Papanasham

Papanasham beach extending from Varkkala to Vettakada boasts of laterite crags, unique along the Kerala coastal line.  A dip in the holy waters off these sands is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name ‘Papanasam’. Sivagiri Mutt, established by social reformer and saint Sree Narayana Guru and the Janardhanaswamy Temple on the cliffs overlooking the sea are located close by. The serene Kappil beach is 10 km to the north.

varkala

Location:   51 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and 37 km south of Kollam.

Stay: Page 88. see page 88 of yathra sept-oct issue 2011

Contact: Tourist facilitation centre. Ph 0471 2480085. KTDC. 2316736, 2318990. DTPC 2315397

Season: Dec-Feb

Cherai

Expanse of silver sands and roaring surf embellish Cherai beach, the 10-kilometer stretch being ideal for sunbathing and water sports. It is a rare confluence of sea and backwaters. The newly spruced up 400 meters of central beach has beach beds and umbrellas for hire, a park for kids, a walkway, high mast lamps and trained security staff. Lush paddy fields and swaying coconut palms beckon from inland. The road to Cherai runs some way along the backwaters offering a fine view of rows of Chinese nets.

Location: 

24 km from Ernakulam city via Goshree bridges. Turn right from Goshree Jn. and head towards CheraiJn. (22km). turn left to Cherai beach road (2km). 

Contact: DTPC. 0484 2367334

Tourist Information Office 2360502

Stay:  page 90, Nov-Dec, 2010

Kovalam

On par with Goan beaches in popularity among seasoned travelers, the ‘flower generation’ of the ‘70s on the hippie trail to Sri Lanka made it a tourist hot spot. Lighthouse beach, Hawah beach, Samudra beach and the famous crescent comprise the Kovalam mystique. Season starts from November onwards. The calm bay, blue waters aaginst the dark sands add to the allure. Never pass up on a chance to catch the vista from the Light house perched atop the Kurumkal Rock at the southern tip. Some of the other pristine beaches in Kerala like Thiruvallom, Vizhinjam, Poovar and Chowara are in the vicinity.

Location: 16 Km south to Thiruvananthapuram

stay: see page 88 of yathra sept-oct issue 2011

Contact:  Tourist facilitation centre. Ph 0471 2480085. KTDC. 2316736, 2318990. DTPC 2315397

Kappad

Divided by the ebony black Tuvappara Rock, the historic Kappakadavu or Kappad  beach lures tourists. To the historically-minded, it was here that in 1498 that the Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama set foot, thus marking an epoch in history. The calm shore, with casuarina-shade and studded with rocks, is an idyllic spot.

Location:  18 km from Kozhikode. Proceed through NH 17 to Tiruvangoor and turn left to Kappad road.

For more info: DTPC Kozhikode  0495 2720012

Stay: Renai Kappad Beach Resort

Ph: 0496 2688777

MUZHUPPILANGAD

The one and only exotic drive-in beach in the state is a thrilling experience. it is also the one place where the shore and the see-bed for some distance at least are almost level. Driving down the entire slightly curved length of the 4 k.m. is a pleasurable experience. Adventure sports like paragliding, parasailing and microlite flights are available. Other attractions include water sports, power boating or a simple catamaran ride. Approximately 100-200 m south of the beach there is a private island called Dharmadam Island. It is possible to walk to the island during low tide. Dont miss the beach fest which falls every April.

Location: Get down at Edakkad town, which is on the N.H. 17 between Thalassery 97km) and Kannur (15 km) and drive 1 km west to the beach.

Stay: Beach Pavalion guest House. Ph 9387666273. Palmshore resorts

Contact: DTPC, Kannur 0497 2706336

Kappad

Divided by the ebony black Tuvappara Rock, the historic Kappakadavu or Kappad  beach lures tourists. To the historically-minded, it was here that in 1498 that the Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama set foot, thus marking an epoch in history. The calm shore, with casuarina-shade and studded with rocks, is an idyllic spot.

Location:  18 km from Kozhikode. Proceed through NH 17 to Tiruvangoor and turn left to Kappad road.

For more info: DTPC Kozhikode  0495 2720012

Stay: Renai Kappad Beach Resort

Ph: 0496 2688777

PADINJAREKKARA

A virgin shore basking in casurina-filtered sun with fishing nets and languid boats is a great place for bird watching, as migratory birds are often spotted here. Rivers, the fabled Nila and Tirurpuzha empty themselves into the Arabian Sea here. Bobbing  boats anchored in the backwater formed by the estuary add to the atmosphere of langour. Padinjarekkara beach makes for a secluded escape from the madding crowds which throng other beaches. An amphitheatre and shops selling eco-friendly items too lend to its charm.

Location: 17 Km south west from Tirur via Tippu Sulthan Road

Contact: DTPC Malappuram 0483 2731504

Stay: Tirur, Kuttippuram. See page 88, August 2013 issu