Varkala Tunnel

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Varkala Tunnel Trivandrum
Varkala Tunnel.jpg
Former Chief minister VS Achudhananthan visiting Varkala Tunnel in 2006
Location Varkala, Trivandrum, Kerala
Coordinates Coordinates: 8°44′11″N 76°43′48″E / 8.7365°N 76.730°E / 8.7365; 76.730
Start 8°44′11″N 76°43′48″E / 8.7365°N 76.730°E / 8.7365; 76.730
End 8°43′00″N 76°43′16″E / 8.7167°N 76.721°E / 8.7167; 76.721
Opened 1867; 151 years ago (1867)
Owner Government of Kerala
Operator Kerala Waterways
Traffic Waterways
Length 1,069.848 m (1.069848 km)
No. of lanes 2
Operating speed 50 km/h (31 mph)
Tunnel clearance 10 metres (33 ft)

Varkala Tunnel System, in Trivandrum, India, also known Varkala Canal, is one of the historic sites of the region. This site was constructed by the Travancore Kingdom to establish an inland waterway that was meant to serve as a trade route. The construction of the two long tunnels was started around the mid-1860s and first one opened in 1867 and took around 14 years to complete total of 1km long tunnels.[1]

Varkala Tunnel during 1900

With a length of 1,069.848 metres (1.069848 km), the tunnel played a vital role in transferring ferry goods and people from Thiruvananthapuram to Kollam during the pre-independence era. The tunnel is located under the main cliff of the region and represents the architectural excellence of the workers and engineers of that era.

Varkala Tunnel in 1920

Built under the supervision of T. Mahadeva Rao, the dewan of Travancore, the tunnel also provides way to Varkala’s TS canal, which passes through this delicate structure [2]


  1. ^ Wright, Colin. "Varkala Tunnel". Retrieved 14 September 2018. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]