Along the 600 kilometre length of the Kerala coast, there are many sandy beaches, rocky promontories and coconut palms. The fishing village of Kovalam lies 10 kilometres south of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. Kovalam is the only beach resort of Kerala and is very popular with the Indian as well as international tourists. Industry is relatively small scale in this area and the prices low. The beach is just a few minutes walk from the village.
More about Kerala
Kovalam consists of three successive small crescent beaches; the southern most known as Lighthouse Beach is where most of the visitors spend their time. The beach is bordered with low cost lodging houses and restaurants which offer adequate facilities at affordable tariffs-ideal for a long stay. The light house on the promontory at the southern end of the beach offers a spectacular view across to the Vizhinjam mosque. Photography is prohibited here.
The middle beach, overlooked from a rocky headland by the five star Ashok Radisson resort, functions each morning as a base for local fishers. North of Ashok is the final beach which is very little affected by the changing times. It is dotted with a few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels.
Swimming on the beaches is not always safe as the undertow can be very strong; therefore it is essential to follow the warnings of the safety flags. However, days can be spent here just lying on the sands or retreating under the awnings of the beach cafes.
There are numerous craft and carpet shops (usually of Tibetan, Kashmiri and Rajasthani origin), clothing stores and general stores, yoga schools, travel agents and massage parlours lining the beach.
When to visit: November to February is the best time to visit.
How to reach there: There is direct and regular daily bus service from Thiruvananthapuram. There are direct bus links to Ernakulam and Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) which is two hours away. There is also a bus to Periyar Widlife sanctuary in Thekaddy.
Thiruvananthapuram, is linked by air from Colombo, and the Indian cities of Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi and Madras. There are bus links from all the major cities of Kerala and also from Madras, Bangalore, Kochi, Madurai, Pondicherry, Nagercoil and Erode to Thiruvananthapuram. It is also well connected to all the major cities of the country by train.
Where to stay
Information: Courtesy Government of India
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.