Each year when it’s almost summertime, what do we start thinking about? Summer holidays of course! And what could be better than holidaying at a beach town in summer?
One of the most popular travel destinations in India is the beach town of Kovalam in Kerala lapped by the warm waters of the Arabian Sea, barely 16 kms from the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram.
Here’s our pick of the top places to visit in Kovalam and its surroundings.
Kovalam Beach: The No. 1 Kovalam tourist place is its world famous Kovalam Beach. This 17-km stretch lined with coconut groves actually comprises three, picturesque, crescent-shaped beaches separated by rocky outcrops. All three – Lighthouse Beach which is the southernmost, Samudra Beach in the north, and Hawa or Eve’s Beach sandwiched between the other two – have shallow, tranquil waters and are great for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
Lighthouse Beach is the most popular section along Kovalam Beach mainly because of its string of curio shops, restaurants, and parlours offering rejuvenating massages, and of course the iconic lighthouse after which it is named. Our award-winning budget hotel in Kovalam – Vedanta Wake up! by Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam is just a short stroll away.
The Vizhinjam Lighthouse: Soaring 35 metres into the sky, perched atop the Kurumkal hillock at the southern end of Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam is this pretty red and white striped lighthouse. Climbing 142 steps up a spiralling staircase to the observation platform would give you fabulous views of Poovar Beach and the Beemapalli Mosque.
Vizhinjam Village: The main attractions of this picturesque fishing harbour around 3 kms south of Kovalam Beach are the Marine Aquarium and the 18th century Vizhinjam Rock Cave Temple, a small, single-cell Hindu shrine cut into a granite rock.
The Puthe Maliga Palace Museum:
Located a short drive away in nearby Thiruvananthapuram, the museum was once the royal residence of the Maharajas of Travancore. It now houses exquisite paintings, marble sculptures, and other royal artefacts, and is famous for the annual classical musical festival held around January or February.
Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple: Also located in Thiruvananthapuram, the 260-year old temple has a towering, seven-tiered gopuram at its entrance, and a statue of the deity Padmanabha reclining on a serpent inside the inner sanctum.
The Zoological Gardens of Thiruvananthapuram: Yann Martel is said to have created the animal characters in his famous novel “The Life of Pi” on the ones he observed in this lush zoo. While you’re here, you could also visit the Napier Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Chitra Art Gallery, all of which are located in the surrounding park.
Padmanabhapuram Palace: Located around 53 kms away, close to Kanyakumari, the southern tip of the sub-continent, it is believed to be Asia’s largest wooden palace. The Padmanabhapuram Palace is renowned for its superb murals from the 17th and 18th centuries, and intricate rosewood carvings.
So here’s hoping you’ll soon be raising a toast to refreshing sea breezes and sunny days in Kovalam with other backpackers and tourists from the world over. We look forward to showing you why the Kovalam tourist places and the fabulous beach make this seaside town one of the most popular travel destinations in India.