Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach. It is a very ideal tourist spot surrounded by the greenery, beautiful meadows, deep puzzling valleys and dales. The enchanting hill station dotted with tea gardens will soon be one of India's foremost eco-tourism projects. Varkala is a haven for sun-bathing and swimming. The evening views of the sunset are worth lingering over. There are several small restaurants and snack shops near and around Papasnanam beach, which attracts the maximum visitors both for leisure as well as for religious reasons. The black part of the sand on the Varkala Beach contains Thorium-oxide which is a radioactive substance. Thorium and Thorium-oxide and its isotopes are found all over Kerala and can be identified by its black colour.