Varkala is at a distance of 41 kms North from Thiruvananthapuram by rail and about 51 kms by road. The Samadhi of Sree Narayana Guru is located here. He was a great social reformer and philosopher who practiced and preached the motto of ‘one caste, one people, one religion’. Followers visit this place in hundreds.
There is a secluded beach close by with the interesting name of Papanasham beach. As the name suggests, devotees and believers believe that the water has the power of redeeming one’s sins and so a dip in the water is a must. Many come to immerse ashes of the departed too. There is a temple here of Lord Janardhana Swamy believed to be atleast 2000 years old. Devotees throng here to take blessings. The cliff on the edge of the water is formed out of laterite. There are many mineral water springs here which makes it an ideal location for nature treatments. There is an inland waterways system that connects Kollam in the North to Thiruvananthapuram in the South. This waterway passes through two tunnels in the hills.