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Tourist Places To Visit In Kovalam
Nestled in the southern end of God’s own country, Kovalam is a small beach town, just 16 kilometers away from Thiruvananthapuram. One of the more popular tourist destinations in Kerala, Kovalam has a lot to offer. Besides the ocean and the breezy atmosphere, there are temples and art galleries, lakes and palaces, dams and surf clubs to show you a good time here. Here are some of the best places to visit in Kovalam, including the famous Vellayani Lake, Padmanabhswamy Temple and Hawah Beach.
Veli Tourist Village
About 10 kilometers to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, this is a large garden on the bank of the Veli lagoon. This popular picnic spot has an array of experiences to offer such as boat rides, horse riding, a swimming pool, and a floating restaurant. There’s even something for those who love to explore. Take a walk to the Aukulam lake and be enchanted by the beauty of Kerala.
Artificial Off-Shore Coral Reef
A fine example of human-nature collaboration, this is India’s first artificial coral reef in Kovalam’s lighthouse beach. Funded by the government’s Tsunami Rehabilitation Program, a New Zealand based company constructed the reefs. The aim is to protect the shoreline from erosion, to attract marine life by creating a habitable environment and to improve fishing. This is one of the more unique places to visit in Kovalam.
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple
Just 8 minutes away from Kovalam (2.8 kms) and about 600 meters away from the Vizhinjam beach, lies an 18th century rock cut cave temple that had remained undiscovered for many years. The walls of the granite cave are carved with exquisite but half-finished Shiva and Parvathy inscriptions. Remember, visitors are not allowed on Mondays.
Want to watch the famous snake boat race of Kerala? Head to Vellayani lake during Onam. Located just 7 kilometes from Kovalam, the locals call this popular lake kochu Kovalam (tiny Kovalam). Walk on the road that passes through the lake and enjoy the best of the natural beauty Kerala is famous for.
Enjoy boating or simply reside in a house boat on the Karamana River that flows through the capital city of Kerala, originating at the southern-most point of the Western Ghats. One of Kerala’s major rivers, the Karamana has two dams built on it. Don’t miss the Thiruvallam Boat Club. They offer kayaking, cruises and canoe rides.
If you have had enough of tourist beaches then head to Chowara beach 10 kilometres from Kovalam. This is a working beach, meaning it is frequented by locals (who live nearby) and is the hot spot for fishermen looking for a day’s catch. This busy beach is dotted with coconut trees, creating a beautiful contrast with the blue of the ocean and the golden of the sand on the beach. Also, mind the nearby ayurveda resort.
Famous for its traditional Kerala architecture, the Pabmanabhapuram Palace was built by the first of the ancient Travancore rulers Marthanda Varma in the early 17th century. Situated at the foot of Veli Hills, the palace is a maze of unending hallways, rooms, chambers and even secret passageways. Go here to take a walk through the life of the Travancore aristocracy.
Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Unfortunately only Hindus are allowed into this ancient temple. According to the records maintained by the temple, the place was founded 964 days after the start of the Kaliyug. Men need to wear dhotis and women must wear a saree to enter this temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Shri Padmanabhaswamy temple, said to be Kerala’s most visited temple, is definitely one the best places to visit in Kovalam.
Take a walk into the ocean on this 60-year-old and 214 meter long pier that extends into the Arabic sea, near Kovalam. The site is part of the ancient port of Valiyathura (once the only port along the south Kerala coast). Catch some solace and the sunset on the Valiyathura pier.
Vizhinjam is a port village, with vivid coloured boats bobbing up and down on its pristine waters, as fishermen cast their nets and set off into the sea. The village is a great tourist haunt owing to its Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple, Vizhinjam lighthouse and the Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium. People also like to visit the fishing harbour to see the quaint setting of the settlement turn chaotic. A hydro-plant is also located nearby that converts the wave energy from the sea into electricity.
The Lighthouse Beach, as the name suggests, is known for its stripped lighthouse. A series of spiral steps wind up to the top, from where you get binge-worthy views of the sun setting into the sea as well as the orange haze that engulfs the city behind. Add to this the long beautiful coastline of the state of Kerala and glittering sands lining the pristine sea! Swimming, sunbathing and playing are all allowed on the beach.
You can also get massages and spas on the shore here, in typical Ayurveda style that Kerala is famous for.
The ‘sea’ beach, or Samudra Beach, is a hidden gem in Kovalam. It is fissured from the rest of the coastline, and hence marks its own kind of niche and privacy. Yes, it might be crowded sometimes, but you will always be able to find a quiet corner. Couples and honeymooners can come here for the easy privacy and sunsets and beautiful silhouettes for gorgeous photographs. A line of resorts also line the beach, so you have a space to eat or relax or even stay. Water sports like surfing, swimming, kayaking etc are indulged in here.
Halcyon Castle is also called Kovalam Castle. The heritage and old world charm of its structure has been retained through these years, and today it is converted into a hotel. The colonial style build is something that attracts visitors not only to tour, but sometimes to get a room and stay the night. The castle is nearly 90 years old and offers you many tours. You can dine in one of its restaurants or just walk around the chambers and grand rooms.
Built on the mighty Karamana River, Aruvikkara Dam is perfect for an outdoor picnic with friends and family. The lush area is green and blooming in all seasons, alive with the scent of damp leaves and mud during monsoons. The Durga Devi Temple nearby makes for a good sightseeing spot, while you get to experience a quaint setting with fish jumping out of the river to eat the feed you through. Nature walks, treks and drives are also coveted here.
Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple
Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple is perched by the Karamana River. It is one of the few and rare temples built in the honour of Lord Parshuram, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu, who killed all kshatriyas from the earth over and over again. The temple is ancient and displays the 12th Century architecture and carvings with pride. It was constructed by Athiyaman Perumal, a king from that era, to revere the ancestors. Today it is classified under the protected archaeological wonders, and is preserved by the GOI.
Literally translating to the ‘Breeze’ Beach, Hawah Beach attracts flocks and flocks of tourists all year round. Locals also call it the Eve’s Beach, it is so called because back in the colonial times, European women sunbathed topless here. With its beach shacks, cafes, boats and sun beds, Hawah Beach is great fun for people of all ages.
Edakallu makes for a gorgeous sunset point where visitors come seeking for some peace at the time of dawn or dusk. Photography is also hence highly indulged in here, as people come for photoshoots and nature photographers come to capture mother nature. You can leave all the stress behind then, paddle in the sea, run along the coast. The Edakallu beach is located right in the centre of Kovalam, and hence is easily reached
Kovalam Art Gallery
Kovalam Art Gallery is a meticulously put together amalgamation of frescoes, traditional Kerala and Indian art pieces, paintings as well as displays. The gallery is very close to Hawah Beach, and attracts those who wish to see artefacts and paintings of ancient subcontinent. The seafood in shacks nearby on beaches is delicious, so do pair your visit to Kovalam Art Gallery with a scrumptious seafood meal.
Kovalam Surf Club
Surfing in India is not a very famous sport, but here in Kovalam it is. It may be because of its uninterrupted coastline, or due to the fact that the Surfing Federation of India runs a surfing contest in this town. You can visit the Kovalam Surf Club if you are interested in surfing or learning surfing. You can rent the equipment for as cheap as 400 Rs an hour, with a rash vent, leash and wax included. Surfing workshops are offered for everyone above the age of 6 and below 60.
The German Bakery
Hungry in Kovalam? Visit German Bakery. Or even if you aren’t that hungry, just visit it. Mouthwatering aromas of fresh baking breads and cakes will make your mouth water enough to rumble your stomach!
It is located close to the Lighthouse Beach, and boasts of a wide menu where every next item is just as good as the previous one. From cookies to cakes, cream rolls to pizzas, breads to croissants to puffs, German Bakery appeals to the inner glutton of every visitor. This is also not your typical bakery, but has a plush dining area where you can have romantic candlelit dinners. The cuisine is European, Indian and English. Their cafe serves Ayurvedic food too, with meals cooked in the precise techniques and prescriptions of the ancient Indian scripture.