At a distance of 4 km from Varkala Railway Station, Varkala Cliff is a red laterite cliff situated adjacent to the Arabian Sea in Varkala. It is one of the must-visit places during your Varkala Tour.
Varkala Cliff is a famous beachfront which is a massive cluster of old times rock formations. Varkala Beach is the only place in southern Kerala where cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea. This 80 feet high red laterite cliff is unique as it is a veritable blueprint of geological changes from during the Mio-Pliocene age (1.3 to 25 million years ago). Its sedimentary geo-morphological structure bears evidence of unique geological features such as changes in the sea and soil structures and even has small fossils embedded in them.
The cliffs are also named the 'Warkallai formation' by the Geological Survey of India and have been declared as a potential Geopark by UNESCO. There are 90 geoparks around the world, but the Varkala cliff is the first in India. Plans are afoot to declare it as a National Geological Monument by the Geological Survey of India and ideas have been put forward for its conservation including building a seawall along the length of the cliff. All mining and quarrying activities in this region are also to be stopped and the area to be made a litter-free zone.
The unique feature of the Varkala cliff is that it appears as a dramatic horizon that is merging with the Arabian Sea. Papanasam Beach is divided into two parts -- North Cliff and South Cliff. North Cliff is the most happening part where you'll find most of the shops, restaurants, and accommodations. South cliff in Varkala, on the other hand, is quiet and untouched by tourism. To get a 'Varkala Feel' you need to stroll around these cliffs and listen to worldly music being played in the cafes and people calling you out either for a massage or some cheap shopping.
Timings: 6 AM - 10 PM