While I searched the entire web for a place called Varkarla, this little town in Kerala doesn't actually spell it with "r". Obviously I was getting much less results that I expected. But I had heard so much about the serene beaches of Varkala with Yoga flavoring the whole place, that I had to be there. And so went the journey. On a crowded long weekend, we set to Trivandrum which is 1 train station from Varkala.
|Yoga in Varkala beach|
Papanasam beach is most famous destination. But what I didn't know was the difference between the South Cliff and the North Cliff, and I safely assumed Varkala is a big place like Goa with tons of beaches luring tourists. I was wrong!
The rickshaw dropped us off at the entrance to South Cliff in the burning tropical afternoon. We waited at a local cafe for a cooler evening.But with the cooler temperature came a flurry of disciples to Papanasam beach with all their items of worship.Papanasam literally means to "repent for sins" and thats what was apparently happening. They prayed on the beach and offered to the sea. In the next few hours, the beach was loaded with plantain leaves, flowers etc and some devotees bathing in the sea. This felt disgusting and I was disappointed to have come all the way to see this.
I walked upcliff in search of accommodation, checked into a budget guest house and the landlord directed us to the North Cliff which I had read so much about. THAT is where the life of Varkala is! It is filled with foreigner tourists who stay for weeks and months, cafes serving great food and lounging atmosphere by the night and just the right ambiance to relax...
|Sunset in Varkala|
The beach is a flat shallow one with huge rough frothy waves. You can walk upto a half kilometer into the sea and have water upto your knees, except the waves should let you do it. The turquoise sea with white frothy waves is a real relaxer to the soul. Number of people is the other good part. There are very few people as compared to other touristy beaches in India. Maybe because it is already time for low season, but who cares!
After a good swim in the sea, you walk up a steep flight of stairs to hit the main road of the North Cliff. Enter any cafe, order a good English breakfast or a really huge brunch like I did and see the sea as you eat. If the meal is heavy, fret not! Vrakala with all the Yoga hype has a number of people practicing Yoga on the beach. Just buy a Yoga mat and join in. Or try the Kerala Ayurvedia massage. Or just change the location and order another meal to feel better.