Varkala beach, 42 km away from Thiruvananthapuram
, is a beautiful location as well as an important Hindu center of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs border the excellent beach.
A 2000 year old Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Center are the two main attractions of the beach. The mineral springs here are believed to have medicinal properties. A dip in the holy waters of this beach is believed to purify the body and soul of all sins. Hence this shore is called 'Papanasam beach,' meaning 'destroyer of sinsí.
In the Malayalam month of
Karkidakam, thousands offer Vavubali at this beach, a ritual belief to help the souls of ancestors to rest in peace.