If you are going to Kerala and do not have Kovalam on your itinerary, you do not know what you are missing. Kovalam has everything that a tourist can ask for and much more. There is the sun, silver sands, calm blue waters and coconut groves which look as if they were created only for you.
One of the most popular beaches of Kerala - in fact, it has been a pleasure haunt of foreigners since the 1930s - Kovalam and its three adjacent beaches provide the ideal locale for sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, catamaran cruises and even special cultural programmes. A massive rock formation on the beach has created an almost secluded and calm bay, which is perfect for swimming and bathing in the sea. The Kovalam beach resort also doubles up as an Ayurvedic, Yoga and health centre, where you can avail of rejuvenating massages and learn meditation from experts.
The most popular of Kovalam's three beaches is the Lighthouse or southern beach. From the beach you can see the Vizhinzam mosque. Unfortunately, the fantastic sight cannot be photographed because of government restrictions. So, look long and hard to etch the sight in your memory. The middle beach, aptly named Hawah, is used by the local fisherfolk to go out every morning to the sea for their daily catch. The last and the northern beach is Samudra or the sea and is hardly affected by the weather. The number of wooden boats on the beach signals the fact that this spot too is also used as a base by the fishermen. Whichever the beach you are on, take care to use protective lotions for your skin since the sun can give you a tan in a few minutes.
After a day in the sun and water, venture out to explore the handicrafts and jewellery stored along the waterfront. Or better still, have a meal at the beach restaurants which specialize in lobsters and fresh catch of the day. You could also take in a Kathakali dance performance on the beach. Kovalam can also be used as a take-off point for one of the famed backwater cruises Kerala is so well-known for. Some hotels offer houseboats, country boats and catamarans for tourists at down-to-earth prices.
Reaching Kovalam: The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is barely 10 km from the Kovalam beaches and the Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station is 16 km away. You can make your base in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's state capital, and go to Kovalam for a day of fun on the sands and the blue waters. But if you are on holiday it is infinitely better to stay at one of the beach hotels in Kovalam and visit the capital city once in a while.
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