky ensures that sudden downpour will not mar your plans.
You can even visit the place during summer or monsoon, the only issue is that its situated in the coastal region and has a tropical climate. This means that you will be experiencing scorching heat during the summer and frequent downpours during the monsoon.
Places like Varkala that are hidden from the eyes of the masses are truly a paradise for every travel enthusiast. The serenity and peace that you will find here are unmatchable. So, the next time you pack your bags for a quiet getaway, make sure you put Varkala at the top of your list.