Top 6 Places to visit in Kovalam
Internationally commended for its striking beaches, Kovalam is yet another mind-blowing tourist destination in Kerala. Located on the coastline of the Arabian Sea, Kovalam is actually a village but is thoroughly imbibed in natural beauty. Apart from its pristine beaches, the village is also popular for the shopping, Ayurvedic treatments, and of course for the cultural activities. Kovalam is an ideal destination for the lovebirds. It also offers you a fun-filled family vacation. Dotted by some ancient architectures, magnificent temples, churches, dams, rich art galleries, and stunning beaches, Kovalam receives a huge influx of visitors regularly. The list of places to visit in Kovalam goes endless but we’ll talk about only the significant ones. So, let’s discover what is in this village that made it today one of the most loved beach destinations in the world.
As it is named Lighthouse is indeed the powerhouse of the charm of entire Kovalam. The beach is named the lighthouse from the ancient Vizhinjam Lighthouse which is stood the test of time on the Kurumkal Hill right beside the beach. It reaches the height of 30 m and you would need 140 steps to climb over in order to reach the topmost portion. Lighthouse offers a mesmerizing view of Lighthouse Beach from the high above. Flanked by the luxurious hotels and restaurants, Lighthouse Beach is the center attraction of Kovalam tourism. People from all over the world come here to relish the fun of sunbathing, paragliding, swimming, surfing, parasailing, and other fun activities. Lighthouse Beach renders a breathtaking view of sunset and sunrise.
Built by the Queen of Travancore Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai as a private royal residence, Halcyon Castle is today a tourist destination in Kovalam. Halcyon Castle is famous for its exceptional architectural style. The European guests of the Queen were mesmerized by this palace and thus, it got recognition as a tourist spot. In 1964, the palace was sold to Kerala Government by the royal authorities and after some year, it has been converted into a luxurious 5-star hotel. Today, Halcyon Castle is frequented by the worldwide visitors as a tourist destination as well as the favorite lavish hotel. The palace offers the top-class amenities.
Starting from the southern tip of Western Ghat and flowing into the Arabian Sea, Karamana River is a major tourist attraction in Kovalam. Karamana River is particularly known for the boat cruising and for its natural beauty. The far-reaching green patches of coconut, pepper, and other plants on the bank of the river and the sparkling water urge visitors to go on an hour-long boat riding. The river is heavily enclosed by the stupendous greenery. If you want to spend some time alone in the lap of nature, Karamana River will surely fulfill all your desires. The bewitching views of this milieu are really worth capturing.
Another natural beauty from Kovalam that leaves the visitors astonished on every visit. Considered to be one of the largest freshwater lakes of Kovalam, Vellayani Lake is known for its crystal-clear clean water. In a moonlit night, Vellayani Lake offers a stunning view. The reflecting moon in the clear water seems as if it has come down on the earth. Embedded by the lush flora here and there, Vellayani Lake is loved among the tourist for its tranquil boat riding. It is also famous for hosting the annual boat race during the Onam Festival. The time period during Onam Festival is actually the best time to experience the mystical charm of the Vellayani Lake.
Kovalam Art Gallery
Kovalam is mainly known for the beaches. Here, you’ll witness the charm of nature and new-age vibrancy in every turn but there is not much to get closer to the history and culture. So, if there are one or two such places, you can’t afford to miss them. Kovalam Art Gallery is one such place in Kovalam that showcases the artifacts of bygone eras and manifests the history and culture associated with them. It houses paintings and artworks of different painters of different communities of the different country. Obviously, the majority of work belongs to Indian history but these are also some paintings from China, Tibet, and Japan. These rare collections of Indian fresco painting reveal the heyday of Rajputs, Mughals, and other empires of Indian history. Except for Monday, you can visit the Kovalam Art Gallery anytime and satiate yourself in the history and culture.
Located adjacent to Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach has a very interesting story behind its name origination. It is called Hawah Beach because it is the first and only topless beach in India. However, now the topless bathing has been banned by the government like all other beaches. It is the favorite destination in Kovalam for the foreigners. Dotted by the distinctive greenery and the matchless beauty, Hawah Beach is also called Eve’s Beach because it offers awe-inspiring view of the sunset. The palm groves and Vizhinjam Lighthouse amid the coconut trees enrich the splendor of Hawah Beach. The lazuline waves of the Hawah Beach create a beautiful contrast against the blue sky and the golden sand of coastline. You can visit Vizhinjam Lighthouse from Hawah Beach too.
Shopping in Kovalam
Don’t miss the fun of your trip by skipping a visit to the local markets of Kovalam. Famous for the handmade statues of teakwood and rosewood, the Kovalam markets are an absolute delight for the shopping enthusiasts. If you want to buy handlooms, accessories, handicrafts, decorative items, and jewelry made of seashells, the beach markets are the perfect places for you. Kovalam Beach and Varkala Beach are some great options to fill your bags with the wide range of beachwear. Beside from all this, if you want to get lots of dresses for you, visit the ‘SM Handloom Center’. Here, you’ll get fancy and ethnic garments. And when it comes to household items, ‘Joshep & Sons Shop’, located near the Lighthouse Beach, beats every other possibility. So, go on a shopping spree in Kovalam and make your trip the most memorable one.
Best time to reach Kovalam
People mostly visit Kovalam to have a sight of striking beaches and the panoramic natural beauty and they both reach to their best after the rainy season. So, the ideal time to visit Kovalam is between the months of September to March. In winters, sunbathing in the beautiful coastline of alluring beaches of Kovalam is the best thing you can do in the city. Summers and monsoon months are recommended to avoid because Kovalam is marked with the highest peak of these respective seasons. So, plan your trip accordingly or you’ll end up rain-washed or scorched with your plans.
How to reach Kovalam
Located contagious to the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam is easily accessible by all modes of transportation. It is just 15 km from the Trivandrum International Airport which is also the nearest airport to the city. Trivandrum Airport connects the major cities around the world. If you’re going by railways, again, Trivandrum Railway Station is the most approachable and is merely 15km from the main city. The small city is located very near to the state capital, so you can assume the level of connectivity of road network of Kovalam. You can avail the bus service of Kovalam that plies regularly from Kovalam to the nearby cities. Being a tourist hub, the local transportation of Kovalam is extremely handy.
These are the most significant places to visit in Kovalam. Kovalam, a small city in the map of Kerala, holds a huge place in the tourism of Kerala. Filled with the endless groves of coconut trees, Kovalam is an ideal destination for the beach lovers. And tell me who doesn’t love beaches?? Obviously, everybody does! So, the breathtaking beaches of Kovalam are calling you.