It was from one of my colleagues that I first came to know about Varkala, a small coastal town situated about 60 km away from Thiruvanthapuram. He showed me some images of the Varkala sea beach, and it was difficult to imagine that such splendour could exist in a small corner of our country without the knowledge of many.
It goes without saying my wife was more than excited about a trip to Varkala which finally materialized in the secomd week of March. We needed to have a night long bus travel to the capital of Kerala, Thiruvanthapuram, from where Varkala is an hour's auto ride. It was sizzling hot and there was more than enough space in Clafouti Beach Resort to accommodate us.
Clafouti as it appeared like many other beach resorts of Varkala is situated right on top of the North Cliff which is the center of all activities of this incredible tourist town. There were hardly an Indian tourist, and along with the view it presented Varkala only seemed like a piece of Europe inside the Indian subcontinet by the Arabian Sea.
The most amazing thing about the place was its physiography. A cliff which seemd quite a few kilometers in length jutting out straight from the land into the Arabian sea. People standing on top of the cliff get to see the most ethereal sight of the blue Arabian relentlessly crashing at the bottom of the cliff. The panorama is simply mind boggling and justifies tourists from all across the world coming to visit the place. The nights on top of the cliff are even more mesmerizing with the sealine being dotted with lights coming from the fishing boats.
The Clafouti, being one of the best beach resorts with a wonderful sea facing restaurant is right on top of the cliff. We took a kilometer long walk in the narrow lane on the cliff which not only had many more beach resorts lining, but also beautifully decorated coffee shops and garment stores.
The cliff had stairs leading to the sprawling white sand beach, and the humid weather just made it most appropriate for us to sit and allow the waves caress us for sometime. Again, the crowd taking bath along with us was predominantly foreign and had momentarily made us feel as if we had managed to drift somewhere outside the country.
There were not much sightseeing since there could be hardly a place like Varkala where nature had been at its creative best. However, Kappil beach 8 kilometers away also presented us with a great view.
The return to Trivandrum held more surprises as the driver took us through a road parallel to the sea. There had been quite a stretch of this road lined with houses with occasional appearances of the sea within the distance of just a few meters from the road. Before we reached the Perumathura bridge we were plying through one of the best scenic roads of India with the sea on one side and the backwater cruises happening on the other. When we halted on the Perumathura bridge, we could see the sun coloring the sea with orange, moments before setting.
Kerala with its hills and valleys, rivers and the great Arabian sea along with the fantastic hospitality of the locals had always been one of the best places for a retreat. But Varkala had been in a different zone. The fact that this place is lesser known and is not yet inhabited by many Indian tourists makes the place even more attractive. The beach is exceptionally clean and safe, and a very buzzing crowd makes it a must visit tourist destination. Nature lovers missing a trip to Varkala can be considered to have denied themselves the best treat that they could give themselves.