Known as the paradise of the South, Kovalam is a small hamlet in the city of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. Located 16 kms from the city centre, Kovalam is renowned for its spectacular beaches. Kovalam was actually realised as a tourist destination by the European guests of the Travancore Maharaja. But it came into limelight as an international tourist beach during the Hippy era when lots of Hippies from the west thronged the Kovalam beach before proceeding to Sri Lanka.
Kovalam is in fact a cluster of three beaches. Headlands of rocks divide its 17 kms coastline into three beaches. The beach that is most visited by tourists is the “Light House Beach” located at the southern tip of Kovalam. It receives the name from the light house on the rocky headland of Vizhinjham and is the largest of all three beaches. The next one is called the Hawa Beach and is known for its tranquillity especially during the nights, which is worth every penny. It was once renowned for topless women tourists and was the first topless beach in India. Today being topless is banned on the beaches except in private areas or in resorts. During the early hours of the day one can get to see the fisherman setting out into the seas for fishing. The third beach is known as the Samudra Beach. This beach is not a big hit with the tourists and is mostly used by fishermen for their fishing and allied activities.
Kovalam is also reputed for medical tourism as most tourists also visit Kovalam for Ayurvedic treatment and massages to rejuvenate the body. A large number of beach resorts attract visitors to Kovalam for the sheer experience of nature at its exquisite best. Kovalam is also famous for Catamaran cruising, surfing, sun bathing and special ethnic social programmes organised on the beach.
The average maximum temperature will be around 34°C and the average minimum temperature will be around 21°C. Rainy season starts in June and continues till September which is followed by the receding monsoon rains. Ideally it is better to visit Kovalam during the months between September to May.
How to Reach
Kovalam beach is just 10 ms away from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. The Airport is well linked by air with all major cities of the Gulf countries, Singapore, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station is at a distance of 16 kms from Kovalam and well connected by local buses, Taxis etc. By Road Kovalam is at a distance of 16 kms from Thiruvananthapuram city centre. Thiruvananthapuram being the capital of Kerala is well connected with all major cities in and out of Kerala.
Other Places of Interest
Other places that can be of interest on a visit to Kovalam are Sanghumukham Beach, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Neyyar Dam, Napier museum and Zoo, Ponmudi, Poovar, Varkala Cliffs Agasthyarkoodam Peak, Kuthira Malika palace, Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple and much more. In the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu you can visit places like Kanyakumari, Thiruvattar, Padmanabhapuram Palace and Tirpparappu waterfalls which are very near from Kovalam.