A Trip to Varkala, The Mini Goa of South India

Are you looking for a place like Goa in South India? Here is the article about the Varkala trip plan, places to see in Varkala, sightseeing ideas and more details to help you plan the trip.

Jan 13, 2023
5 mins read

Plan a Trip to Varkala, The Mini Goa of Kerala, South India

The coastal town of Varkala is one of the most beautiful beach destinations in South India. Also known as the "Hidden treasure of Kerala," Varkala is one of the least explored beaches in the state. This town is known for its hippie culture, delicious food shacks along the beach, and great beach vibes. If you are visiting Kerala anytime sooner, then make sure Varkala is on your bucket list.

It is counted as one of the most beautiful beach towns in the state and resembles the ones in Goa, which is why it is often called "the mini Goa of South India." The best time to visit Varkala is from January to May. Avoid going during the monsoon months of August and September, as the sea can be an unsafe zone during this time. There are some amazing places to visit in Varkala.

How to Reach Varkala?

To plan a trip to Varkala, you must have a good idea about the place. If you reside outside Kerala, then trains will be best for you. The train station of Varkala is connected to that of Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Bangalore, and such other prominent cities. If you plan to visit any of these cities, you can first book your train tickets to Trivandrum or Bangalore, tour that city completely and then book your tickets to Varkala.

If you are a resident of Kerala, especially of cities like Kochi or Trivandrum orAlappuzha then you can hire private cars to Varkala to enjoy the comfort. The time taken from Kochi or Trivandrum or Alappuzha to Varkala is 4.5 hours, 1.5 hours and 3.5 hours respectively.

Rental cars give you absolute freedom to travel at your convenient time. Plus, if you hire a self-driven car, then it is an added advantage for those who love the wheel. Driving can be fun, especially if you have a mystic town like Varkala to explore. 

IndusGo is the best car rental service to opt for, as they provide the best cars and the best services at pocket-friendly prices. There are various car options, and you can hire a rental car for your complete trip and from any location. You are at complete freedom to plan your trip on rental cars from IndusGo. Most travelers to Varkala opt for IndusGo car rental services owing to the flexibility and convenience it provides to its customers. 

What are the best places to visit in Varkala?

There are a ton of natural landscapes and beautiful sea beaches and towns to explore in Varkala. The list is highly enchanting and makes for a thrilling holiday destination. Here are some of the most captivating places to see in Varkala. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of these places if you want to make the most of your Varkala trip. 

1.  Varkala beach

Varkala beach is also known as papanasam beach. This beach is 3 kilometers from Varkala railway station and 10 kilometers from the city center. Now, if you wish to go to the beach first, then you can stay near Varkala railway station. There are quite a number of good hotels near the station. Along with this, some private car rental companies like IndusGo offers private cars from railway stations. Therefore, it will be easier and cheaper for you to hire a rent a car in Trivandrum railway station and start your journey from there. If you are new to Varkala, then do hire the car along with a driver. You should definitely take a bath on this beach for two reasons. Firstly, the beach is very clean and pristine. Therefore, a bath here with your family would be quite enjoyable. Secondly, it is believed that a dip in the waters of papanasam beach will take away all your sins. A lot of pilgrims come to this beach to bathe and get devoid of their sins. However, one word of suggestion will be to be a good human being and not a sinner and then take dips in this beach. 

2.  Varkala Cliff 

The next option to go to is the Varkala Cliff which is at a walking distance from Varkala beach. Basically, this cliff overlooks the papanasam beach and you should go to this cliff after you visit the beach and take a bath there. The scenic beauty of this area is totally mesmerizing. The climate of this region will enhance your hunger and now will be the time to take lunch while enjoying the beauty of the beach and the cliff.

3. Kappil beach 

 Another beach which is closer to Varkala cliff is the Kappil beach. In order to avoid the adverse effects of heat, you should carry sunscreen lotions to this beach and you can even try to reach this beach before 12 noon. In that case, it would be ideal not to bathe in Varkala beach. Those who have done surfing earlier can try that on the waters of Kappil beach. This place is so calm that sometimes local residents come here for a picnic in the winters. In fact, Kappil beach is an ideal place to come in the winters. Along with the beach, you must take a boat ride on Kappil Lake.

4. Kappil Lake

 This lake is at a distance of 6 kilometers from Varkala city, this lake is beautifully surrounded by coconut trees. You can take a boat ride on the backwaters of Kappil Lake. While taking the boat ride you would be shown the area where the lake merges with the Arabian Sea. The boat ride will take around 30-40 minutes. These boats are mainly electricity free and run using pedals or oars. Therefore, it will take a longer time to go about the lake than motor boats. However, if you don’t wish to take a boat ride, then you can spend some time in the lap of Mother Nature here and then head for the next location.

Also ReadPlaces to Go For a Weekend Drive From Trivandrum

5. Ponnumthuruthu Island

Ponnumthuruthu Island is located 15 kilometres away from Varkala. Take a country boat from Nedunganda and enjoy the backwaters with an exquisite green space that’s perfect for nature walks and bird-watching. This island is renowned for a century-old Shiva Parvathi temple, which is also called 'Thuruthu kshethram' by the natives.IndusGo is the best car rental service to opt for, as they provide the best cars and the best services at pocket-friendly prices. There are various car options, and you can hire a rental car for your complete trip and from any location. You are at complete freedom to plan your trip on rental cars from IndusGo. Most travelers to Varkala opt for IndusGo car rental services owing to the flexibility and convenience it provides to its customers.

6. Anchuthengu And Anjengo Fort 

Anchuthengu Fort was the East India Company's first permanent post on the Malabar Coast. Queen of Attingal gifted this fort to the company and according to local tales, Anchuthengu And Anjengo Fort got its name due to the mispronunciation of the Britishers. Anchuthengu is where the fort was built and it is named Anjengo instead.

7. Chilakoor Beach

This beach is a delightful combination of casuarina groves, sunset views, and natural beauty of rural Kerala life. Located only 15 km away from Varkala, this places a perfect hide-out from your daily urban life. 

8. Sivagiri Mutt 

Located on top of Sivagiri hills, Sivagiri Mutt is the ashram and tomb of Sri Narayana Guru,  a saint, social reformer, philosopher and a leader of Ezhava community, who made Varkala his headquarters. Every year,  Sivagiri Pilgrimage takes place from December 30th-January 1st, where tens of thousand devotees attend the functions. You can also visit Balimandapam, one of the popular pilgrim locations.

9. Odayam Beach 

Odayam Beach, just a few kilometres from Varkala, is a pure stretch of soft sands between the beautiful Thiruvambadi beach and the Cliff beach. You can walk along a coastal path all the way to Kappil Beach in under two hours.

10. Ayurveda spas and clinics 

 Varkala is a great place for Ayurveda treatment. The spas of this place have maintained the legacy of Ayurveda for many years and have given rejuvenation and mental peace to many patients, who could not find relief in other forms of treatments. There are many spas and clinics that offer various types of Ayurveda treatments. By the time you take a ride on the Kappil Lake, you will become very tired and you will need some massage and natural treatment to regain the energy for further touring. These spas are the right place for you after an entire day’s tour. They offer body massage, meditations, oil massage and much more and you will hear good reviews from the clients who go there regularly.

11. Janardana Swami Temple  

After you take a rejuvenating massage from an Ayurveda center, you can visit Janardana Swami Temple, which is quite close to the Varkala beach. This place around 7 kilometers away from the beach. This temple is near 2000 years old. This is a temple of Hindu god Vishnu. The temple basically overlooks the beach and the sea. Just like the papanasam beach, this temple also remains filled with pilgrims. They come here to get some peace of mind and offer their love and respect to the deity. After you visit this temple, it will be almost evening time and now it will be your time to go back to our hotel. 

You can stay the next day for taking rest and watching the nearby shops. You can buy garments for your members of the family and some souvenirs for your friends. You can think of returning to your own city or the city from where you started for Varkala, the next day.

Why should you choose IndusGo?

When you are on vacation, all you want to do is relax. Sit on a beach and enjoy the sunrise, try something new for breakfast, visit local places and markets, search for historic or iconic places, talk to the local people and enjoy your time alone and away from your usual daily life. When you are at the Mini Goa, the Varkala beach, you definitely do not want a schedule fixed by a holiday planner or a tour guide, who tells you about the dos and don’ts in the city. You need to step out and explore the uniqueness of Varkala on your own. Well, we understand roaming in the city without a vehicle can be a problem. 

With IndusGo, book a car rental service in Varkala. We are focused on tailoring the best-suited plans for your car rental to cater to the diverse tourism needs. We have car rental plans for long road trips as well as intercity trip packages to make your vacation an enjoyable one. You can either opt for car rental without a driver at Varkala or go for self-driven cars. We have various cars to suit your needs. At IndusGo, we make it possible for you to quickly and easily book a car online from wherever you are.

Our packages for self-driven cars let you explore and experience the beauty of Varkala without depending on a cab driver. Key features of booking with IndusGo are the flexible start and endpoints, easy online booking, low-security deposit, and Instant refund. IndusGo is also dedicated to offering 24/7 customer support and has a fleet of fully insured cars.

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