I was reminded of my school days, the days I used to wait for the Christmas vacation, to go on a tour with my parents. I was going on a similar tour this year, to Varkala in Kerala. I was all excited when the plan was finalised at home and I was asked to go with them. I immediately googled about the place and was stunned to see the beautiful beaches and the blue waters…
Varkala is a small town near Trivandrum in Kerala. It is about 3 hours from Trivandrum on the Trivandrum Central- Kollam railway line. It is known for the Sivagiri Mutt- The Ashram of Sri Narayana Guru ( Evident from the name of the Station “Varkala- Sivagiri”). We had planned a two days trip and on Day One, we reached there at around 10 AM and refreshed ourselves and visited the Sivagiri Ashram which is about 4 kms from the railway station. It was a calm place and was yet to develop and gain prominence.There was a temple there dedicated to Devi Sharadamba ( A form of Devi Saraswathy- The Goddess of Knowledge) and the place where Sri Narayana Guru lived through his samadhi. This place attracts thousands of devotees clad in Yellow, as a part of its Annual Pilgrimage during the month of December.
Our second stop was Kaapil beach. We came to know about this place from one of the Chai-wallahs in the station who kinda stressed the beauty of the place and was like ” Kaapil kaanenda sthalamaanu ..” ( Kaapil is a must-see place). It was a half hour ride by Bus from the Station. The ride was not very comfortable as the bus was kinda old and rickety but the destination was breath-takingly beautiful. I found myself standing in a narrow strip of land with the Arabian sea on one side and a Lake on the other. It was beautiful. I made a note in my mind to thank that Chai-Wallah that evening and tell him that it was indeed a must-see place. The day went by and on the next day, we planned a visit to Aranmula Sri ParthasarathyTemple which was about 1.5 hours from Varkala. ( Alight at Chengannur enroute Kottayam and take a bus to Aranmula). Sri Krishna is the presiding Deity there and the Alankarams is lovely to see. The temple is very old and reminded me a little of Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum. It is said that Sri Krishna is also dressed up as Mohini here. ( Mohini Alankaram) . This was one of the less crowded and rare temples where I have actually felt some Divine Vibrations when I am in there. In the evening, we went to the Varkala Beach. Unlike Kaapil,this beach was famous and had a lot of resorts and hotels and shopping places. The above pic is the view of sunset in this beach. This beach is also called “Cliff Beach” because there is a cliff from which Para gliding is undertaken during summer season. The waves are quite rough and the evening time limit here is 6.30 PM. There is also a Janardhana Swamy Temple which is in walking distance from the beach. This temple is also dedicated to Lord Krishna and is a quiet and old temple.
Varkala is a beautiful little town in Kerala and the ideal time to visit will be from November through February. 1.5 days will be sufficient to cover the places to visit and the food is good in the Railway Canteen( Surprisingly!!). People are friendly and do strike up a conversation with the local people there to get an idea about the places to visit and better modes of transport.
Thus, we ended our vacation in Varkala that evening and reached the Railway Station. A big Thank You was in order for that Chai Wallah and it was duly given 🙂
And , I was all smiles 🙂