Kovalam is a globally popular beach destination, just 16 km away from Thiruvananthapuram the capital city of Kerala. The word Kovalam originated from the regional language Malayalam literally means a “grove of coconut trees”. And true to its name this popular tourist destination offers limitless view of the lush green coconut trees. The three beaches (Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach & Samudra Beach) divided by the rocky shores in its 17 km coastline; jointly form the popular crescent of the Kovalam beach.
Lighthouse Beach: This southernmost beach received its name because of the location of the old Vizhinjam lighthouse on a rocky promontory and is undeniably one of the most visited by travellers.
Hawah Beach: Eve’s Beach, rather popularly known as Hawa Beach offers a picturesque view of the calm waters especially on moonlit nights.
Samudra Beach: Separated from the southern side by a large promontory Samudra Beach doesn’t have too much tourist flow; rather the local fishermen do their business on this part of Kovalam.
Kovalam was an unexplored beach in the past; it first captured attention when the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore constructed her beach resort, Halcyon Castle towards the end of 1920s. Thereafter the Maharaja of Travancore brought this place to the public’s eye. European guests of the then Travancore kingdom who visited this secluded beauty discovered its true potentiality as a tourist destination in the 1930s. However, it was in 1970’s when this beach destination shot into limelight and experienced a real boost in the tourism sector with the arrival of hippies on their way to Ceylon in the Hippie Trail. Soon after, this small fishing village of Kerala was transformed in to one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India.
Eating out in Kovalam is mainly confined to an array of good restaurant shacks lined on the beach. These beach side restaurants serve a wide variety of food including the local cuisine, hot snacks and tempting sea food.
Kovalam is also a shopaholic’s destination with a wide array of beautiful shops and shacks that offer a plethora of beautiful souvenirs such as handicrafts, elegant statues, exquisite sculptures, carpets, ethnic apparels, seashell products and even fresh spices.
Tourism in Kovalam is not just restricted to sightseeing & swimming, but there are many adventurous beach sports to try out like water diving, parasailing, wind surfing and much more. Kovalam offers its visitors numerous leisure activities including sunbathing, swimming, Kerala’s unique ayurveda massages, yoga, cultural programs, catamaran cruising etc. The Vizhinjam sea port around 3 kms away is known for its unusual varieties of marine life, age-old temples, churches and mosques. Kovalam is also ideal for honeymooners and is considered to be one of the best honeymoon destinations in Gods Own Country.
Even today, Kovalam continues to be an ultimate tourist destination to enjoy sun, sea and sand in this ‘Paradise of South India’.