Kovalam, which is Malayalam for ‘Grove of coconut trees’ is located by the Arabian Sea in the Indian state of Kerala, and is known for its amazing beaches. As the name suggests, the town is characterized by its endless rows of coconut trees and is usually called the ‘Paradise of the South’. The town became one among the main tourist hotspots in India, after the hippy culture explosion during the 1970’s and it became an important a part of the Hippy Trail. The town’s iconic Halcyon Castle was built during the time of the Travancore Queen Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi within the 1930’s. As a result, her European guests discovered the town’s unique beauty and it soon saw the arrival of countless hordes of tourists.
Lighthouse beach is characterized by its 35 meter tall Lighthouse and is one among the main tourist hotspots within the city. The beach is that the largest of the three beaches in Kovalam and is frequented mostly by the foreign tourists thanks to it being more developed. The Lighthouse is placed atop a hillock called the Karumkal Hill and can be easily reached by foot.
Quiet interestingly, the Hawah Beach was named during the time when it got famous because the 1st and only topless beach India. The name Hawah translates to ‘the wind’ and is a pun on the topless European women that used to roam on the beach. Sadly (for men), topless bathing is banned now, but the beach still retains its natural beauty which is also a nice thing.
Samundra beach, unlike the other two is the most sparsely populated beach in Kovalam and is mostly used by fishermen. The beach is best for people that wish to spend some quiet time and meditate amidst the sounds of the ocean. Bathing alone is not advisable as the beach is often vacant and the shore is a bit rocky.
One of the best mid-priced eateries in Kovalam, the German bakery is located on the Lighthouse beach. The German bakery is famous for its amazing breakfast menu and is one of the best places to spend the scorching evening with your friends. The Pancakes and shakes are totally worth digging into.
Starting near the Western Ghats, flowing into the Arabian Sea, the Karamana River is one of the major rivers in Trivandrum with two dams built on it. The river is one among the simplest places to go to in Kovalam to experience the fruits of nature that Kerala has been blessed.
A famous spot on the shore, Edakallu is placed right between the Hawah beach and therefore the Lighthouse beach. It is a sunset seeing spot that’s frequented by numerous shutterbugs and sight seers. The sunset witnessed here may be a breathtaking sight like no other.
Halcyon Castle was built by the Regent Queen Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore in 1932. The queen’s European guests were enchanted with the sweetness of the town and led to the increased popularity of the town. Today, although the castle is converted into a luxury hotel, few areas can still be visited by non-guests for a fee.
The Valiyathura Pier may be a 214 meter long pier located at the traditional port of Valiyathura and is another serene and relaxing beach location near Kovalam. The pier was employed by fishermen during the high water and is now a famous spot for angling and photography.