The mineral rich natural streams of Sivagiri, Papanasam and Kanvashramam at Varkala beach, widely known as Varkala Mineral Water Springs, is internationally known for their rich and perennial water quality. The medicated and mineral rich water is drawing visitors from far and wide.
Varkala is an importation Hindu pilgrim center located in South Kerala cost. This calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of interest like the Papanasam beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam – Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach. The water flowing from three streams at Papanasam and the Thoduve Rayar stream drain at the base of the Sivagiri Hill are widely used for drinking and bathing. The streams that emerge at the base of the hills are dammed and channeled through iron pipes for usage. During the earlier days the water was channeled through bamboo stem. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name ‘Papanasam beach’. (Papam = Sin. Nasam = cure/ end/ demolish).
The natural stream at Papanasam has been noted for its medicinal and religious significance. After performing the last rites of the dead, believers take a dip in the sacred waters. A bath in these waters was also considered a part of the medical treatment for many diseases. The sulphur rich water of these springs is thought to be beneficial for many ailments related to the skin and musculo-skeletal structures. These mineral springs not just revitalises, but also increases your appetite.
One of the factors that attracted Sri Narayana Guru (a social reformer 1856 – 1928) , to Varkala were the natural streams. He had asked the followers to take bath in this streams before entering the ashram.
Varkala offers vast accommodation facilities for visitors and is a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centers, high end to low end.