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Things To Do In Varkala
Varkala is a temple settlement situated within the confines of Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. With towering cliffs that touch the Arabian Sea, Varkala stands out in comparison to other cities of God’s Own Country. This town is filled with a variety of splendid beaches, ancient temples, and beautiful islands. This provides tourists in Varkala with many intriguing things to do, such as relaxing at the beach, living amidst natural habitats on an island, and paying a visit to the holy shrines. The historical events that have occurred at Varkala only add to its touristic repertoire.
Ponnumthuruthu – The Golden Island
Ponnumthuruthu is a mythical island located in the southern domain of Varkala. The name “Golden” is attributed to the golden ornaments that queens belonging to the Royal Travancore regime stored out here. In olden times, tiring expeditions were required to unearth unseen islands and their concealed natural beauty. However, for Ponnumthuruthu, just an effortless travel by boat will help reach this stunning island. The locals have preserved the ancient characteristics of the island. Visitors can use a boat ride to explore the dreamlike way of living that the locals have embraced. Tourists can relax and bask in the tranquility of this island.
Varkala Cultural Center
The Varkala Cultural Center showcases the different art forms that are preserved within this peaceful town. During the main tourist months of October to March, the center hosts various dance concerts. Kathakali dance form garners a huge audience at the cultural center. The unique attire of the Kathakali artists, their colorful masquerades, and graceful moves enthrall people of all ages. The Varkala Cultural Center also organizes Kerala’s age-old art form, Kalaripayattu. Kalaripayattu is an ancient combative form of fighting and martial arts. Tourists can visit the Sudarsana Kalari Sanghom to witness the martial expertise of the Kalaripayattu monarchs. Visitors are sure to gain insights into Kerala’s rich cultural repository through this center.
Exploring the Varkala Aquarium
Stationed alongside Thirvambady Beach of Varkala, the Varkala Aquarium exhibits a variety of exotic aquatic species. The aquarium consists of winding pathways flanked by massive tanks on either side. These tanks offer a scintillating display of vibrant marine life to visitors. Some of the special aquatic species that reside within this aquarium include scorpion fish, piranhas, local karimeen fish (green chromide), and sea snakes. This provides a perfect setup for parents to help their children gain some valuable knowledge at convenient rates. There is nothing more relaxing than the sight of glowing fish in motion.
Adventure into the waters of Varkala Beach
Situated to the south of Kerala in Trivandrum district, Varkala Beach was voted among the ten best periodic beaches by Discovery Channel. The beach is studded with phenomenal sceneries, brownish sand, and sea water. These traits make Varkala Beach an ideal spot to lay back and revel in the soothing aura of the dusky light of sunsets.
The beach renders various facilities such as parasailing, wind surfing, sunbathing, and swimming. The months between September and March are ideal for adventurers to explore the sea waters in their surfing gear. The combination of sun and sand effectively entices beach fanatics and honeymoon couples. The magnificent cliffs that decorate Varkala Beach only add to its alluring ambience.
Exploring Anjengo Fort
Anjengo Fort was constructed by the East India Company during the reign of the British in 1696. The fort has a square-shaped structure with eight guns erected on each of its four bulwarks. The British rulers used this fort as their first trade colony in Kerala. The historical events that have occurred at this fort attract scholars and historians with equal interest. Anjengo Fort is covered with coconut palms, hence deriving its name from the term “Anjuthengu”. Surrounded by backwaters on one side and peaceful beaches on the other, the fort area also acts as a perfect picnic spot for families.
Situated around 7 kms northward of Varkala, Kappil Beach provides visitors with a paradise like atmosphere. Twisting roads surrounded by fresh blue sea water greet you upon entering the vicinity. Kappil Beach is filled with dense casuarina groves, golden carpets of sand, and surrounded by shining Arabian Sea waters, making it an enchanting spot.
The Kodi cliff located nearby offers a stunning overview of the Arabian Sea. Water rides also prevail at Kappil Beach along with a chance to walk through pristine beach sand. The beach remains free of commotion and provides a calm and soothing aura for tourists to relax in. Who wouldn’t want to relish with a restful holiday in the midst of beaches, hidden from the outside world?
Papanasam Beach procures its name from the word “Papanasam”, which means tearing down all sinful forces or actions. The Bali Mandapam offers the faithful with an apt last rite, wherein they can relieve their soul of evil desires and facilitate a fitting sendoff for loved ones. Several art forms are also practiced and showcased at this religious spot. Papanasam Beach is famous for its imposing cliffs that look over the Arabian Sea. This setup creates a perfect environment for wellness centers to flourish. If the ocean waters fail to cleanse tourists, then proficient ayurvedic treatments come to their aid.
Christmas Celebrations at Moongode Ground, St. Sebastian’s Pilgrim Church
St. Sebastian’s Church in Moongode village, Varkala adds to the vibrant religious sentiments of the city. A short ride on a tuk-tuk can get you to this rural area. The catholic community in the region boasts of about 600 families. The feast of St. Sebastian is celebrated in January, resulting in devotees celebrating at the Moongode Church Grounds with exuberant emotions.
Christmas—Birth of Jesus Christ—is also celebrated with aplomb at this church. If you want to experience the joyous festival, December is the best month to visit. Streets are lit up with glitter and plays are staged to depict the story of the nativity of Jesus, followed by energetic dance moves performed by children. To put the icing on the cake, loved by one and all, Santa Claus might just arrive in town and shower you with chocolates and gifts galore.