Kovalam is also one of the oldest tourist enclaves in India, which known among tourist circuit right in 1930s. Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. That started the transformation of a traditional fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India- the Kovalam beach.
Kovalam has four crescent shaped beaches separated by rocky outcroppings, the southern most Lighthouse Beach, the second largest Hawa Beach (Eve's Beach),The Grove Beach and The northern most Samudra Beach. Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of meters are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer all kinds of goods and services.
Kerala as referred as God's own country,is rich with its cultural diversity. From mind blowing dance forms like Kathakali to Kalaripayattu, believed to the mother of all other martial arts in the world, to Ayurveda, the 5000 year old time tested way of living, every cultural tradition of Kerala is observed with as much enthusiasm as it is practiced.
Kerala's unique culture is derived from ancient Tamil-Dravidian practices combined with Arya-Indian culture, with influences from China, Japan, Arab, Portugal, Holland and British , all came either as traders or invaders and left their imprint on God's Own Country.
Being the most literate state in India, Kerala has a fair number of its people are conversant in English, Hindi, Tamil etc.,and the local language is Malayalam.
Kovalam, being very close to equator, has a tropical climate.
The temperature averages around:
Kerala experiences mild winds throughout most of the year
Kovalam is 15 Kms away from Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, is well connected by Air, Water and Land. It is fairly easy for tourist travel. Private taxis too can be easily arranged for.
The Hawa beach is the most popular beach, which is also called the Eve's Beach is one of the tourists' attractions that is not to be missed by anyone. The beach have steep palm covered headlands. The Hawa beach and the Light house beach are separated from each other by the Edakallu foreland. The sunset in its entire splendor can be viewed from this headland.
In the extreme south of Kovalam is the magnificent Lighthouse Beach. The name comes from the towering Vizhinjam lighthouse, which is built on a rocky headland. The beach is a long sandy strip. Lifeguards are available along the whole beach side. The back side if the lighthouse beach is concreted and illuminated and is a great eat out place. You can almost get all kinds of seafood and all tastes. The approach to this beach is fairly easy as a number of transport means are available.
Edakallu is the popular sunset viewing point that lies between the Lighthouse Beach and Eve's Beach.
It offers enchanting view of the red and orange sun setting in the horizon with amazing new patterns in the sky.
It is one of the best places to view the sunset in Kovalam and the best place to capture the photos of different patterns of the beautiful sky.
The Kovalam art gallery in Kovalam displays artifacts, paintings and art works. The paintings in this art gallery consist of ancient Indian paintings related to the Sanskrit culture. Europe and Western artists and art lovers are the major visitors in this gallery even though there are other visitors also.
The lighthouse is located on a hillock named Kurumkal, which is very close to the sea. The southern end of the Kovalam beach is named after this hill house. The lighthouse is thirty-five meter tall structure that is painted with red and white color that is easily visible from a long distance. It is open to visitors and offers spectacular views of the lighthouse beach, Eve's beach and its surroundings. The lighthouse road is a convenient venue for cycling and walks.
Samudra Beach is the north most beach. This beach is the least affected by all the changes that take place in the region. You can see a few fishing vessels here and there on the horizon.
Rock Cut Caves are the finest example of architectural splendor and magnificence of the previous era. Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave mainly comprises of the rock cut statuettes of the cave temple at Vizhinjam, in 18th century. Vizhinjam is a historically loaded spot of Kerala, which remain unnoticed for a long period. Rock Cut Sculptors are basically found in the cave temple and serves as an evidence for ancient glory and wonder of Kerala.
Vizhinjam was the former capital of the Ay chieftains, who regulates the southern parts of Kerala in the 8th century A.D. The granite caves encircled a one-cell temple with a movable figurine of Vinandhara Dakshnimurthi. Incomplete reprieves of the Hindu God Shiva with his wife cum dance partner Goddess Parvathi adorned on the outer wall of the cave.
The place is located seven kilometers from Kovalam. It is one of the few freshwater lakes in Kerala that looks enchanting in the moonlight. The Vellayani Lake is the venue of world famous annual boat race organized during Onam festival. The Vellayani Durga Temple is located close to the lake; the specialty of this temple is that it allows only non-Brahmin priests.
The Karamana Rivers crosses the highway at Thiruvallam. The place offers breathtaking views of the backwater and greenery. The Thiruvallam boat club, located on the bank of the river offers cruises, canoe rides, kayaking and houseboat cruises.
Thriuvallam Parashurama temple is located twelve kilometers from Kovalam. It is one of the major Hindu shrine, in India. It is believed that this temple is about 2000 years old and is situating on the banks of the Karamana River. It is the exclusive temple that is dedicated to Parashurama.
Azhimala is a beach near to Kovalam. It is a very quiet beach. It is around 20 km from Trivandrum city. There is a temple in the name of Azhimala, the deity is of Devi. The temple is very near to the beach. Since the beach can be viwed from the hill top, the name came to be Azhimala, Azhi means 'the sea' and Mala 'the hill'. One will never forget the view of setting sun from this calm shore.
The coastline of this region up to Kovalam is visible from this pier. The Valiyathura literally means 'Big Port'. There is another port in this region named Cheriyathura, literally means 'small port'. This place offers excellent views of the setting sun and sea. Angling is the major activity here.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the most famous Lord Vishnu Temples in Kerala, South India. Also known as Sree Ananda Padmanabhaswamy Temple, this Mahavishnu Temple is located inside East Fort, in Thiruvananthapuram - the capital city of Kerala, India. Lord Vishnu is enshrined here in the Anananthasayanam posture (in eternal sleep of yognidra), lying on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake.
The Temple Constructed from 1729 to 1733, the building is a fusion of Kerala and Dravidian styles rendering it a perfect example of South Indian architecture.
Three daily services are offered to the gods throughout the year. The first pujacommences at 4 am and is followed by the second at 11 am while the final service is held at 6 pm. The Siveli Procession which carries the idols of the deities in great pomp is a religious display that should not be missed. In addition, the temple also celebrates special annual festivals held in October and March. The ten-day long celebrations are colorful, vibrant events portraying the rich and ancient traditions of Southern India.
Shanghumugham Beach is very near to the International Airport and is easily accessible from the Kovalam Beach, Veli Tourist Village and Akkulam Tourist Village. Shanghumugham beach is noted for its cleanliness. The vast stretch of white sand and the serene atmosphere, away from the crowd in the city, provide all the ingredients for relaxation and for spending an ideal evening. There is also a "Star Fish Restaurant" with eating kiosks and open air theatre with car parking facilities. The sculpture of Jalakanyaka - Mermaid by Kanayi Kunhiraman is an added attraction.
The Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, one of the oldest in the country, was established by in 1857. The zoo was originally built with the typical iron-barred cages prevalent at the time, and was designed for recreational purposes, but with increased loss of forest and wildlife due to human development, the goal of the Zoo has changed from recreation to conservation.
The Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is home to 82 species from around the world. Indigenous species at the zoo include lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Indian rhinoceros, Asiatic lion, royal Bengal tiger, and leopard etc., The zoo also includes a reptile house, which exhibits both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.
The museum was established in 1855. In 1874, the old Museum Building was demolished and foundation for the new building was laid. The new building was named after Lord Napier, the Governor of Madras from 1866-1872.
This architectural masterpiece was designed by Robert Chisholm, the consulting Architect of the Madras Government and the construction was completed in 1880. Napier Museum is a landmark in the city with its unique ornamentation and architectural style with gothic roof and minarets. The Indo-Saracenic structure also boasts a natural air conditioning system.
The museum houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. It also contains the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, which contains works from Raja Ravi Varma and Nicholas Roerich, as well as examples of Mughal and Tanjore art.
Priyadarshini Planetarium is one of the best of its kind in the country. The planetarium was thrown open to the public in 1994. It is a horizontal domed planetarium and has a seating capacity of 184 persons. Various shows are hosted related with science and technology the most prominent one being thew man and the Universe.
The outdoors premises has models of rockets and planes of bygone eras. the planetarium has a GM-11 main field star projector with the capacity to project almost all the constituents of the universe. The night studded sky can be simulated based on any location of the earth and any day dating back to 12,500 years and the same 12500 years forward.
Poovar is one among the natural wonders where the Lake, River, Sea and Beach meet the land. Poovar is unspoilt and unexplored, enveloped by the most serene backwaters, and opening out to the sea and a dream golden sand beach.
Poovar Beach is haunted by those who love solitude. The tranquility of Poovar is punctuated by the sound of waves and the birds. The area is abundant in well-preserved local flora, with hundreds of species of spices, exotic flowers, complete with banana and coconut grove. Poovar is well know for its backwater cruises.
Kerala is blessed with fertile land and weather that beckons the visitors to its shores whilst rivers, lakes, lagoons and oceans reach out to nourish and nurture paddy fields and coconut groves. The beaches are bronzed to perfection and whisper the promise of a sunny holiday, and on the other side, Kerala can boast of a beautiful hill country that is rich in spice and tea and abundant in wildlife this is truly God's own country.
Situated at a mere 22 kilometers from Kovalam at the point where Veli Lake flows into the Arabian Sea, Veli Tourist Village provides entertainment and excitement for the whole family. The adjoining Veli Lagoon is divided from the ocean by a small sand barrier creating a strategic location well suited to the enjoyment of aquatic sports. In addition, it is equipped with the miscellaneous paraphernalia that is needed to spend a truly memorable day on the beach. This landscaped picnic spot is open to the public from 8 am to 6 pm everyday.
Aakkulam is one of the picnic spots, in Trivandrum city. The spot is developed on the banks of Aakkulam Lake, which is an extension of the Veli Lake. The calm and serene atmosphere and its natural beauty are a fascination for tourists. The Boat Club, which started functioning in 1989, now operates speed, safari, pedal and row boats from Aakkulam to Veli Tourist Village. A traditional style Kettuvallam(house boat) is available for overnight stay. The swimming pool at Aakkulam is equipped with glider and other playing facilities. The Children's Park is a unique amusement spot and has several new rides that have ben included recently. The newly commissioned musical fountain is an added attraction.
Aruvikkara dam is located ten kilometers from Kovalam. It is a beautiful picnic spot on the shores of Karamana River. The Durga temple and fish tank are the main attractions. Aruvikkara dam provides water to the capital city. The place is easily accessible by road. In & Around Kovalam
The Padmanabhapuram Palace is a very popular tourist attraction in Kovalam Nestled in the foothills of the Veli ranges this palace is situated at a distance of 54 km from Trivandrum. Constructed way back in the 14th century the monument once served as the residence of the ancient rulers Travancore. The monument boasts of elaborate woodwork and a host of ancient relics and artifacts.
This waterfalls is located near the Neyyar reservoir area. No transportation is available to the falls. The visitor has to trek through the dense forests to reach the falls. The Kombaikani waterfalls is also near to Meenmutti. It is 2 km upstream the Meenmutti falls. This waterfalls is on the trek path to Agastyakoodam. There is a forest rest house near the falls. To visit the falls permission from the forest department is required. A guide is sent along with you to the falls.
Hidden within a wildlife sanctuary in Trivandrum, Kerala, the Neyyar Dam is marked by its scenic beauty and soothing serenity. The reservoir was constructed in 1958 and spreads over three river basins; Neyyar, Kallar and Mullayar. A popular site among eco tourists and nature lovers, the Neyyar Dam and its environs are renowned for its astounding biodiversity. In addition, several rare medicinal herbs are to be found in the area. A visit to the region provides a unique experience of a harmonious enjoyment of nature's bounty.
Varkala is an amazing beach destination. It is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage.The final resting place of the great social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, is near Varkala, atop a hill called Sivagiri. High cliffs with mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. This beutifull beach destination is been ranked as one of the 10 top seasonal beaches in the world by Discovery channel.
Varkala is also famous for the 2,000-year old Janardana Swami Temple which is an important Vaishnavaite shrine in India and is often referred to as Dakshin Kashi
Suchindram temple is unique in the whole of India in that it is dedicated to three different deities represented by one image in the sanctum and is called Sthanumalayan kovil. The temple is rich in sculpture and architecture and a visitor to this temple is amply rewarded with the sight of such exquisite art of hundreds of years old.
The entrance tower to this temple is visible from a distance as it rises majestically for 134 feet. The face of the tower is covered with sculptures and statues from Hindu mythology. There is a covered area in front of the main entrance and the entrance itself is about 24 feet high with a beautifully carved door. There is only one corridor running along the outer wall of the temple with many shrines and mandapams scattered in the inner area. This temple attracts both Vaishnavites and Saivites in large numbers. About 30 shrines to various deities within the temple complex, the large Lingam in the sanctum, the idol of Vishnu in the adjacent shrine and a large idol of Hanuman at the Eastern end of the Northern corridor represent almost all the deities of the Hindu pantheon.
Ponmudi (The Golden Peak) is a hill station located 75 Kms away from Kovalam. The hill station is an extension of the Western Ghats and runs parallel to Arabian Sea. Fertile forests, meandering streams and misty valleys add to the region's beauty while rendering it a birds paradise.The nearby teagardens are a soothing experience. The hill station is an important point of contact with the river Kallar. The river is known for its crystal clear water, fishes and lush trees surrounding it.
Due to its considerable natural endowments, trekking in Ponmudi is a popular and rewarding activity.
About 1869 meters above sea level, Agastyakoodam is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. Tradition says that the great sage Agasthya, had his abode in this peak. The place is noted for its abundant ayurvedic herbs. The place is in the eastern side of the district. Agasthyarkoodam, a prominent peak of the Western Ghats, is in the form of a sharp cone. It is about 1869 metres above sea level. This peak, a pilgrim centre of the Hindus, according to tradition was home to the great sage Agastya, who was a confirmed bachelor. Hence, the aborigines dislike the presence of women on the hill. Women are not allowed up the peak.
The place is famous for its abundant ayurvedic herbs and medicinal plants. Another major attraction of this spectacular peak is the Neelakurinji, a flower which blooms only once in twelve years. A forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden at the Forest Department for trekking.
Kanyakumari or Cape Comerin as the southernmost tip of India is called a unique destination that has a magnetic attraction for both local and foreign tourists. It is the meeting point of three bodies of water where the Bengal Bay, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean flow into each other. The place derives its name from the virgin Goddess Kanya Devi. Legend claims that the princess was turned into a deity showering her blessings on pilgrims and visitors after her marriage to Lord Shiva failed to materialize. To this day the Kanyakumari Temple located with a panoramic view of the ocean is a revered and much frequented by devotees and tourists alike.
The strategic location of Kanyakumari made it a center of great historic significance. Home to a flourishing tradition of arts, culture and learning, it was named the Alexandria of the east. The architectural splendour of its myriad of temples reflects the glory of Kanyakumari's past and its continuing religious importance. In addition, Cape Comerin was a busy seaport in ancient times enlivened by international trade and a venue for traveling philosophers and religious men.