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|• Body||Varkala Municipality|
|• Total||14.87 km2 (5.74 sq mi)|
|Elevation||58 m (190 ft)|
|• Density||2,700/km2 (7,000/sq mi)|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Varkala, IPA: [ʋar̥kala] is a major coastal municipality situated in Trivandrum, district of the Indian state of Kerala. The town of Varkala is located 39 kilometres north of Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram and 25 km south of Kollam. It is the headquarters of Varkala Taluk and important government institutions such as the taluk office, court complex, office of the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Legal Metrology Inspector office, Excise Circle and Range office, RTO, Treasury and Mini civil station are situated in here. It is one among the oldest municipalities of Kerala established on 1980.
Varkala is the only region 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 are known among geologists as Varkala Formation. The cliffs have been declared a national geological monument by the Geological Survey of India for their protection, maintenance, promotion, and the enhancement of geotourism. There are numerous water spouts and spas on the sides of these cliffs. In 2015, the Ministry of Mines, the Government of India, and the Geological Survey of India (GSI) declared Varkala Cliffs a geo-heritage site.
Varkala is also known for the 2,000-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 Papanasam beach, which is an 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.
It is believed that a Pandyan King was instructed by Lord Brahma to build a temple at this very place to redeem him of his sins. Several other myths abound on the birth of Varkala. Another legend states that when a group of pilgrims approached Sage Narada and told him that they had sinned, Narada threw his valkalam (a loin cloth made from the bark of a tree) and it landed at this scenic village and hence, the place came to be known as Varkala. Narada told the pilgrims to pray for their redemption at Papanasam, which literally means redemption from sins.
Varkala is located at.
As per the Census 2011, the total Hindu population in Varkala municipality is 28,273 which is 70.6% of the total population. Also the total Muslim population in Varkala is 11,562 which is 28.87% of the total population
Varkala is an important place as far as geology is concerned as it exposes sedimentary rocks belonging to the Cenozoic age, popularly known in the geological literature as the Warkalli formation. The Warkalli formation, along with the Quilon formation, represent sediments laid down in the Kerala basin that existed during Mio-pliocene times. The Quilon formation of the Miocene age is made up of limestone, and the Warkalli formation is made up of alternating beds of sand and shale exposed along the Varkala cliffs. Thin seams of lignite in the shale of the Warkalli formation suggest good vegetation at the time of deposition of the clay sediments.
Varkala is a municipality in the Thiruvananthapuram District. Urban civic administration is overseen by the Varkala municipality or municipal council, while the rural civic administration is under the charge of the 7 panchayats of Edava, Elakamon, Vettoor, Madavoor, Navaikulam, Pallickal, and Chemmaruthy in Varkala Taluk.
The Varkala Municipality has 33 wardsunder it and also has 6 standing committees that take care of basic amenities such as water, sewage, roads, taxes, and other such city or local government functions.
Varkala comes under the Attingal Lok Sabha Constituency. There are seven State Assembly Constituencieswithin Attingal Lok Sabha Constituency, of which Varkala is one. One Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) is elected from Varkala with Legislative Assembly no. 127.
Varkala is a well-known tourism and commercial destination. More than 300 resorts and hotels are situated in the municipality, including a Taj Hotel, owned by Tata Group. The city has an average-rated water supply system, fire station, automobile showrooms, several post offices, engineering and degree colleges and a police station. It also has government-run medical facilities in addition to over 10 private hospitals and clinics. A government-run naturopathic hospital is located near the Papanasam cliff. The District Ayurvedic Hospital is located in Varkala.
Varkala is an important hub for neighbouring places like Attingal, Kadakkavur, Chirayinkeezhu, Kallambalam, Paravur, and Kilimanoor.
Trivandrum International Airport (39 km) is the nearest airport and is well connected with all major cities in India and Abroad and there is also a helipad at Varkala Cliff.
Varkala Railway Station, the second busiest and third highest revenue-generating station in Thiruvananthapuram district, is well connected by regular trains from to major metropolitan cities in India like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata,Vishakapatnam etc.
Varkala is situated along the Trivandrum - Kollam coastal highway. It is also connected by the State Highway 64 with the Mumbai-Kanyakumari National Highway 66 which runs at 9 km towards the east. Private buses and KSRTC buses ply along NH 66 and through Varkala from Thiruvananthapuram city, Attingal, Parippally and Kollam city.
Varkala is connected to National Waterway 3 through Varkala Tunnel, which passes through the heart of the city.
Tourism began to thrive at the end of the last century at Varkala beach (Papanasam), which was earlier famous for Vavu Beli, a Hindu custom performed at the beach. Another beach is at Tiruvambadi, one kilometre away and on the way to the old palace. An island called Ponnumthuruthu is close to Varkala and is also a tourist attraction.
Many ayurvedic massage parlours line the promenade above the beach.[ citation needed ]
Varkala Beach, or Papanasam Beach, is a heaven for sunbathing and swimming. It also offers adventurous activities in water sports. Special authentic Kerala style local food can also be experienced along the cliff.[ citation needed ] The cliff and the beach include resorts, restaurants, and other shops. The black part of the sand on Varkala Beach contains Thorium-oxide, which is a radioactive substance. Thorium and Thorium-oxide and its isotopes are found all over Kerala and can be identified by their black colour.
Sections of Varkala Beach (Papanasam Beach) are used by Indians to scatter the ashes of their cremated relatives into the sea. Despite this burial activity, the sea is popular with swimmers both local and foreign.[ citation needed ]
Kappil Lake is about 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) north of Varkala Town. This serene estuary meanders through dense coconut groves before merging into the Arabian Sea. The bridge over the lake is a vantage point to view the backwater stretching white and grey to the distant blue horizon. Boating is another way to browse this waterway.
Anjengo Fort is a fort near Varkala. The historic significance tagged to Anjengo comes through foreign powers like the Portuguese, the Dutch, and finally the English East India Company. In the year 1684, the English East India Company chose Anjengo to establish their first trade settlement in Kerala. At Anjengo, one can find the remnants of the old English Fort, which was targeted several times by other foreign powers, who were at that time fighting each other to get a firm footing in Kerala. The fort is now under the protection of National Heritage Monuments. There is also a cemetery inside the fort and the oldest burial site dates to 1704. Muthalapuzhi Lake is situated in Anjengo.
Varkala Tunnel is an old tourist highlight. Its construction began in 1867 under the supervision of Travancore Diwan Sir. T Mahadeva Rao and was completed only in 1880, at the time of Diwan Sheshaya Sasthri.Varkala Lighthouse is another tourist highlight in the vicinity.
Janardana Swami Temple is a very important Vaishnavite shrine and attracts thousands of pilgrims. The temple is about 2,000 years old. Facing the temple is Papasnanam Beach, where devotees take a bath in the belief that the sacred waters will wash away their sins. A large bell washed up from the wreck of a Dutch merchant vessel is kept on display at the temple.
Sivagiri Mutt is a famous ashram in Varkala, founded by the philosopher and social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. Sree Narayana Guru's tomb is also located here. The samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri pilgrimage, from December 30 to January 1. The Sivagiri Mutt, built in 1904, is situated at the top of the Sivagiri hill in Varkala. The Sivagiri Mutt is also the headquarters of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham, an organization of his disciples and saints, established by the Guru to propagate his concept of 'One Caste, One Religion, One God'. The Guru Deva Jayanti, the birthday of the Guru, and the samadhi day, are celebrated in August and September respectively every year. Colourful processions, debates and seminars, public meetings, cultural shows, community feasts, group weddings, and rituals mark the celebrations.
Panayara Triporittakkavu Bhagavathi Temple is one of the most famous Devi temples in Kerala. Meenabharani festival is the primary festival in Porittakkavu temple, celebrating the month of ‘Meenam’ (March/April) in the Malayalam calendar.
Sarkara Devi Temple is an old temple situated near Varkala at Chirayinkeezhu. The temple is famous for the Kaliyoot festival on the Malayalam month of Kumbham (March).
The Sree Saraswathy Temple, located in Venkulam, Edava, is a VidyaDevi temple known for Navarathri Sangeetholsavam and Vijayadesami Vidyarambam.
Kaduvayil Juma mosque, situated on NH47, between Kallambalam and Attingal, is a Sunni pilgrimage centre which attracts local Muslims.
The Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies Varkala's climate as tropical monsoon. It has heavy rains during June–August due to a southwest monsoon. In summer, the temperature rises to a maximum of 32 °C (90 °F) and 31 °C (88 °F) in the winters. The highest temperature recorded in neighbouring Thiruvananthapuram is 39 °C (102 °F). Annual average rainfall is 3,100 mm (120 in).
|Climate data for Varkala|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||22.4|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||19|
|Average rainy days||1||2||3||8||10||19||17||14||11||12||8||3||108|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||9||9||8||8||7||5||5||6||6||6||6||7||7|
|Source 1: Climate-Data.org|
|Source 2: Weather2Travel for sunshine and rainy days|
Narayana Guru, IPA: [n̪ɐːɾɐːjɐɳɐ guɾu], was a philosopher, spiritual leader and social reformer in India. He led a reform movement against the injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala in order to promote spiritual enlightenment and social equality.
Attingal is a municipality in Thiruvananthapuram metropolitan area in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala state, India. It was the location of the Attingal kingdom, under Travancore. It is the headquarters of Chirayinkeezhu Taluk, and the important government institutions of the taluk such as the Taluk office, court complex, office of the deputy superintendent of Police, civil station, and treasuries are situated in Attingal. It is one of the oldest municipalities of Kerala which was constituted prior to its independence in 1924. In 1914 itself Attingal Town Improvement Authority (TIA) was formed which was the term used before the municipality regulation act of 1922. Attingal Town is located 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of Thiruvananthapuram. Attingal is the 3rd densely populated municipality in the district.
Parippally is a village in Kalluvathukal Panchayath of Kollam district, Kerala, India. Paripally village is situated 22 kilometres (14 mi) South of Kollam City along NH66 and 44 kilometres (27 mi) North of Trivandrum along NH66. Kollam Govt. Medical College is situated in Parippally. Kerala's new No 1 theatre Revathy Cinemax is also situated in Parippally-Kulamada(Kulamada-only 1 kilometre away from Parippally junction). The nearest town Chathannor is located 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) away, Kottiyam is another major town located near Parippally.
Sivagiri is an area in Varkala municipality of Trivandrum District in Kerala. It is a pilgrimage centre of Varkala Town where the tomb, or samadhi, of Sree Narayana Guru is situated. It is a place where Guru built the Sarada Temple dedicated to Sarada Devi. The tomb is an attraction for thousands of devotees every year, especially during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days from 30 December to 1 January.
Navaikulam is a panchayat in Varkala Taluk of Thiruvananthapuram district in the state of Kerala, India. It is situated 11km east of Varkala town and 37km north of Trivandrum City along NH66.
Narayana Guru built temples at various locations in India: Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Kannur, Anchuthengu, Thalassery, Kozhikode, Mangalore. Some of the temples built by the guru are:
Poothakkulam, also known as Bhoothakulam, is a village in Kollam district in the state of Kerala, India. The village is located 3.9 km away from Paravur, 11.4 km from Varkala and 23 km from Kollam. In 2011, it had a population of 628,451 residents. The village covers an area of 16.56 km2.
Edava is a panchayat in Varkala Taluk of Trivandrum district in the state of Kerala, India. Edava is located 5km north of Varkala, 21km south of port city Kollam and 44km north of capital city Trivandrum. Kappil beach is a famous surf location.Surfsupkerala life saving club operates here.
Vamanapuram River is an 88 km (55 mi) long river in southern Kerala that flows through the northern parts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It is also the longest river in Thiruvananthapuram district. The river is also known as "Kollampuzhayaru" and "Attingalaru".The two tributaries of this river are the Upper Chittar & Manjaprayaar streams which originates near Ponmudi hill station.
Kappil is a tourist spot in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala state, India. It is located in Edava Panchayat of Varkala Taluk at the coast of Arabian Sea. It is 18 km (11 mi) north of Kollam city centre. Varkala Railway Station is major railway station near Kappil.
Kallambalam is a suburb of Varkala Town situated in Thiruvananthapuram district. Kallambalam joins Varkala with National Highway 66. It is 36 km north from state capital Trivandrum, 30 km south of Kollam, 8 km East of Varkala and 12 km West of Kilimanoor.
Anchuthengu, formerly known as Anjengo, Angengo or Anjenga, is a coastal panchayath and town in the Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala. It is situated 9km south-west of Varkala Town along Trivandrum - Varkala - Kollam coastal highway.
Mannanthala Anandavalleshwaram Devi Temple is a Hindu temple in the Mannanthala suburb of Thiruvananthapuram, India.
Ponganadu is a village in the Thiruvananthapuram district, situated in the Indian state of Kerala. Madavoor (5 km), Nagaroor (6 km), Karavaram (7 km), Pulimath (7 km), Navaikulam (7 km) are other villages near Ponganadu. Ponganadu is surrounded by Chadayamangalam Taluk to the north, Varkala Taluk to the west, Vamanapuram Taluk to the east and Chirayinkeezhu Taluk to the south.
Avanavanchery Sri Indilayappan Temple is a popular Hindu temple in Attingal of Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala.The temple is dedicated to Lord Indilayappan and is one of the oldest temples in the state of Kerala. Lord Indilayappan is worshipped by devotees for getting good health, courage and better life prospects. The primary deity of the temple is Lord Shiva and Umamaheswara. The Temple sub deities are Lord "Unni Ganapathy", Sree Dharmashastha and Naga Devatas. There is a separate sanctuary for Mallan Thamburan.
Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasham Beach is a beach situated in Varkala Town of Varkala Municipality in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala, India. The beach skirts the Arabian Sea, part of the Indian Ocean.
Varkala Sivagiri railway station, station code VAK, is a major railway station in Kerala serving the town of Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram. It is the second-busiest railway station in the state capital district Trivandrum in terms of passenger movement and 14th busiest in Kerala State. Around 54 trains halts in this station which handled more than 17,730 passengers daily with 3 platforms. It is on Kollam–Thiruvananthapuram trunk line. Station is well connected to major metropolitan & tier 2 cities like Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Kochi, Delhi, Bangalore, Mangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Vijayawada, Kolkata, Goa etc.
Janardana Swami Temple is a 2000+ year-old temple situated in the municipality of Varkala city in Trivandrum. It is also known as Varkala Temple. Janardana Swami is a form of Lord Vishnu. It is a very well known temple in Kerala about 10.9 km west of Kallambalam on NH 66 near sea, 25 km north of Thiruvananthapuram city, 8 km south of famous backwater destination Kappil and 2 km from Varkala Railway Station,14 km north west of Attingal municipality. It is situated near the Arabian sea shore.It is referred to as Dakshin Kashi. The temple is located close to the Varkala Beach, which is considered to have medicinal properties since the waters wash the nearby medicinal plants. It is also an important Ayurveda treatment center. 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.
The Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram is located in Thiruvananthapuram district in the state of Kerala. The city is located aton the west coast, near the southern tip of mainland India. The city situated on the west coast of India, and is bounded by Arabian Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east. The city and the suburbs spans an area of 250 km2 (96.53 sq mi). The average elevation of the city is 16 ft above sea level. The highest point within the city limits is the observatory. Agastya Mala, which has an elevation of 1,868 metres (6,129 ft) is only about 60 km from the city. The Ponmudi hill station which has an elevation of 1,100 metres (3,609 ft) is also near the city.
Varkala Tunnel System, situated in municipality of Varkala of Trivandrum, Kerala, India, also known as the Varkala Canal or Varkala Thurapp in local dialect. It is one of the historic sites and architectural marvel of the region. This site was constructed by the Travancore Kingdom to establish a continuous inland waterway across Thiruvithamkoor as TS Canal, which was meant to serve as a trade route. The construction of the two long tunnels was started in 1867 and the first was completed in 1877 while the second was completed in 1880.