Varkala Beach, known as Papanasham Beach or Pearl of Arabian Sea is a cliff beach positioned in the coastal city of Varkala in Trivandrum and is 52kms north of Trivandrum and 37kms south of Kollam. The beach borders the Arabian Sea, part of the Indian Ocean. Since the beach is famous for its natural mineral spring with medicinal values, a dip in these waters are supposed to wash away the sins and impurities of the soul and hence the name ‘papanasham’.
Varkala beach is the only spot in southern Kerala where cliffs are settled alongside the Arabian Sea. These cliffs are named as Varkala Formation by geologists and are a geological monument as recorded by the Geological Survey of India. Water spouts and spas occur on the sides of these cliffs. These water spouts are considered to have medicinal and curative properties.
The proximate destinations situated near the beach includes the Janardhana Swami Temple known for a 10-day festival held twice a year, called Arattu. The Sivagiri Mutt located atop the Sivagiri hill is another attraction. The nearest train service available is at Varkala Sivagiri Railway Station. The closest airport to the beach is Trivandrum International Airport located 40kms from Varkala town. The Varkala beach has happening ventures and leisure activities such as jetting, parasailing, boat riding and horse-riding. Sunbathing and sightseeing in the golden sand of Varkala beach is the best way to enjoy the pristine beauty of this wonderful destination. Windsurfing, paragliding, and snorkelling are also possible here. One can pamper in calming and reassuring Ayurvedic and yoga treatments for the famous Yoga and Ayurvedic centres here.