Varkala is a municipal town in Chirayinkil taluk of Thiruvananthapuram district. It is 51 km from Thiruvananthapuram City, located on the coast. Varkala is an important hub for neighbouring places like Kadakkavur, Edava and Kappil.
A famous beach resort, Varkala is also famous for its 2000-year old Janardanaswamy temple which is an important Vaishnavaite shrine in India and is referred to as "Southern Kashi". It is also the centre of Sivagiri Mutt, established by the great social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. The 'Papanasam' beach is considered to have holy waters which wash away sins, and is also an important Ayurveda treatment centre.
Population (2001): 42273
Sex Ratio: (females per 1000 males): 1034
Literacy: 87.78% (85.02% male, 89.1% female)