Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam beach is a beach in Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, along the Arabian Sea, part of the Indian Ocean. The word Papanasam means wash away sins. It is believed that a dip in the waters of Papanasam Beach washes away all the sins in one’s life.
Varkala beach is the only place in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. These tertiary sedimentary formation cliffs are a unique geological feature on the otherwise flat Kerala coast, and is known among geologists as Varkala Formation and a geological monument as declared by the Geological Survey of India. There are numerous water spouts and spas on the sides of these cliffs.The beach is a haven for sun-bathing and swimming. The evening views of the sunset are worth lingering over. There are several small restaurants and snack shops near and around Papasnanam beach, which attracts the maximum visitors both for leisure as well as for religious reasons.
The famous Sree Janardhana Swami Temple is situated near the Beach. Also Famous Sivagiri mutt is another important location. Varkala railway station is known in the name of Varkala Sivagiri railway station.