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Kovalam - Paradise of the South

STATE - KERALA
   
DISTANCE - 16 Kms From Trivandrum

 
CONNECTION

AIR : The closest airport near Kovalam is Trivandrum International Airport at a distance of 14km. Several International Airlines ply their flights to and from here. Indian Airlines and Jet airways are the main operating domestic flights. There are direct flights to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. Kovalam beach is comfortably reachable by air.
 
RAIL : Trivandrum Central Railway Station is the best accessible railway station from Kovalam beach. It links Kovalam beach to all the important cities of India.

ROAD : Kovalam can be conveniently accessed by direct and regular buses from Thiruvananthapuram. Buses also connect the place from Ernakulam, Kanyakumari and Periyar wildlife sanctuary. At Kovalam, the main bus stop is at the entrance of the Ashoka hotel.

ABOUT KOVALAM

Literally meaning “a grove of coconut trees”, Kovalam is barely 10 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Three small beaches comprise the town of Kovalam. Among them, the southernmost beach, Lighthouse Beach, is the most visited one. Once, this beach was an angler’s ecstasy. It still is home to some small villages, just a few kilometers away, which belong to the fishing neighborhood. With time, it has been converted into a happening tourist spot. The typical Kerala massage-providing sessions of rejuvenation are available at the parlors sited a few kilometers away along the beaches. This is an ideal place for a sunbath. Tourists can also experience the typical Kerala massage a few kilometers away along the beaches. Marine activities are also possible here.The local fishermen provide sunrise and sunset cruises in fishing boats. The Catamaran cruises, on the country raft is very popular here.

The Kovalam beach is probably the finest among all tourist attractions in Kovalam with its coconut fringes, palm beer, seafood and the revitalizing Ayurvedic massages that are available at the adjacent parlors.

Furthermore, the comforting sunbath and suntan facilities at the beach are some of the major tourist attractions. Swimming, yogic exercises, fresh seafood and diving in the Arabian Sea are among some of the other entertainment facilities at the beach.

PLACES OF INTERESTS IN KOVALAM

Hawwah Beach : The second largest one is Hawah Beach named thus for the topless European women who used to throng there. It was the first topless beach in India.

Light House Beach : Kovalam has three crescent shaped beaches separated by rocky outcroppings. Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of metres are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer all kinds of goods and services.The larger of the beaches is called Light House Beach for its 35 metre high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock.

Samudra Beach : Samudra Beach in tourism parlance. 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. The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and thorazite.

Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave : The place is important for both its historical and religious significance. It is famous for the beautiful sculptures. There is a granite temple inside the cave. On the outer walls mythological stories on the life of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are carved.

Pozhikkara Beach : This is another picturesque beach near Kovalam. The serene and calm atmosphere draws many people to this place every year. It is famous for the various beautiful sea birds that visit this place. Thus this beach in Pachalloor is also considered to be a birdwatchers' paradise.

Thiruvallam : In this place near Kovalam you can enjoy the Kerala backwaters. There are facilities for cruising in the water while you enjoy the surrounding greenery. The Parashuram temple in this region also attracts many pilgrims every year.

Kaudiar Palace : This magnificent old structure was the home to the late Maharaja Sree Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma. This grand palace is admired mainly for its architectural splendor.

RELIGIOUS PLACES IN KOAVLAM

Vizhinjam Mosque: Head down to the harbour at sunset for some spectacular shots of the area with the sea-side Mosque in the background. The atmosphere is quite lively with fisherman heading to and from the sea. Once the sun is down, it is probably best to head back to Kovalam unless you are with a guide. While hostility / violence to foreigners are very rare, you do not want to get caught up in a scuffle between the rivaling Christian and Muslim communities.

Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple: This ancient temple is the most dominating feature of Thiruvananthapuram. Over looking the Padma Theertham Tank, the temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu who is depicted reclining on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake from which the city derives its name. Exquisite stone carvings and pavilions are worth admiring. The temple is open only to Hindus and dress regulations are strictly enforced.

Vettukad Church: About 7 km from Thiruvananthapuram, The 'Madre De Deus' Church popularly known as the Vettukad Church attracts thousands of devotees from all religions. The annual celebration here is called the 'Feast Of Christ, The King'.

KOVALAM MONUMENTS

Padmanabhapuram Palace: Located at 54 km from Thiruvananthapuram across the border in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari district, the palace nestles at the foot of the Veli hills. Built during the 14th century it was called Darpakulangara, but later in the 18th century it was renovated and renamed as the Padmanabhapuram palace.

Kaudiar Palace: This palace is the home of the late Maharaja Sree Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma and his family. The view of the grand old building from the gate is excellent, but unfortunately it is off limits to the public. Anchuthengu Fort: This colossal monument was once the trading station of the mighty British. The monument built in the 1800s stands in 17th century by British East India Company as an excellent example of sturdy and lasting forts constructed in the English style.

Koyikkal Palace: In1979 this Palace was declared as a protected monument and further in 1990 after carrying out restoration work, it was converted into a Folklore Museum and Numismatic Museum.

WHEN TO GO

Summer is the best season to visit the place Kovalam where it comprises of usual beach activities such as strolling on the beaches, relaxing under the coconut palms, sunbathing and trying out tempting sea food delicacies.

WEATHER

Kovalam has a tropical dry climate. Summers (March to May) are hot and the temperature varies from a minimum of 21°C to a maximum of 33°C. Winters (December to January) are pleasant and have moderate temperature varying from 18°C to 33°C. Monsoons (June to August) are accompanied by thunderstorms and abundant rain falls.

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS

Onam Festival : Celebrated for centuries, it is a festival of joy. Carnivals, Feasts, Dances, Fireworks, Music, Games and Parades give life to this fiesta. The occasion is the retreat of the monsoon and the advent of the New Year with the harvest. Natives believe that it is that time of the year when the mythical, legendary king Mahabali, visits his people once a year, after being banished from earth by Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It also coincides with the tourism week celebration (August/ September), every year.

FOODS & RESTURANTS

Beatles : A famous restaurant in Kovalam in Kerala it offers great music along with exotic food. Live music creates a different ambience just on the beach side.

Coral Reef Café : If you wish to enjoy the crimson rays of sunset along with your food then head straight to the Coral Reef Café.

Fusion : Colorful interiors, exotic food and an excellent scenic beauty makes Fusion one of the best places in Kovalam.

Coconut Grove : One of the most popular restaurants, the Coconut Grove provides lip smacking delicacies to the tourists.



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