After my rejuvenating visit in Kochi, I realized that the seemingly tiny strip of a state, still had many more sights to offer. My next leg in my journey to demystify the wondrous Kerala took me to Varkala. It is the principle city in the Trivandrum city and located approximately 57 kilometres along the North West of it. Varkala might be the only coastal town that has mountainous cliffs, otherwise known as the Varkala Formations, adjacent to the Arabian Sea. However, its marvels don’t end here.
Read on to know more about things to do in Varkala!
Steeped in Indian mysticism, the Varkala beach, also known as the Papanasam beach was the first place I visited. I’d like to look at it as quenching my unquenchable thirst for beaches. The beach borders in parts, Trivandrum, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean as well. The beach is significant for bearing legends that foretell washing away of all sins with a mere dip in the water. Even without the sin-atoning facet out of the picture, a dip in the pristine waters was more than warranted. Upon a slow trek along the coastline I was surprised to discover the much-talked about Varkala Formations present in broad daylight. In the bosom of these cliffs lies numerous water spouts and spas that make swimming and sunbathing in these waters the ultimate activity here. My stay till the evening was also rewarded by a stunning sunset along the coastline. With plenty of restaurants and food joints to quell my hunger, my day was infinitely well spent here!
At a relatively small distance from the Varkala Beach lies the ancient and much adored Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the beloved philosopher and social reformer Sri Narayana Guru. The latter’s tomb attracts thousands of ardent devotees from across the world. The climb to the tomb is short and filled with serenity. All artefacts from the divine saint’s life are carefully preserved and on display in the museums. A climb down from the hillock will take your to the Sharada Mutt, where the consecrated remains of Goddess Saraswati herself remains. The entire journey to the temples and tombs fills you up with a strong feeling of fervour.
Paravur: Land of Backwaters and Estuaries
With a distance of a mere 13 kilometres from Varakala, I had come across my own persona heaven in God’s own country. Paravur boasted of some of the most beautiful backwater sights and estuaries that I had ever seen. I had gone out of my way to appreciate its beauty more by travelling along Pozhikhara, Thekkumbhagam and Kappil. The Paravur Lake was yet another beauty that needed to be explored- and so I did! The beautiful lake meets with the sea and a tiny stretch of road dividing them can be viewed on the way. I made my way along the mountain terraces along the north and east of the place to absorb a breathtaking view of the lake panorama. The mangrove forests that were slowly creeping up along the coastline was beautiful enough to deserve a mention here.