Introduction: On the Malabar Coast along the Kerala shore line is a small village, called Kovalam. This sleepy town suddenly came on the tourist map when its fabulous beaches were discovered.
History: Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. The European guests of the Travancore kingdom discovered the potentiality of Kovalam beach as a tourist destination in the 1930s. However, Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. That started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in the world.
Description: Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees. It is also known as paradise of South India. Kovalam is famous for the beaches, which attracts the rich and famous, who come here in private planes. Kovalam's sheltered natural bay is ringed by tow rocky headlands. It has four beaches Samudra Beach, Ashoka Beach, Eves Beach and Lighthouse beach all within short distance of each other, provide visitors with their fill of sun, sea and sand.
Kovalam Quick facts
Kovalam Geography and Climate
Being situated near the sea, weather Kovalam is very much influenced by the land and sea breezes. While the days are warmer the nights are generally cool. The summer temperature in Kovalam varies between twenty degrees centigrade and thirty degree centigrade. Where as during the winter season the minimum temperature is around eighteen degrees Celsius and the upper limits remains approximately thirty five degrees Celsius. The climate in Kovalam is much affected by the monsoon winds. The place receives heavy rainfall during the two monsoon months.
Best time to visit Kovalam
Summer is the best season to visit the place Kovalam where it comprises of usual beach activities such as strolling on the beaches, relaxing under the coconut palms, sunbathing and trying out tempting sea food delicacies.
Kovalam consists of two beaches (Light house beach and Hawah beach) separated from less populated beaches north and south by rocky head-lands. The town proper is at Kovalam Junction, about 1.5 km from the beaches.
Light house beach: This is where most of the cheaper hotels are located. It takes about five minutes to walk from one end of the beach to the other.
Hawah beach: It is just north (actually connected to) of Lighthouse Beach. There are several hotels along this beach. The north beach, Samudra, is not yet developed and only has cottages. The Ashok Resort is between the middle beach and the north beach. Kovalam village goes along the main road and has some small bookshops, a post office, and other shops.
Kovalam is a beach town on the Arabian Sea in Kerala, a state in South India. It is located around 16 km outside Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) City in the Thiruvananthapuram district.
Nearest Airport is Trivandrum (20 km) Indian Air Lines, Air India, Air Lanka, East West Airlines and Gulf Air operate direct service from Trivandrum to Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Goa, Bangalore, Cochin and Calicut in addition to international services to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Gulf countries and Singapore.
Onam festival: Celebrated for centuries, it is a festival of joy. Carnivals, Feasts, Dances, Fireworks, Music, Games and Parades give life to this fiesta. The occasion is the retreat of the monsoon and the advent of the New Year with the harvest. Natives believe that it is that time of the year when the mythical, legendary king Mahabali, visits his people once a year, after being banished from earth by Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It also coincides with the tourism week celebration (August/ September), every year.
Kerala, in earlier times, was ruled by the Dravidians. Hence, the influence of the race is very much apparent even today. Though the majority of people are Hindus in the state, there are considerable percentages of Christian and Muslim population as well. Till the time Israel was created, a significant number of Jews also resided in the state.
Kovalam Religious Places
Vizhinjam Mosque: Head down to the harbour at sunset for some spectacular shots of the area with the sea-side Mosque in the background. The atmosphere is quite lively with fisherman heading to and from the sea. Once the sun is down, it is probably best to head back to Kovalam unless you are with a guide. While hostility / violence to foreigners are very rare, you do not want to get caught up in a scuffle between the rivaling Christian and Muslim communities.
Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple: This ancient temple is the most dominating feature of Thiruvananthapuram. Over looking the Padma Theertham Tank, the temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu who is depicted reclining on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake from which the city derives its name. Exquisite stone carvings and pavilions are worth admiring. The temple is open only to Hindus and dress regulations are strictly enforced.
Vettukad Church: About 7 km from Thiruvananthapuram, The 'Madre De Deus' Church popularly known as the Vettukad Church attracts thousands of devotees from all religions. The annual celebration here is called the 'Feast Of Christ, The King'.
Padmanabhapuram Palace: Located at 54 km 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.
Kaudiar Palace: 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. Anchuthengu Fort: This colossal monument was once the trading station of the mighty British. The monument built in the 1800s stands in 17th century by British East India Company as an excellent example of sturdy and lasting forts constructed in the English style.
Koyikkal Palace: In1979 this Palace was declared as a protected monument and further in 1990 after carrying out restoration work, it was converted into a Folklore Museum and Numismatic Museum.
In this land of sun, sand and coconuts, water adventure sports draws people in hordes. The water adventure sports lovers can indulge in swimming, kayaking and host of others that is sure to give them an adrenaline rush. You can also try your hands at fishing on a sail boat.
The nightlife in Kovalam is very laid back, an the people drink and play back gammon until the wee hours, some restaurants and cafes offer music near the beach and in other cases video nights, there someone will be offered you charas, but cannabis is illegal in Kerala, and in all Country of India, the local police always arrest to foreigners for its possessions.
Kidding around Kovalam
Kovalam is a natural bay ideal for kayaking, swimming, surfing and skiing. One can swim in the shallow blue water and have a sunbath in the exotic tropical sun can adorn you with a good suntan. The coast at many places is lined with beautiful patches of coral reefs or you can crest the waves on logs of lashed woods on catamarans.
Shop till you drop at the various handicraft emporiums. Mementoes carved out of ivory, rosewood, sandalwood and flowing silks saris draws crowds in hordes.
Famous To Eat at Kovalam
Treat yourself to the delicious fish cuisines and sample the global gastronomic delights. As Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees. The food is also mostly we can get from the source of coconut and also banana like banana pan cakes, fish curries with coconut milk and all the mouth watering dishes of sea foods with vegetable sambal and some parrota not only indian but also with continental like Italian food including pizza, lasagna with cheese and tomato sauce and grilled egg plant with cheese.
Kovalam Museum and Hill Stations
Napier Museum: The museum contains a fine collection of Kerala's bronzes, ornaments and costumes, and a model of 'Tharawad' - the traditional Nair family home.
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum: Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, a classic specimen of Kerala Architecture is situated in 'Kuthiramalika'. The palace, with its excellent carvings and amazing architectural designs, is by itself a slice of heritage. The museum has a wide range of exhibits representing the erstwhile state of Travancore.
Science & Technology Museum: The Science and Technology Museum, situated in Thiruvananthapuram was established with the prime objective of setting up of galleries with working, animated or participatory type of exhibits, on all disciplines of Science and Technology.
Gardens and Parks at Kovalam
Public Park: Truly a representative of the clean and verdant aspect of the city, the Public Park houses many important institutions, like the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. The Observatory hill is also located in the Public Park.
Lake at Kovalam
The lakes closer to the Kovalam are large lakes of Paravur (65 km from Kovalam) are also close to Varkala and are hidden away.
As Kovalam is place of beaches it would be more helpful if we carry swim-gaurds and some lotions for sun bath.
Kovalam Tourist Offices
Aries Travel, with an office in Kovalam and Thiruvananthapuram, is an established travel agency
Western Travels (481-334; fax 481-429), next to the bus stand, sells plane tickets, confirms plane reservations, and arranges train and bus tickets. They hire out taxis and send and receive faxes. They book sight-seeing tours to Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari
Visit India (481-069), Lighthouse Road, is a good travel agency
Kovalam junction. There are three ATMs here which accept all the major cards. They are open 24 hours a day and protected by security guards
There is an ATM just inside a hotel driveway just a short distance (10 min walk) from Hawa beach toward Kovalam Junction. This ATM only accepts Visa cards but is often out of money as it is closest
There are money changers on the shore line on lighthouse beach but these charge 3% to get money
Not to do at Kovalam
Swimming in the ocean here can be dangerous and many people drown. The lifeguards mark different areas of the sea