Along the 600 kilometre length of the Kerala coast, there are many sandy beaches, rocky promontories and coconut palms. The fishing village of Kovalam lies 10 kilometres south of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Kovalam is the only beach resort of Kerala, and is very popular with the Indian as well as international tourists.
Industry is relatively small scale in this area and the prices low. The beach is just a few minutes walk from the village. Kovalam consists of three successive small crescent beaches; the southern most known as Lighthouse Beach, is where most of the visitors spend their time. The beach is bordered with low cost lodging houses, and restaurants which offer adequate facilities, at affordable tariffs - ideal for a long stay.
The light house on the promontory at the southern end of the beach, offers a spectacular view across to the Vizhinjam mosque. Photography is prohibited here. The middle beach, overlooked from a rocky headland by the five star Ashok Radisson resort, functions each morning as a base for local fishers. North of Ashok, is the third beach which is very little affected by the changing times. It is dotted with a few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels.
Shopping is fun at Kovalam You can buy handicraft items and spices from Kovalam besides sunglasses. The statues made of teak wood and Rose wood is popular at Kovalam beach. There are numerous craft and carpet shops (usually of Tibetan, Kashmiri and Rajasthani origin), clothing stores and general stores, yoga schools and massage parlours lining the beach.
The tourist arrival starts at the end of September which lasts till the end of March. The peak season is between mid-December till mid- January. In winter the average temperature is 30 - 32 degree Celsius whereas the summer temperature is 30- 35 degree Celsius. The monsoon starts at the beginning of June, which lasts till the beginning of August. The second turn of monsoon starts at the end of October for the next two weeks.
The Great Kovalam Poets: Anceint Kovalam Poets Ayyippilla Assan and Ayyanappilla Assan were the authors of the Great Epics, Janakeeya Maha Kaviangal Ramakatha Pattu and Bharathampattu respectively. They lived in Kovalam, near the Light House Beach, Avaduthura in 1400 A.D. The monument isprotected by the Kerala Govt. Archaeological Department.
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave: Vizhinjam was earlier the capital of the Ay chieftains who rulled the southern parts of Kerala around the 8th century A.D. The granite cave here encloses a one celled shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinadhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave depicts half completed reliefs of the Hindu God Shiva with his wife and dancepartner Goddess Parvathi.
Thiruvallam: Thiruvallam is 6 kms from Kovalam. This place, en route to Thiruvananthapuram, is famous for backwater rides.
Pozhikkara Beach, Pachalloor: A serene and spectacular beach, where the backwater meets the sea, Pozhikkara is ideal for birdwatchers.
Marine Aquarium, Vizhinjam: It is 3 kms from Kovalam. The Marine Aquarium houses the world's rarest and most exotic species of invertebrates and fish. The hidden coral paradise has been displayed by recreating the habitat in its natural form.
Kovalam world famous beach
Ayurvedic Treatment - Kovalam
Attractions and Places to Visit in Kovalam
Catamaran cruises The Catamaran cruises, on the country raft is very popular here. Very recently an innovative tour operating company of Trivandrum has introduced a new package for marine Angling for deep-sea fishing. This new project is concentrated near Vizhinjam fishing harbor, just 4 km away east of Kovalam beach. Surfboards and boogie boards can also be hired on the beach. The Kovalam Beach : Picturesque beaches, coconut fringes, the anglers' community, all sorts of fruits, palm beer, a large multitude of tourists swarming the sandy seashore, the lighthouse-all these are epithets that signify Kovalam, the exotic beach situated in the southern state of Kerala, popularly known as God's own country.
The coconut fringes, palm beer, seafood and the refreshing Ayurvedic massage, a relaxing sunbath and suntan facility of the beach are some of the reasons of tourist attraction. The beach also has some entertainment facilities like swimming, yogic exercises, fresh seafood and diving in the Arabian Sea.
Ayurvedic Massage : The Ayurvedic massage of Kovalam is very famous. At Kovalam many hotels and resorts offers the Ayurvedic massage and treatment. Yoga (Indian way of meditation) centers are also plenty in Kovalam. Some theatres perform the traditional Kerala art form, Kathakali and ethnic martial art, Kalarippayattu.
Private Beaches Among innumerable beach holiday resorts Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort, Surya Samudra Beach Garden, Somatheeram, Niki's Nest, Cocunut Bay Beach Resort, Uday Samudra Beach Resort, Hotel Samudra etc own private beaches famous for their cleanliness and secluded location. Most of these private beaches are located near Vizhinjam at least 8 km far from Kovalam
Akkulam Tourist Village Open 1000 - 1700 hrs This picnic spot with boating facilities, is a place children flock to. It has a well-equipped children's park and a paddle pool. There is a swimming pool for adults too.
Chacha Nehru Children's Museum Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays Children of all age groups will enjoy the vast collection of nearly 2000 dolls, stamps and masks displayed here.
CVN Kalari Sangham near the East Forti was established in 1956 for the revival of Klarippayatt, the traditional martial art form of Kerala. Training sessions and exercises in Kalarippayatt, Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment etc. are available at the centre.
Hawah Beach The middle beach at Kovalam the Hawah beach, is north of the Lighthouse. Surrounded by a bay of tall swaying palms and silvery sand it's picturesque. Tip: If you go swimming here, exercise caution as the sea is a little rough in these parts.
Lighthouse Beach A blue and white lighthouse at the southern end of Kovalam Beach gives the beach its name. The most crowded of all the local beaches, but worth a visit to explore the lighthouse open daily between 2 - 4 pm offers a picture-perfect view of high waves lashing the seashore.
Kanakakunnu Palace and its sprawling grounds are now used as the venue for many cultural meets and programs.
Kerala Legislature Complex Located at Palayam, this is the new building where the Legislative Assembly of Kerala meets. With its towering dome, exquisitely carved galleries, ornate teak panelling and ceiling, combined with the most modern acoustic treatment and state-of-the-art sound systems, the hall is a beautiful blend of classical grandeur and modernity.
Kowdiar Palace At the time of writing little information is available on this other than the fact that it exists. If you know anything about it and would like to share the information with other travellers, please write to us with said details.
Kuthirarnalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum Open 0830 - 1230 hrs and 1530 - 1730 hrs. Closed on Mondays. The Palace was built by the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style of architecture also has exquisite woodcarvings and displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family. It is located near the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple.
Lord Ganapathy Temple is one of the most popular shrines in the city near Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple at the East Fort.
Napier Museum (Museum Complex) Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays and Wednesday mornings Built in the 19th century, the Indo - Saracenic structure boasts a "natural" air conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. Interestingly the use of plastic is banned in the museum premises.
Observatory This was established over a hundred years ago and is a great place to visit especially if travelling with children. Located at the highest point in the city, near the Museum Complex 60 meters above sea level, one can get a good bird's eye view of the city from here.
Puthe Maliga Palace Museum is housed in wings of the 200-year-old palace of the Maharaja of Travancore. Notable for its Keralan architecture, the palace took 5000 workers four years to complete. Many of the exhibits reflect the spice trade with China and Europe.
Rockholm Beach Another stretch of beach along the same axis as Lighthouse Beach, is accessible by walking southwards from Lighthouse Beach over the headland on which the lighthouse stands. Swimming is possible.
Samudra Beach The secluded Samudra beach is to the north of Kovalam has clear waters and a wonderful view of distant fishing boats. The awesome waves here can rise more than 20 ft high and are a pleasure to watch in the evenings or you can try your hand (or is it feet?) at surfing them, if brave enough. Science and Technology Museum Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays. The exhibits here are related to science, technology and electronics.
Shankhumugham Beach Just 8 km from the city , this is a favourite haunt for sunset watchers and is located adjacent to the Trivandrum Airport and Veli Tourist Village . The area boasts lovely temples and the beach itself has an indoor recreation club, the 'matsya kanyaka' (a gigantic, 35m long sculpture of a mermaid ) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the attractions here. For kids, the Chacha Nehru Traffic Training Park here provides opportunity for children to learn traffic rules.
Sri Chithra Art Gallery or ( Sri Chitra Art Gallery ) Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday mornings is located near the Napier Museum, and displays select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India . The collection also includes paintings from China , Japan , Tibet and Bali
How to Reach Kovalam
Air : Nearest airport at Trivandrum 16 kms.
Rail : Nearest railhead at Trivandrum.
Road : Well linked to all the major destinations of South India.