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. Today Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach
hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly
the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a ravishing look. The
palm-fringed bays in secluded coconut groves, promises a relaxed
stay. The boundless blue waters of Arabian sea and miles of the
white sands washed away by the surfs at the feet of the stalwart
palms and the rocky promontories makes Kovalam a beach paradise.
The tourism industry is relatively in its infancy in this small
town but but it promises one of the world's best beach resorts.
The crescent shaped beaches of Kovalam can be divided in three parts.
Southern most beach is known as the Lighthouse Beach. This
beach has been attracting most tourists and they spend most of their
time here. Further south on the beach one can have a spectacular
view of the Vizhinzam mosque. Photography is prohibited here.
The middle beach is called Hawah. Each morning this beach
acts as a base for the local fisherman. The northern most beach,
Samudra, is least affected of all by the changing times.
It is dotted with few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels. In the
evening the quite atmosphere of the place is broken down by the
performance of Kathakali, the classical dance-drama of Kerala.
This mellow Keralan coastal village was once a picturesque settlement
built next to two palm-fringed coves enclosed by rocky headlands,
but development has been almost unplanned.
There's a plethora of places to stay, ranging from cheap concrete
boxes to up-market resorts, and a large number of under-equipped
restaurants catering to standard Asian traveler's menus. Many of
the badly maintained hotels and restaurants were ugly even before
they started to fall apart and the amount of garbage piled up behind
the beach is a complete disgrace. The effects of a large influx
of 'independent' travelers on an unprepared environment are clear
Kovalam is developing not only as a beach resort but is fast developing
as a Yoga and health center. One can have Ayurvedic massages
and oil baths or learn the intricacies and dynamics of Yoga and
meditation taught by experts.
Warning: Be careful about the unpredictable rip currents
and an often strong undertow while swimming. Though the life guards
were introduced, deaths due to drowning do occur. Keep a close eye
on the children and do not ignore the safety flags.
How to reach?
The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram. Taxis, auto rickshaws
and buses run regularly between Thiruvananthapuram and Kovalam.
Buses also link the place from Ernakulam, Kanyakumari and Periyar
wildlife sanctuary. Thriuvananthapuram Airport and Railway head
serves the requirements of Kovalam.
- The Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort (0471-480101)
- KTDC Hotel Samudra (0471-480089)
- Hotel Sea Face (0471-418835)
- Swagath Holiday Resorts (0471-481148)
- Hotel Park Lane (0471-480058)
- Moonlight Tourist Home (0471-480375)
- Hotel Thushara (0471-480692)
- Hotel Neptune (0471-480222)
- Hotel Sea Rock (0471-480422)