Hundred and sixty kilometers down south of cochin after kollam is Varkala a town in the district of Thiruvananthapuram. A small awesome beach which has a cliff from where one could have a amazing views overlooking the Arabian see. Varkala is less kind of a touristy place compared to kovalam, its now kind of a hippy paradise where you could find a lot of Westerners lying down to tan themselves. To my experience I could relate Varkala very much to goa, the ambience of the place, the eateries, small hotels, and other accommodation facilities close to the beach. The place close to the beach is separated into two areas the beach and the other half on top of the cliff. The beach is comparatively small in stretch, and is ideal for swimming. Surfing in Varkala is a general sight during non monsoon months. On top of the cliff you could find a lot of hotels and restaurants overlooking the sea. The views of the sea is unique compared to other beaches in India. As a destination, varkala has less expensive hotels and hostels, its occupants are more of budgeted or young travellers / backpackers.
I made this trip with Siby, my friend, he was at the “soul and surf” Varkala for over two months. By the end of the first day’s trip, we nested at the Soul & Surf, a holiday retreat focusing on surf and yoga, Siby was with soul and surf for some time and so it was free entry for us. The place is located right on the beautiful cliffs of Varkala, which indeed is an attraction that nobody would want to miss while visiting ‘God’s own country’. The resort is run by an English couple with most of the staff from the rest of the UK. Siby says, “The whole place has something special to it, I believe it was the people that were around with full of happiness and love with great vibe.”
He continued “Everyone around seemed to be full of energy and very enthusiastic about what they were doing. That was a very unique experience that I have not felt until now during my travels. The resort is set on the idea of introducing surf tourism in India, especially in Kerala, where there are better swells and waves from the rest of India. They showed me around the place and took me to different ‘breaks’, a surfer’s lingo for a surf spot/location. If I were to describe the whole feel in one word, I would say – serene.” You really have to be there yourself to get a feel for the whole thing. We had a good night stay and departed the next day by noon to explore the rest of Varkala.
Restaurants in varkala are a highlight, we had our lunch at Café del Mar which is at the cliff beach. The restaurants have awesome views of the ocean from the cliff. There is another one named Kerala café which is almost similar to Café del Mar. These are casual dining outlets which offers a wide range of Menu – continental, Indian and Chinese. You could see a lot of westerners in there spending some really good time at the outlets just like us. I had a wholesome breakfast steak the next day morning and you just can’t imagine how time moves on when are in there.
Written by Benjamin John