Photo Credit : wikipedia
KOVALAM – KERALA
Kovalam is a beach town on the Arabian Sea located around 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram city, Kerala. It is also known as the paradise of the south. The name means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. This place has got has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings in its 17 km coastline, the three together form the famous crescent of this beach.
Internationally acclaimed, this seaside destination comprises three adjacent crescent-shaped beaches. Golden sands, miles of shimmering sea, rocky promontories constantly caressed by the sensuous surf and a brilliant sunshine warming the very souls, make this place truly sensational. A charming village in its yesteryear, today this place has all the trappings of a popular beach destination. Lined with shops, restaurants, Ayurvedic centers and accommodation options to suit all budgets, the place has the unmistakable ambiance of a resort.
Main Tourist Attractions
- Lighthouse Beach:
The southernmost beach, the Lighthouse Beach is the one most frequented by tourists and it is the larger of the beaches in that area The main attraction is 35 metre high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. Lighthouse Beach got its name due to the old Vizhinjam Lighthouse located on a rocky promontory here. Its intermittent beams at night render the beach with an unearthly charm.
- Hawah Beach:
Eve’s Beach, more commonly known as Hawa Beach, ranks second, 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.
- Samudra Beach:
A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn’t have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part. Since then, Kovalam has been the single major attraction for tourists for many years until other places began to be explored in terms of tourism potential. It is also the first place in Kerala to be featured on the International tourism map in a big way.
Situated 10 km from Thiruvananthapuram city , This serene backwater stretch, enroute to Kovalam, is famous for its canoe rides, kayaking and cruises in kettuvalloms. The Boat Club here organises tours to the nearby islands of Pozhikara and Edayar as well as visits to coir manufacturing units.
- Poovar Beach:
Situated 12 km south of Kovalam, An isolated but spectacular beach, Poovar Beach is situated close to the Neyyar River estuary. A trading port in its early days, it is today an important tourist destination.
- Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum:
Kuthiramalika was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma – 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 has exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family and is located near the Padmanabha Swamy Temple.
Open 08.30 – 1300 hrs, 15.00 – 17.30 hrs. Closed on Mondays
- Adults: Rs. 10.00
- Children: Rs. 3.00
- Foreigners: Rs. 20.00
Camera permit (outside): Rs. 15 , Video: Rs. 500.
- The Napier Museum:
Built in the 19th century, this Indo-Saracenic structure boasts of 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. The Javanese shadow play leather figures, used to depict the epics of Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are very interesting. (Open 1000 – 1645 hrs. Closed on Mondays, Wednesday forenoons, January 26th, August 15th, Thiruonam and Mahanavami)
- Parasurama Temple, Thiruvallam:
(7 km from Thiruvananthapuram) This 2000-year-old temple on the banks of the River Karamana, is the only one in Kerala dedicated to Sree Parasurama, the mythological creator of the State. This temple is a venue for ancestor worship. As part of the Bali ritual, devotees make offerings to the souls of the departed, after taking a dip in the holy water.
- The Great Kovalam Poets:
Ancient Kovalam poets Ayyippilla Asan and Ayyanappilla Asan 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 AD. The monument is protected by the Kerala Government Archaeological Department.
A fishing village 2 km south of Kovalam, the Vizhinjam harbour is a natural port and one of the busiest fishing harbours in the district.
- Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple:
There are rock-cut sculptures of the 18th century in the cave temple at Vizhinjam. The granite cave here encloses a one-celled shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave depicts half-complete reliefs of the Hindu God Siva with Goddess Parvathi. Open 0900 – 1800 hrs. Closed on Mondays
- Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium:
Located near Theatre Junction, the aquarium which houses a rich treasure of marine wealth has perfected the Image Pearl production technique, by which a mould of any shape made of shell cement is implanted into the pearl oyster. In 2-3 months a pearl in the shape of the mould will be ready. (Open 0900 – 1800 hrs)
- Adults: Rs.20
- Children: Rs.10.
Contact Ph: 2480224
- Chowara Beach:
This fishing hamlet near to Kovalam has many picturesque spots. The Chowara Ayyappa Temple atop a hill overlooks the beach and offers an amazing view of the beach below. Chowara is also home to the ancient Analothbhava Matha Church. The Azhimalathara Beach here is identified as the only place where the sea recedes from the coast and does not eat into the beach during the monsoon.
- Kalakeli Kathakali Troup (All cultural programmes), Kovalam
- Smrithi, The Fusion of Dance and Music, Rajeev Gandhi Centre, Venganoor