Places to Visit in Kovalam
Kovalam, which means ‘Grove of coconut trees’ in the Malayalam language is located by the Arabian Sea in Kerala state and known for its fantastic beaches. As the name suggests, the city is characterized by its endless rows of coconut trees and is often called the ‘Paradise of the South.’ During 1970’s, an explosion of hippy culture came to town and became an essential trail of it. Afterward, the city became one of the major tourist’s hotspots in India. Here’s the list of the best places one can visit in Kovalam.
As per the name, the Lighthouse beach is characterized by its 35-meter tall Lighthouse and identified as one of the ideal tourist places in the city. Largest of all three beaches in Kovalam, and is often visited by the foreign tourists due to its developed area. The Lighthouse is placed atop of a hillock and can be reached easily by walking.
Most sparsely populated beach in Kovalam and often used by fishermen. Samudra Beach is best for the people who like to spend some quiet time and meditate with the sounds of a sea. Bathing here is not advisable as the beach is often vacant and the shore is a bit rocky.
Quite interestingly, the Hawah Beach also known as Eve’s beach was named during the time when it got famous as the 1st and only topless beach in India. The name Hawa signifies to ‘the wind’ and is a pun on the half-naked European ladies that used to roam on the beach. Sadly, topless bathing is banned now, but the beach still retains its natural beauty, which is noticeable.
The Largest freshwater lake, the Vellayani Lake is another fantastic picnic spot in Kovalam. The water in the lake is amazingly calm and crystal clear. Vellayani Lake has the best view during a moonlight night or the annual boat race during the festival of Onam.
The German Bakery
Located on the Lighthouse beach, the German Bakery is one of the best mid-priced eateries in Kovalam. It is famous for its delicious breakfast menu and one of the best places to spend the scorching evening with your friends. The Pancakes and shakes are totally worth try.
Originates from the southern part of Sahyadri range, Karamana River predominantly flows through an outskirt region of Kovalam, i.e. nomenclature. It is a typical stream of peninsular India – broad and gentle.
Edakallu is a prominent spot on the shore, which is placed right between the Lighthouse and Hawah Beach. It is a sunset spot that is frequented by numerous shutterbugs and nature lovers.
Sri Rama Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran consort of Queen Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi built Halcyon Castle as a summer retreat in 1932. Also known as Napier Museum, Sri Rama Varma sold this palace to Kerala Government in 1964. Now, Halcyon Castle has converted to a 5-star luxury hotel and is run by Ravi Pillai, an NRI businessman. Tourists can visit the palace to see the architecture and avail the amenities luxury hotel stays and gourmet dining.
The Valiyathura Pier is a 214-meter long pier located at the ancient port of Valiyathura and is another peaceful and relaxing beach location near Kovalam. The pier was used by fishermen during the high tide and is now a famous spot for angling and photography.
Located within a short distance of 3 km, the Vizhinjam Village is one of most famous Ayurvedic centres in Kovalam. The roots of the place go back to the 7th and the 11th century then, later on, it was popularized by the Hippies in the 1970’s. The community here is known for its ayurvedic centres; rock cut temples, beaches and fishing harbors.
Kovalam Art Gallery
For those who have an inclination towards paintings and artwork, Kovalam Art Gallery is a paradise. The gallery has a display of valuable and significant paintings by famous painters of the Kerala community. It also shows ancient traditions, heritage culture, Mughal era, Rajput era as well as some artifacts from China, Japan, and Tibet.
Thriuvallam Parasurama Temple
Believed to be as 2000 years old, this is another temple located on the banks of Karamana river that is a must mention. It is a unique holy structure dedicated to Parasurama – the mythological originator of Kerala. Here in this temple, the festival to pay tribute to ancestors – Bali Tharpanam is celebrated with grandeur, and it’s worth watching.
Aruvikkara dam located on the banks of Karamana River is among favorite picnic spots in Kovalam. Tourism is attracted to this beautiful dam and lake for mostly day outings. Moreover, the lake water has many fishes that come close to the surface and are fed by visitors.
This gravity dam located on the Neyyar River, along with foothills of the Western Ghats and a beautiful lake which is formed because of its unique placement. Both dam and the lake are surrounded by forests as a home to wild animals like sloth bears, jungle cats, Nilgiri langurs, wild elephants, and deer.