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The Kerala Verma Valiya Koyil Thampuran has depicted Varkala and its tunnels as a landmark in the poem “MayooraSandesam”. The Municipality formed in May 1980, Varkala is a Grade-III Municipality and M.N Thyagarajan was the first Municipal Chairman . Edava, Elakamon, Chemmaruthy, Cherunniyoor and Vettoor are the panchayaths adjacent to Varkala Municipality.At a distance of 40 km from Thiruvanathapuram by train, Varkala is accessible by road and rail. Varkala is at a distance of 18 km from Attingal by road. Varkala is the major railway station in the Kollam-Thiruvananthapuram route. Varkala was one of major landing points on the T.S Canal , the water way joining Thiruvananthapuram to the northern districts .The two major tunnels, built in 1877 and 1880 later got blocked by landslip and hence the canal is currently impassable.The SN College, Sivagiri is the major institution for higher education in the Municipality.The Varkala Government Allopathic hospital and the 60 year old District Ayurvedic hospital are the major medical institutions in Varkala.The Sarada Madom was established by Sree Narayana Guru in 1904. It is the final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru.The Janardhana temple is Varkala is an ancient temple and is a major place of pilgrimage. This temple is sometimes termed as “ThekkanVaranasi”.Varkala is a health resort and the natural springs of mineral water is believed to possess medicinal powers. The Papanasam beach situated 3 km from Varkala town, with its overhanging cliffs is an important seaside resort.