Varkala is a coastal and pilgrim town located 51 km north of Thiruvananthapuram. The place is a natural paradise for tourists.It is an attraction for its unlimited potential and infinite charm where tourists enjoy a wide range of pursuits like boat riding, sun bath and ayurveda. Varkala is also an important religious place for the Hindus.The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs. The final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala, is near Varkala, atop a hill named Sivagiri. High cliffs with mineral springs rising majestically is a scene typical of Varkala.
Varkala is also famous for the 2,018-year-old Janardana Swami Temple which is an important Vaishnavaite shrine in India and is often referred to as Dakshin Kashi (Benares of the South). The temple is located close to the Papanasam beach, which is considered to have holy waters which wash away sins, and is also an important Ayurveda treatment centre. The temple has an ancient bell removed from a shipwreck, donated by the captain of the Dutch vessel which sank near Varkala without causing any casualties. Another major landmark in Varkala is the Sivagiri Mutt, established by the social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. The hill-top mausoleum of Sree Narayana Guru is one of the most famous monuments in Kerala state.
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