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Varkala – My Exclusive Travel Guide to the Unruffled Coastal town in Kerala

The Start

On a Thursday evening in October we were waiting at the Krishnarajapuram Railway Station, in Bangalore, waiting to board onto the Kochuveli Express to Kollam. It was a 14-hour journey. I sensed humidity as soon as we got down at Kollam Railway station from where there are frequent trains to Varkala which is 2 stops from Kollam and takes 25mins by train.
Train ticket cost: Bangalore to Kollam – Rs.1088 (AC 3 Tier)
Kollam to Varkala – Rs.30

Hey Varkala

There I was at the Varkala Railway Station, geared up with excitement to experience the warmth of the Arabian Sea. The smell of idli, dosa and sambhar pulled us towards the restaurants close by and within few minutes of getting down from the train we got our hungry tummies await the food we ordered. After the contentment of having breakfast we took a rickshaw from the Railway Station to the North Cliff of Varkala where our stay Le Sansora was.
Auto Rickshaw charges: Railway station to the Cliff – Rs.100


The excited me waiting to explore Varkala

Cliff Times

Set for the day to explore the stunning coastal town with its beauty unruffled, we first went to the cliff which was a 2-min walk from our stay and then to the Papanasam beach, letting the sound of the waves and grains of sand to replenish our soul. We had lunch at the cliff which had scores of restaurants chiefly serving continental cuisine. It is to be noted that the food at the cliff can be quite expensive.

Anjengo calls

Anjengo town, 14kms from Varkala, has a 130 feet tall lighthouse constructed by the British East India Company more than 100 years ago. The lighthouse has Arabian sea to one side and backwaters to the other. You can also get the top view of the Anjengo fort.

Visiting hours: 3-5 pm
Entry fee: Rs.30

Next to the lighthouse you can find the Anjengo Fort established by the British East India Company. The fort served as the first signaling station for the ships arriving from England.
Note: We rented a 2 wheeler at 3pm on Friday for Rs.300/- and used it for 24 hours. The auto rickshaws in Varkala can be exorbitant priced if you want to explore the town and it’s difficult to get a rickshaw in places away from the main town.

Anjengo Fort
The entrance to the Anjengo fort
View from Anjengo Lighthouse
The view from the Anjengo lighthouse
Myself at Anjengo
A picture of myself from Anjengo

Sunset at Kappil

West coast of India is known for its beautiful sunsets. From the town of Anjengo we rode to Kappil beach which was 6 kms from the Varkala town to relish the sunset. The view of Edava Lake on one side and the sunset at the other was magnificent.

The beauty of a sunset is to be experienced at Kappil
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” ― George R.R. Martin

Let’s meditate at Sivagiri Mutt

We went to the Sivagiri Mutt which is known for its serene environment. It is told that SreeNarayana Guru fell in love with the atmosphere of Varkala and decided to build a hermitage atop the Sivagiri hill. The Guru had set up an elementary school in the hills. There is a Saraswathi temple at the foothills and the Guru’s Samadhi up in the hill which is open till 7.30 pm.

On the way to the cliff from the mutt we had our dinner at a local restaurant. Varkala has many small, nice and budget restaurants that you should visit to appreciate the local cuisine like Idiyappam, Appam, Puttu and Kadala curry at a minimal cost.

Welcome to Jatayu – Guinness Book of World Records

We started around 8.30 am on Saturday from our stay to the Jatayu Earth’s Centre in Kollam district which was 27kms. We decided to head back to Varkala around 1.30 pm from Jatayu and had our lunch on the way to our stay and returned our rented vehicle at 3pm.
Timings: 10 am – 9pm

Statue of Women Safety and Honour

Note: For people not wanting to rent a bike, the route to reach Jatayu from Varkala will be as follows: Varkala Bus Stand – Bus to Paripally – Bus to Chadayamangalam – jeep to Jatayu. There are no trains to Chadayamangalam from Varkala.

Varkala Aquarium

The Aquarium was at the Thiruvembadi beach of Varkala and very close to the cliff. We decided to take an evening walk to the Aquarium.

Timings: 9.30 am – 6.30 pm
Entry fee: Rs.30

They had variety of fishes and sometimes it felt sad to see that the bigger fishes didn’t have enough space to move around or rocks to hide.

Variety of fishes

Dinner Time

Most of the cliff restaurants offer a candle light dinner. The ambience it sets is quite romantic. We decided to have dinner at Trattorias with a table facing the sea. The sound of the waves crashing washed away all the thoughts that bothered me at that moment. A sense of calmness prevailed.

Sea and skies
Just before the rain and dinner

Janardhana Swamy Temple

The next day, early in the morning we decided to do play with the waves, freshen up and do the 2 kms walk to the 2000 years old Janardhana Swamy Temple from our stay. It is good to wear traditional clothes while entering the temple because people wearing short clothes would not be allowed.

The more than 2000 years old temple

Bye Varkala

With the contentment of having explored Varkala, we left to Kollam in the afternoon by train. We had booked a bus from Kollam to Bangalore at 6pm through KSRTC. Since we had enough time for our bus to Bangalore, once we reached Kollam we decided to head to Thangassery Lighthouse as soon as we got done with lunch.
Bus ticket cost: KSRTC Airavat – Rs.1,450

Engulf me

Varkala is elegance where I plunged into nature’s beauty with memories to be cherished and savored myself in the serenity around.
I hope my Varkala travel guide helps you plan your travel better.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Rathiya Angeline

    Such a beautiful and descriptive account of your travel. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Aarthy

      Your welcome! 🙂

  2. Anil Yerraguntla

    Very informative and a great collection of photos as well?

    1. Aarthy

      Thank you!

  3. Anuradha B

    Wow ? Very nice description, this is so handy to go for a trip anytime, v nyc gal ?

    1. Aarthy

      Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks!

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