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  Introduction

   
 
 

Varkala is a seaside tourist resort and spa. A small town 55km north of Thiruvananthapuram, it is also an important religious place for the Hindus. 


The Papanasam Beach at Varkala is a quiet, secluded beach known for its white, silvery stretch of sand, mineral springs and rocky cliffs. Varkala is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala, is near Varkala atop a hill named Sivagiri. High cliffs from mineral springs majestically rise is a scene typical of Varkala.

According to a myth, sage Narada was approached by a group of mendicants who confessed to having sinned. Narada threw his valkkalam (the bark of tree which the mythical sages used to wear) into the air, and the place where it landed was subsequently named Varkala. The mendicants were directed by Narada to offer their prayers in the newly created place by the seashore. The place where they prayed for redemption came to be known as the Papanasham Beach ('Papanasham' means redemption from sins). 

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