Varkala Beach

Varkala is a seaside tourist resort and spa. A small town 55km north of Thiruvananthapuram, it is also an important religious place for the Hindus

The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs. Varkala is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala, is near Varkala atop a hill named Sivagiri. High cliffs from mineral springs majestically rise is a scene typical of Varkala

According to a myth, sage Narada was approached by a group of mendicants who confessed to having sinned. Narada threw his valkkalam (the bark of tree which the mythical sages used to wear) into the air, and the place where it landed was subsequently named Varkala. The mendicants were directed by Narada to offer their prayers in the newly created place by the seashore. The place where they prayed for redemption came to be known as the Papanasham Beach ('Papanasham' means redemption from sins)

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Janardhana swamy Temple

The Janardhana Temple is said to be 2000 years old and has a Vishnu shrine. It is said that the original temple was engulfed and destroyed by tidal waves. Years later, a Pandyan king came to the site to do penance to Brahma for a sin he committed. The Lord pardoned the king and in return, asked the king to build another temple at the same site. The story goes that in a dream he was informed of the location of the original idol that was lying deep in the sea. With help of fishermen, the king reclaimed the idol and reinstalled it in the temple

The legend also says that brahma appeared and completed the rituals. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the temple, but are allowed to walk around the sanctum and stroll around the huge banyan tree. The festivals of the temple are colorful with noisy parades. Another Hindu ritual to be watched is the 'vavu bali' performed on the beach on the new moon day of the month of Karkkidakam’ (Malayalam Era).

The main season starts from Dec 1st- March 31st, with December & early January experiencing the biggest rush.. Varkala is quite a new place to hang out in India and has only been developed as a tourist destination in the last 2 years

Sivagiri Mutt
Sivagiri is the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust. The ashram is devoted to Sree Narayana Guru (1855-1928), whose followers, the Ezhavas form a large group of Kerala population. Guru preached the doctrine, 'one caste, one religion, one god for humanity' and attracted a large following among the lower castes. Thousands of followers visit the Mutt each year.
Anjengo Fort

Near to varkala is the site of the Dutch East India Company’s main garrison, Anjengo Fort. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the fort protected their powerful position in the state

The Anjengo Lighthouse is about 6km from Kadakkavur Railway station on the Ernakulam-Trivandrum route and is about 8km from Atingal on the NH-47 highway. The fishing village of Anjengo was the part of the Atingal Rani’s principality in the 17 century, and was later merged with the state of Travancore.

Anjengo or Anjuthengo originally means a bunch of five coconut trees in Malayalam. The fort here is served to the one time bastions for British East India Company, second to Bombay. Anjengo was raised as a building in 1695 as a signal station, now known as Light House, for ships and cruises from England. Interestingly, an indelible mark of the British trade can be heard in the lore of the Anjengo for it was also one of the major depots for coir and pepper trade

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