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Varkala is a beautiful beach that has a more than 2000 years old shrine of Lord Vishnu . This beach of Kerala is rich in mineral water springs that are known for their medicinal value.The beach at Varkala grew into prominence and caught the attention of tourists only recently. A long sandy beach, towering red laterite cliffs and soothing mineral springs put Varkala in the not-to-miss category. A dip in the holy waters of Varkala beach is believed to purge the body and the soul of all the sins hence the name 'Papanashini' for this shore.

The Papanasham beach at Varkala is quiet, clean and secluded unlike the Kovalam international beach. Papanasam is a perfect place to watch the sunset or relax gazing at the horizon.The Janardhana Temple is located close to the Papanasam beach, which is considered to have holy waters which wash away sins, and is also an important Ayurveda treatment centre. The area is covered with coconut palms and small restaurants that mushroom during the season. The 500-metre stretch is right below a cliff. At the break of dawn following the new moon in the Malayalam month of 'Karkidakam', thousands offer 'Vavu Bali', a ritual believed to help the souls of ancestors rest in peace.

Main attractions around Varkala :

Sivagiri Mutt: This Mutt is a religious site, founded by Sree Narayana Guru (1856 – 1952), the famous philosopher and social reformer of modern Kerala.Sivagiri is the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust.This mutt is situated at an elavation, 3 km. east of the Janardhana temple. The ashram is devoted to Sree Narayana Guru (1855-1928), whose followers are the Ezhavas. 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. Every afternoon, ‘sadhya’ is served at the mutt for Rs 10. The Sivagiri Gurusamathi, Sivagiri Sarada Mutt & Sivagiri Vaidika Madom are the main buidings.

Papanasam Beach (Varkala Beach): 16 kms away this Internationally renowned Beach Resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The Southernmost, known as the Lighthouse beach, is the most popular Kovalam offers accommodation options to suit all budgets.

Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple: Sree Janardhana Swamy temple is a pilgrim centre for Hindus who visit this temple in huge numbers. This temple is built on a hill top that has become a sobriquet for the region. Non-Hindus, however, are not permitted entrance in the inner sanctum but can hang around in the temple.

Anjengo Fort: Anjengo Fort is the main garrison of the Dutch East India Company and is situated very close to Varkala town. This fort still reminisces the powerful position the East India Company in the state.

Varkala Tunnel : Varkala also has long a tunnel, the construction of which began in 1867 and completed 1880. Popularly known as 'Varkala Turuthu', this tunnel was built under the supervision of Divan Sheshaya Sasthri and was extensively used for ferrying of goods.

Nature Cure Center : Situated near the Varkala beach, this is an excellent destination for relaxation and rejuvenation of the body.

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