Varkala is one of my favourite destinations in Kerala. It is perfect weekend getaway if you want to relax, get an ayurvedic body massage, enjoy the beach and some great sea food. The name of the beach is Papanasam.
In the below pic, you can see a string of restaurants on the far end of the cliff. They have amazing seafood. Fresh fish you can pick from.
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I’m sure you read the part 1 of this series, about how I had to take 5 buses to come to Varkala(Kerala) from Chennai :). After Spending second half of the first day in varkala, going to the beach and having a sumptuous dinner. The first half of the second day was spent on lazing around and shifting to another “resort” (why? read this!). After shifting, we went to a nearby hotel for lunch. Varkala, like any other place is HOT during the day, you won’t appreciate that unless you are in Papanasam beach, Varkala for a sun-tan. I wasn’t there for that reason and I didn’t appreciate it! 🙂 it was hot!
Before lunch, we saw a trail going uphill and we took it. Not after a short walk, we came upon this edge. And here are some photos of Papanasam beach from this place:
We had lunch and returned to our hotel for a siesta.
After the siesta, got up by 5:30PM and went to the beach for sunset, photos, walk and dinner @ Papanasam beach.
After this was dinner, some of the lights were beautiful and I wanted to try Bokeh (not a dish, it’s a photographic technique!). Here are the photos from that. For more kickass photos from this trip visit http://potofshots.com
TO BE CONTINUED…
The first day/night of my Varkala, Kerala Trip, we stayed in Eden Garden resort, Papanasam beach (3.5 off 5 stars). It cost us only Rs.800 for a double-bed room for a night. It was 100 meters from the beach and we had no qualms. It was well kept, had a geyser – 24hrs hot water, bath tub, a small kitchen area (which we didn’t use) and a mosquito net (which we didn’t a need for). The reception area of this resort is in a posh looking side of this place and I’m guessing that would be very expensive. This place also offers a wide range of ayurvedic massages starting from Rs.1000.
Some pictures of Eden Garden resort:
Unfortunately, my friend who had reached Varkala before me had booked the room for only one night/day, cos we didn’t have a plan on where we will be on the next day. But we decided to stay here for one more day and went to the reception to keep the room for an additional day. They had already given the room to someone else and we had to find another hotel to stay.
Thankfully we found one “Nikhil beach resort” (2.5 off 5 stars) right opposite to Eden Garden resort on the beach road. This place was not as good as the previous one, but we decided to take it anyways. Rs. 800/day. We got this double-bed room attached bathroom. One thing I liked about this second floor room was that it had a balcony overlooking the beach road, which is used by a lot of people to go to the Papanasam beach. A good place to sit and chill, read a book or something.
We stayed here on day 2 of our trip. On day 3 we went to Kollam.
NOTE 1: There are a lot of resorts near to the beach, please do explore, walk around a bit and you might find a better place. There are lots of resorts on the cliff too, please explore and let me know if you found a good place and I might add to this post.
NOTE 2: Read all posts of this Varkala/Kollam(Kerala) Trip here
When I started out, as always, we didn’t have much clue about the destination. THAT has to change from now on, as I seem to miss out on many places due to my laziness of not checking wikitravel before embarking on a trip. Sometime I intentionally don’t read about the destination so as to have a “pure” experience of the place.
So it was for this trip too. Didn’t do much research, I just knew the destination, packed my bags and started. I had my android phone, of course with google maps and some money – that’s enough to travel, believe me.
Day 0 & 1 – 4 buses and 1 auto rickshaw to reach Varkala from Chennai
I was surprised to see that there was no direct bus from Chennai to any place in Kerala. So, I got a bus from Chennai to Tenkasi, a town in the TamilNadu-Kerala border. I reached Tenkasi by 6:50 AM – to this bus stand.
BUS no. 2 – Tenkasi to Kottarakkara
Once there, got some biscuits and water, asked around for a bus to Kollam (a bigger town compared to Varkala). There were only two buses at the bus stand and neither were going to Kollam. But one of the buses was going to a town called Kottarakara, which is some 30 kms from Kollam. Boarded that bus and enjoyed the ride, it was shaky, bumpy and scenic 🙂
Some of the scenes on the way to Kottarakkara:
Bus no.3 – Kottarakkara to Kollam (25 kms)
After an one hour drive, reached Kottarakkara and got another bus to Kollam. Reached Kollam 11:45 AM of Day 1.
Bus no.4 – Kollam to Parippally (20 kms)
One could get a bus to Varkala from Kollam (30kms), but I had to wait for another 45 mins to get that bus, so I decided to take one bus till Paripally (how did I know about this info, thanks to google maps)
To bus or not to bus – 5th
Got down at Paripally by 1 PM, HOT HOT SUN. Varkala was 12 kms from my reach. I decided not to wait for a bus and took an auti-rickshaw (tuk tuk). I asked the auto guy “how much it would cost” and he said Rs.2000, I was totally shocked and told him it’s only 12 kms (thanks to google maps :)), then he corrected himself and said “Rs.200”, I went to the next auto guy and asked him how much he would charge, he said “Rs.150”, much better, so hopped in and tukked tukked my way to Varkala.
After 17 hours of travelling I reached Varkala. Honestly, I was tired and wanted to get out of the sun, so didn’t really appreciate the beauty of the place till I checked into the resort – Eden Garden resort. After a quick shower, went for lunch to one of the many beach-view restaurants.
Went back to the resort, which was next to the beach, and took a nap till 5:30 PM. Hurried to the beach to enjoy the sunset.
To be continued…