Welcome to Kovalam: Blog the Beach
It is in human nature, while thinking of any beach, he automatically thinks of palm trees groves all around. His mind sticks to the exotic life, golden sand and abundance of coconut and sea foods.
In December, both Indians and foreign backpackers plan their epic journey to beaches of Goa, Magnetic Island of Australia and the beaches of Florida. But have you ever imaged lying in sand, having herbal body toning massage, seeing shallow waters and low tide waves? How about modern village equipped with shopping, expensive restaurants and most important 3 adjacent crescent beaches?
You can explore all such questions in the village – Welcome to Kovalam – Kerala’s unique and legendary spot.
History of Kovalam village:
Kovalam has pristine and internationally known beaches which were first brought in eyes of people by Queen of Travancore in early 1930s. From there the transforming of Kovalam begins.
While hitch-hiking Kovalam, you will notice that if you were there few decades ago, then you would have experienced a totally different Kovalam. It was completely a fishing village with tropical beaches, offering village style local seafood, fruits and place to stay.
But After 1970s, Kovalam Shot into limelight and today, this place is crowded with developed beachside having lots of hotels, shops, restaurants and resorts have being formed there. This all could happen due to increase in footprints of outsides in Kovalam. Now this place is internationally known.
Beaches are my one of the favorite destinations, they are quite interesting one. So I was off there to explore its beaches:
Welcome to Kovalam: Buzz
The main 3 beaches which are lined together along the coastal line of 1 Km are Lighthouse beach (Kovalam beach), Hawa beach and Samudra beach. Out of these beaches, the Lighthouse beach attracts the most. With its white sand, mesmerizing sunset, clean beach, low tidal waves and hippie culture, it is the favorite place for outsiders to trot.
The rhythmic tones of waves along with cold breeze of Arabian sea offers a lot of activities. You will see people surfing, sunbathing, swimming, yoga and Ayurvedic massage at Lighthouse beach. Another thing is shopping; handmade collectable products representing Indian culture and tradition attracts everyone.
The best time to visit Kovalam is between October to January.
Don’t miss Vizhinjam Lighthouse
You cannot miss the Vizhinjam Lighthouse – the most important feature of Lighthouse beach. Take a leisure walk along the beachside, at the southern most end of the beach you will find Vizhinjam. A 30m tall lighthouse standing still at the beach end offers a wonderful panoramic view of Kovalam. Covered with greenish palm trees, can be considered to be a perfect paradise for photographers. You have to pitch up 150 steps to reach at the top.
It is hard to share the panoramic art scene of nature from the top of lighthouse in just few words. So through the series of photos I’m going to show you the artistic essence of nature.
It was my first experience to observe the activity of fishermen. How perfectly the fishermen were coordinating while hauling their nets. They were shouting ‘haaiiii, zor laga ke haaiishaa, saath me haaiii’, meaning ‘let’s make it possible, together’. This is an energy booster thought to do such a vigorous job. You may be asked to give a helping hand to pull those nets, as I did. It was a fun for me but for them it was their living.
After the nets were out, the main chaos starts. Which fish and how much will come in whose quota. There all the coordination comes to an end. They fight like hell. It was worth watching which I could not find in city life. Happy!!
Things to eat
Since Kovalam is developing at faster rate so finding a restaurant or any accommodation is easy. Move around the beach and you will find many good restaurants and bars. They serve varieties of food; vegetarian and non vegetarian. You could also easily found coconut water (energy booster in hot temperature).
Lots of restaurants serves tasty Kerala’s traditional Idly/vada with chutney and sambhar, Masala dosa, pizza etc and for non vegetarian we can have tasty fish tacos, crabs, prawn etc in sea food, tasty chicken sausages, boiled eggs and omlet. We could find many open bars-restaurants as well.
Cruising in Poovar backwater:
Other activity that you can do in Kovalam is cruising in Poovar backwater which is very close to beaches. It offers the scenic view of mangroves forest, bird watching, mesmerizing environment of backwater, floating restaurants offering expensive dishes!! There is Poovar beach and you can experience one of the best sunset of your life.
To know more about poovar lake and backwaters visit my blog on backwaters of Kerala.
Precious and richest Padmanabh Swamy Temple:
Once you’ll get over with the beaches, I would suggest to head towards the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple located in Trivandrum (15-20 km from Kovalam). The specialty of this temple is that it is the richest temple in India. There are hidden huge gates which are totally out of the people’s reach. Within those gates tones of gold and other precious stones (worth billions dollars) are present. These gates are permanently closed by government of India.
History of Trivandrum: While listening to the history told by my cab driver, I got to know that the Trivandrum (once Thiruvananthapuram) means “The land of Shree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy”. So this temple belongs to Lord Vishnu (Hindu’s God). In India no photography is allowed in temples.
To enter the temple, there are proper dress codes which everybody had to follow. For men there is white lungi and with bare chest and for women there is either sari or long ankle length skirt and full sleeve top is also available. Dresses are also available for rent.
Temple timing is between 3:30 AM to 7:20 PM. Entry ticket is Rs. 150/-
What I say….
Having an Ayurvedic massage, taking blessings from Lord Vishnu’s Avatar (Shri Padmanabhamswami) and exploring every corner and every angle of Kovalam Lighhouse beach. I would say that Kovalam is perfect destination to visit in December-January. The temperature is not too much high and possibility of rain is always there which makes it more wonderful.
Despit of the fact that this beach is crowded with outsiders and it is quite difficult to find a quite place, you can learn a lot from its blend of cultures.
Looking a quick escape to Kerala (especially Kovalam) this December – January? Need some help in planning your itinerary?