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Kerala stretches 900km towards the southern tip of India and is made up of three distinct environments - the coastal region with kilometres of unspoilt beaches which rate among the best in India, the unique and tranquil backwaters, and the Western Ghats of prime ecological and environmental importance, making one of the largest areas of unspoilt temperate-tropical forest in Asia, and one with outstanding fauna and wildlife. The language and culture of Malayalam is unique and affords the visitor a fascinating insight into south Indian culture. Kerala is now recognised on the international travel scene as a prime destination, giving the traveller the best of modern convenience combined with value for money. Kerala is a welcome break from the rigours of travelling in India - the climate, the coastline and the green interior all make life in Kerala pleasant and easy for the traveller! So come along and join us.....check it out!

Kerala Today

The present state of Kerala was formed in 1956 from the states of Malabar, Cochin and Travancore, united in their use of the states language Malayalam. In 1957 the freely elected Communist government was elected and though not in continuous power today Kerala is still run by a Communist government. Generally Kerala people take an active interest in politics and the state has a more equitable distribution of land and income than is found eslewhere. The state leads in social indicators, with low infant mortality rates and a literacy rate in the 90%'s. Though it has lagged behind in economic indicators, today the state is forging ahead, with tourism, income from migrant workers to the Middle East and major investment from the Middle East all being important factors in the states high standard of living, together with the land and its climate! Kerala is now recognised by the National Geographic as one of the top four international destinations.

Kerala History and Culture

The Western Ghats which stretch the whole length of Kerala have protected it from mainland invaders, whilst the long coastline encouraged extensive maritime contatcs with the outside world resulting in an eclectic mix of cultures. Kerala has been a base for ancient traders and was most certainly known to the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and Chinese. In more recent times the lucrative spice trade attracted in their turn, the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British. Three of India's minority faiths - Judaism, Islam and Christianity - first arrived in India on this, the Malabar Coast and today these faiths together account for just under half the population.

According to legend the state now known as Kerala was created by an incarnation of Vishnu, Parashuram. His realm was created by throwing his axe from the Western Ghats and the narrow strip of land between the mountains and the Arabian ocean.

The Major Festivals

  • Ashtamudi Craft & Arts Festival of India (Dec/Jan, Kollam)
  • Natana Kairali Arts Festival (Jan. Irinjalkuda)
  • Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race on the second Saturday of August every year.
  • Trivandrum Classical Music festival (Jan/Feb, Trivandrum)
  • Ettumanur Festival (Feb/Mar, Ettumanur)
  • Pooram Festival (Apr/May, Pooram)
  • Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race (Aug, Alappuzha)
  • Mullackal Temple Festival ( mid-Dec, Alappuzha)
  • Onam (Aug/Sept, statewide)
  • Christmas and New Year

The Coastal Region

Kerala has outstanding beaches but there is more to sun and sea. Ancient trading and fishing ports and towns has led to a lively town life along the coast. A wide variety of fishing occurs, including these the famous Chinese nets of Cochin. Many fine examples of ecclesiastical and colonial architecture survive, and ornate Portuguese churches nestle alongside grand mosques, and serene and bizarre Hindu temples, making for a heady mix of cultural experience.

The Backwaters

Varkala lies within easy reach of the area known as Kuttanad, the sublime backwaters of south Kerala, a unique salt and fresh water eco-system. The kettuvallom, the traditional houseboat is a famous Kerala icon. The classic journey is from Kollam (just north of Varkala) to Alappuzha (formerly Allepey), though it is possible to travel from Trivandrum to Kodungallur via the backwaters, a distance of 250km! This is an opportunity not to missed and unique to Kerala.

The Western Ghats

The Western Ghats stretch the entire length of Kerala and are south India's most impressive mountains, rising to a height of 2,695m, affording the traveller with a cool destination. Tea,and spice plantations are numerous, with many pleasant hill stations such as Kumily and Munnar, set in spectacular surroundings. Most of the Ghats remain undeveloped and there are many wildlife and conservation parks affording access to this very special environment.

Let us help you get the most out of your stay in Kerala

Kerala has much to offer - the eclectic combination of opportunities affords the visitor a unique experience, which could include a night out to see the extraordinary Kathakali dancers, traditional to Kerala.

From The Cliff Lounge Guesthouse we can take you on tours and visits throughout southern Kerala, taking in some of the best that Kerala has to offer. Email us with your tour requirements or arrange them on arrival in Varkala.


Being situated very close to the sea, Varkala has a moderate climate, with heavy Rains during June-August due to the south-west monsoon. Winter starts from December and continues till February. In summer, the temperature rises to a maximum of 35°C and 25°C in the winters. Annual average rainfall is 310 cm.

Varkala boasts one of the most beautiful and sought after stretches of coastline in southern Kerala. As a result it has become a must for sun lovers and travellers who are searching for a lively high season scene,
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