Varkala’s beaches have become a major attraction. The main beach is huge, with fine white sand, warm water, good surf, and lifeguards waving red flags that are cheerfully ignored by everyone. Most swimmers are men; if women go into the water they are fully dressed and stay at the edge. India is still quite conservative.
There’s a high cliff behind the beach, and a promenade along the edge of the cliff. Along the promenade there’s lots of cheap accommodation, pizza restaurants, souvenir shops (most Tibetan, for unclear reasons), and other places I’d much rather avoid when travelling. Fortunately it does quiet down a lot further down the promenade. Tourists, apparently, don’t like to walk more than absolutely necessary.