Tourist destinations having mythological and historical backdrops are most preferred because when people get monotonous with their present day routine life, they prefer to go back to the remotest past either by reading books or by visiting places with historical or mythological significance. Mythology is history dressed up in a super-natural costume. History is confined to certain facts and has its own limitations in providing the ‘pleasure of the past’ to its admirers. But, the legendary vistas of mythology are not fenced by the barbed wire of facts. Varkala in Kerala is one such destination.
Mythology evidences that a Pandyan king prayed Lord Brahma, the Creator of the world for liberating him from his worldly sins and as directed by Him, the king constructed the Varkala Temple. Yet another myth goes into say that a group of people, urged upon by their repentances, requested sage Narada to show them the path. Sage Narada of Heaven threw his loin cloth made from tree bark or Valkalam onto the earth and asked them to pray at that place for getting redemption of their sins. Thus, the very name Varkala evokes myth and the associated pleasure.
Kerala is known as God’s own country and Varkala is the mythological destination that could be reached by travelling 51 km north of Thiruvanthapuram or 37 km south of Kollam. Just as the holiest pilgrimage of Kasi or Benares in the north, pilgrims throng the Shree Janardhana Swamy Temple in Varkala. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Hanuman.
To err is human, but, the acts of omission and commissions could be remedied through repentance and undergoing prescribed ways of undergoing penance. The Papanasam Beach of Varkala is one such place for cleansing the sins. Edava Beach at Varkala provides a salubrious climate to tourists for basking under the sun and recharges the weird body and mind. An estuary connecting the sea with backwaters adds to the panoramic view of the landscape. Rides on small local boats accompanied by local guides takes around the lake and canals and have a closer view of normal life of the local populace.
Playing volley ball, cricket or football on the black beach of Varkala is an exclusive experience of its own. One can go to Varkala Culture Centre for participation and enjoyment of Kathakali, the traditional dance drama of Kerala. There are a number of Ayurvedic spas that have facilities of massage to provide relief from pains and muscular discomforts. Regular performance of Yoga, not only relieves one from many a diseases but also it trains the mind and body to keep the diseases away. Varkala has a number of accomplished Yoga centers that provide proper guidance for a ‘healthy life’.
A visit to Varkala remains incomplete without witnessing the prowess and feats of the champions of Kalaripavattu, the ancient Indian martial art, at the Sudarsana Kalari Sanghom, located at Mundavil. The best visit to Varkala is for the ‘Sivagiri Pilgrimage’, to commemorate Sree Narayan Guru, the renowned social reformer, philosopher and founder of the Sivagiri Mutt. The duration of the pilgrimage is from 30th December to 1st of January.