Welcome to South India, Kerala state, “God’s Own Country”, Varkala city!
First of all, even though many people expect India to be a third world country, that there are cities in India that are highly developed, and not all that different to some of the cities in the Western World. There are also places that are very traditional and other villages which are not yet developed at all.
India is a big, passionate country with more than 5000 years of cultural history, and ancient practices, with many contrasts, cultures and religions. In Varkala city, as well as in many other cities in India, you can find Hindu Temples, Muslim Mosques and Catholic Churches, depending on which village you visit. If you go to North India, you can find larger numbers of Buddhist Temples.
In most touristic places, you can easily find restaurants and resorts with free wi-fi and Western, Tibetan, Thai and Indian food restaurants.
Amazing, right? India is a beautiful place that is worth visiting at least once in your life.
In Varkala in general, and in Shiva Garden Home Stay, we have guests that return every year, to stay during the season time, (6 months, from September/October to March/April) just to enjoy life in Varkala.
Image Credits: Natalia Anja
Kerala State, kindly known as “God’s Own Country“, is located in the South West coast of India, and is the birth place of Ayurveda, Yoga, Kailari, Kathakali dance and other Ancient spiritual practices.
The language spoken is Malayalam, with approximately 56 letters. In each state of India you can find a different language with a different alphabet. Mostly they come from the root of Sanskrit, originally from the state of Tamilnadu, just next to Kerala, in the South East coast of India.
Varkala is a touristic beach town in South India, located along the coast of the Arabian Sea, in the state of Kerala, 50 km north of Trivandrum, (the nearest airport), and is home of the popular Papanasam Beach.
Papanasam beach means to “wash away sins”. It is believed that a dip in the waters of Papanasam Beach washes away all the sins in one’s life.
The tropical beaches around this area are beautiful and if you’re looking for a cheap holiday, Varkala should definitely be on your list. At the main beaches you can find Lifeguards and signs with the best spots to go out to the sea. Papanasam Beach is cleaned every morning by the staff of the Kerala Department of Tourism. Here you can find umbrellas, beach beds, surf and body boards to rent. At the beach you can also find people selling fruits, chai (black coffee with milk), accessories and drums.
Our Home Stay, Shiva Garden Home Stay, open since 2007, is located 5 min. walking distance from the main beach, called Papanasam Beach, located along the North Cliff.
Varkala is quite a recent place to visit in India and has only been developed as a tourist destination since around 1985. Slowly “North Cliff” of Varkala Beach became developed for tourists. There is a promenade built by the Department of Tourism, which allows a scenic walk for about 1h30 heading North, passing Odayam beach, until the famous Kappil beach, were the backwaters meet the sea. Often in high season, during the morning time, you can see dolphins around the coast, specially in the more peaceful beaches like Black Beach, Odayam beach, until Kapphil Beach.
The Samadhi (funeral monument) of Kerala’s saint Sree Narayana Guru is situated in Varkala, and hence has become a place of pilgrimage. Sree Narayana Guru created a big social revolution in Varkala, and in Kerala. He was a close friend to Gandhi.
Varkala city is known as the “Varanasi” of South India, because of the many Temples that you can find here, and highly spiritual Energy. The oldest temple is Janardanaswamy Temple, which is 2000 years old.
Many people that are in processes of spiritual, inner & life changes, feel attracted to come to India, and, specifically, to Varkala. If you are in a Life Change Moment, this is one of those special places for you to come.
Varkala is a paradise for those who search for healing and answers for their life. Every season you can find therapists, teachers and healers from several esoteric and alternative healing areas.
For the ones who enjoy sports, you can find Surfing, Stand Up Paddle (SUP), Para-pent, running, badminton, volleyball and football (on the beach).
A good amount of hot spots, courses, classes, activities and therapies are available during the season time.
Here you can find many different kinds of therapies and activities, beaches to explore and long beautiful path walks along the sea side and cliffs.
It is an inspiring place for artists like painters, photographers, poets and writers.
In the off season it’s mellow and relaxed. It’s the ideal time to embark on long term Ayurvedic treatments (7, 14, 21 and 30 days Panchakarma), sleep and chill out.
After 26th of December Varkala gets really busy and the prices start going up until the end of February, when it starts to quieten down.
During the New Year period, Varkala is absolutely full of people and full of high vibrations.
Varkala is the only place in southern Kerala where Cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. These Cenozoic sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological feature on the otherwise flat Kerala coast, and is known among geologists as Varkala Formation and a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India. There are numerous water spouts and spas on the sides of these cliffs.