I left a part of me in Varkala – a photo journal on one of my favorite beaches in India

Going back to a place you love always feels good. This was one such journey.

Asked a shopkeeper to take my picture 😂

Walking up on the cliff from the beach on one of the stairways

October 2015 – Desperate to escape a weekend away from the scorching heat and humidity of Chennai, I hopped into a bus at Koyembedu bus station and after a rather uncomfortable overnight bus journey alone and a good amount of time spent getting lost nearby Leela Palace Kovalam, I finally joined my friend and a bunch of his mates (all strangers to me then) at the Kovalam Beach.

I have blurred flashback images of that trip in my mind. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just me getting nostalgic. Not that i was drunk or I don’t remember things. Plus, I’m writing this almost after a year and a half. Flashback images?

The backwaters
Kovalam beach Trivandrum at Leela Palace

The serene hotel location somewhere in the backwaters of the Kovalam Beach

The tempo traveler journey from Kovalam to Varkala

The delicious and extremely cheap Kerala style fish curry we had for lunch at a dhaba on our way to Varkala.

The night spent waiting for food that almost never came at Rock and Roll Varkala.

Night life at varkala, when the atmosphere suddenly changes and all you feel is peace

Beer and more beer and cigarettes. ( I do smoke a little when i drink and that’s very rare.)

The sea in front some beer🍺 to chill some good company, live music, the peaceful night and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore

Me trying my hand at photography enjoying the sound of the waves in front at the upper sitting area of rock and roll
The peaceful night sleep and talks with a friend before we both fell into deep slumber.

The next day cloudy and rainy morning at Varkala, sitting at the balcony of our hotel wishing the rain would stop.

Abhisek and I
Fresh sea food gallore. They let you choose the fish and they cook that
Shop until you drop. One quaint little shop along the cliff

Israeli breakfast at one of the restaurants ( i don’t remember the name)

A bunch of twenty something engineers all playing to their hearts’ contents and me being too afraid to get into the water but all the while watching them bringing out the child in them.

And the very long journey back to Chennai in a line bus. Cause i didn’t get any tickets to get back to Chennai. Flight tickets were as high as 22000 INR.

It was then I knew that I had to go back to this place. I didn’t know when but I knew I had to go back again.

September 2016.

Self timer picture
Asked the lady shopkeeper from whom i boight a few scarfs to take my picture along with a fe boomerang videos

I made an impromptu solo journey to Varkala and Munroe Island. I had made a round trip train ticket booking, the return journey which i canceled later on. I extended my stay in Varkala for a few more days and headed off to an island I chanced upon on google maps.

And this time in Varkala, I made sure that I stayed there and explored the entire place on my own in my own ways.

Don’t I get the best pictures taken somehow when i travel alone? Do you notice the trash in the picture? Breaks my heart seeing trash everywhere in such beautiful places

And oh boy! Till date, it’s been one of my most memorable solo trips.

I saw everything I wanted to see that iIcouldn’t quite see in 2015.

Towards black beach and edava beach

I explored every little place in and around the beach haven.

I remember falling in love with the place all over again. Looking for the part of me that i left in 2015.

Sunset at Varkala. Perfect spot to watch the sun sinking into the sea

And I remember being very grateful by the end of my 4 days and 3 nights amazing stay in Varkala.

The last time I saw of the place, I remember bidding goodbye with a heavy heart.

Making friends with mister goatee
Watching the sun go down as fishermen catch their last from the sea.
The most beautiful strecth of the sections of beaches in varkala

I’m not quite sure if I can make it to this beach anytime soon but I shall, sometime in the future, for this holds a special place in my heart.

Creative art slapped across walls along the beach. There were quite a few of them

One that comes under my three best beach places in southern India.

And here’s why. See it for yourself.

The red sandstone cliffs that are unique in the whole of India. And that’s the cliff with shops, cafes, restaurants, etc overlooking the Arabian Sea
Asked a boy who was sitting by this beach to take a picture of me😂
Beautiful ain’t it?
High tide didn’t let me walk down that path to the beach. In 2015 when i went, I could easily walk down the beach from here

I leave you with these amazing pictures from my solo trip. I’ve left a part of me somewhere in this hippie town again in 2016 that someday I’ll go back to look for.

Edava beach Varkala – located about 7-8 kms from the varkala main beach
This view of the cliff beach from the north helipad side

Somehow I always get my best pictures when I travel alone. 😉

I’ll be posting a detailed blogpost on how to plan your Varkala journey – what to do, where to eat and where to stay in my next post.

Also read my Munroe island experience here. I went to Munroe Island from Varkala.

Chancing upon Munroe Island A traveler’s guide to God’s own hidden gem of an island- Munroe Island (Things to do)

Note to fellow travellers : 

It breaks my heart to see the rubbish and trash being dumped everywhere on the beach even at those beautiful places along the entire stretch of Edava beach. You can see that in a few of my pictures. Please do not litter. You are playing with mother nature. I don’t understand why Indians have this habit of littering everwhere they go. I hope someday soon they realize this. 

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