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History of Varkala

Embedded in history, the town of Varkala is a lot more than just a popular beach destination. According to Hindu mythology, it is said that a group of pilgrims had approached the saint Narada to confess their sins, after which Narada threw a cloth made out of a tree bark and it happened to land at a place near the sea shore. He instructed the pilgrims to offer their prayers here. This place then came to be known as Papanasam, and as the years went by, the town came to be known as Varkala. It has found mention in many traditional and classical texts and also in Ptolemy’s Periplus.

During the ancient period, the town flourished and became an important trading port under the Sangha Dynasty and went by the name of Balitha. With the coming of the British, Varkala reached its peak and was an important port for European trade. Before 1947, Varkala was actually a part of the state of Travancore. But when the state of Kerala was formed in 1956, Varkala became a part of Kerala.

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