For the sun and sand lovers. A sheltered natural bay created by a high rocky promontory extending into the Arabian sea. Studded with coconut palms and fringed with lagoons and sheltered coves, this internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists. A ravishing tropical beach, Kovalam has been attracting travellers from around the world over with its unspoilt beauty.
Thirty years ago, Kovalam was a hippy idyll: a picture perfect tropical beach; a traditional fishing village providing fresh fish, fruits and toddy (coconut beer). Today this beach is drawing thousands of tourists for a week dose of ozone, UV and a refreshing Indian Experience. Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. Over the past three decades, the place has been well developed, and now figures prominently on the world tourism map. Kovalam is just 16 kms away from Trivandrum. Today Kovalam beach is known as the “Paradise of the South”.
Its scenic beauty and serenity is supplemented by the availability of excellent accommodation . There are a lot of restaurants which provide western style food as well as Indian, which is delicious. The grilled seafood items such as lobster, king prawns and kalamari are got fresh from the sea at Kovalam. Ayurvedic massage parlours, yoga centers and water sport facilities, makes Kovalam a popular haven for tourists from all over the globe.
“Kovalam” means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. The crescent-shaped beach has three parts. The southern most beach, and the most popular, is light house beach. It offers an amazing sight of Vizhinjam mosque. The northern Samudra is a laidback one and time seems stands still here. The middle, hawah, in the early day, is a beehive of activities with fishermen setting out for sea. With a high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights.
It is warm and clean filled with the coconut trees and the white sandbed as the seabreeze gently plays with the waves. Swimming and bathing are very refreshing and exhilirating in the waves. One can walk into the sea for about 100 metres without loosing ground. This cove is also the safest place for swimming. At many coastal places there are beautiful patches of coral reefs. The underwater views, which are visible during snorkeling, are really marvellous.
In & Around Kovalam
Located at 54 kms from Thiruvananthapuram across the border in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district, the palace nestles at the foot of the Veli hills. Built during the 14th century it was called Darpakulangara, but later in the 18th century it was renovated and renamed as the Padmanabhapuram palace. A place of elaborate woodwork, it was the ancient seat of the Travancore rulers Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma till the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram in 1780. It contains relics of historical and artistic value.
This palace is the home of the late Maharaja Sree Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma and his family. The view of the grand old building from the gate is excellent, but unfortunately it is off limits to the public. If you are lucky, you could probably walk a few steps inside to get a better view provided the gate keeper is friendly enough.
Veli Tourist Village
The seemingly placid sheet of water that backed away from the visibility reverberant sea offers a general idea of the famous backwaters of Kerala. Located near the airport this popular picnic spot offers landscaped gardens and water-sports facilities. Pedal boats, rowboats, and motored boats are available. Children in particular have a lot of fun and frolic climbing over the huge sculptures, which dot the landscape, and riding a ferry.
This is an important pilgrim centre for the Hindus and Muslims. Sree Dharmasastha Temple here is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. Pilgrims going to Sabarimala alight here.