India south Kerala












9.3. - 12.3. 2017, travel book part VIII.


Why to go to Varkala

Varkala is one of the most beautiful beaches in the south. It is hidden under a massive cliff and is a true paradise for backpackers, who usually stay in cheap local hostels for months at a time.


How to get to Varkala

I got to Varkala from Allepey by morning train [6:25, 108 km, 303 INR], my landlord was so kind he gave me a lift to the station. Once again, I saw the Portuguese man and American girl that I've met the day before on a boat. When the train arrived, the man in front of me lost his sandal as he was getting on the steps. When he saw it was hopelessly stuck on track under the train, he just sighed, took the other one off and continued barefoot. During the ride I looked over at a sleeping Indian woman with a red dot on her forehead and realized how different this world is to mine. In a few days, I will be sitting in a car trying to find my way to work in stressful traffic. Oh well, I'm still here...I arrived to Varkala at 8:50 and let the tuk tuk driver take me to the beach [100 INR].


Acommodation tip

All the available accommodation is located on a cliff in tiny narrow streets apart from one – Varkala Marine Palace. And because I wanted to enjoy the end of my journey in a style of true holiday, I booked this resort right on the beach [3000 INR, via]. Apart from its convenient location, it also has an amazing restaurant.


My experience in Varkala

After I checked in I went for a walk along the beach and over to the cliff. The beach was half empty and the cliff was full of shops and restaurants.

India Varkala beach

Varkala beach

There are strong water currents in Varkala and when I went for a swim, I just let the water carry me from one side of the beach to the other. The beach is observed by life guards, who blow their whistles like referees.

India Varkala beach

Varkala beach

In the evening, the beach got crowded by exercising yogis and then fishermen who kept pulling their nets out of water. The fish were immediately sold to restaurants and I couldn't resist and ordered red snapper fish grilled in banana leaf for dinner. I was thinking about Philippines, where I used to eat this fish every other day.

After dinner I went to one of the bars on a cliff for couple of beers. When I was coming back later, I accidentally surprised our waiters, who were just preparing nets above the tables and were getting ready for bed.

In the morning at breakfast I observed local Indian women covered in their clothes, as they were carefully cleaning the whole beach. And not far from them was a Russian girl running around in a G-string.

The last day was a Saturday and all the locals had an afternoon off. The beaches were filled with locals coming here on a weekend trip, who all rushed in the water. Women were swimming in their clothes, but even so, the men were trying to sneak a peek or two. One Indian gentleman probably had too much to drink as he was celebrating his day off and was lying in a complete delirium on the beach like a dead whale. He didn't care as the waves washed over him. Just as I was passing him, he threw up in the water. I was really glad I was swimming on the other side.

India Varkala beach

Varkala beach

The last evening, I had my favorite chicken butter masala with butter naan for dinner [250 INR] and I headed towards bars on the cliff. I was going to spend my last night before flying in Trivandrum. But because I enjoyed the beach so much and because I got so relaxed and lazy, I changed my plans and decided to go to the airport straight from the beach by a taxi [1,5 hours, 50 km, 1600 INR]. Getting up in the middle of the night after an evening spent in bars was hard, but I managed. Now before I get home, just one more stop in Dubai...



...going north instead? Check out the article from my first journey in India.


... where to go next? Have a look at my itineraryphotos from my journey or a quick summary before you go to India. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I usually respond within one day.




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