Kerala’s Varkala Papanaasam Beach has achieved international acclaim by securing a spot among the top 100 must-see beaches globally, as acknowledged by Lonely Planet’s Beach Guide Book. This recognition not only enhances Kerala’s standing in the world of international tourism but also emphasizes the untapped potential of the state’s coastal beauties.
Lonely Planet’s selection highlights Varkala’s allure, placing it alongside other Indian coastal gems like Palolam in Goa and Swaraj in the Andamans. Varkala’s appeal lies in its scenic beauty and cultural significance as the headquarters of Sivagiri Math, founded by the esteemed spiritual leader Sree Narayana Gurudeva. The unique rock formations and salt springs of the Varkala Cliffs further contribute to the beach’s charm.
Despite the longstanding interest from tourists, infrastructure development in the area had lagged until recently. To enhance the overall visitor experience, the tourism department took a significant step by installing a floating bridge over the waves in December, marking the seventh such bridge in the state.
This recognition serves as a catalyst for Kerala’s broader tourism potential, extending beyond popular destinations like Kovalam to include hidden gems such as Kappil Beach, Kozhikode Beach, Muzhapilangad, and Dharmadam Beach. With a focus on strategic coastal protection, infrastructure development, and improved facilities, Kerala aspires to become a premier global coastal destination. State Tourism Minister Mohammad Riyaz has reaffirmed the commitment to developing Varkala into a world-class tourist destination, aligning with the ongoing efforts to boost Kerala’s tourism sector.