Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sandy and Rocky Beaches of Kovalam

Sandy and Rocky Beaches of Kovalam

Once a laidback fisherman village, Kovalam now is the mascot of Kerala tourism. We owe much to the hippies of early 70s to spread the about this exotic calm beach lined with silver sands and abundance of coconut grove. Word spread about the natural scenic beauty of Kovalam through out the world mainly through the lyrics and singing of the nomadic hippies. Kovalam now has a prominent position in Kerala tourism and the image of Kerala as a whole.
LocationKovalam is located 16 km from the capital of Kerala, Thiruvananpuram. Nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 10 km away and Thiruvananthapuram Railway station has connecting trains to all parts of India – you can even take a train trip to Kashmir from here.

Accommodation
Hotels of different classes are available here at Kovalam, from three star hotels to hotels with five star facilities. The room prices vary with proximity to sea and with the kind of facilities offered.

Beach
There are three beaches at Kovalam, all of them are crescent shaped, luring surfers, but it is safe to surf only in the southern most Light House beach, which is also the international beach. This beach is sandy and you can walk up to 100m into the sea without losing foot. You are advised to follow the directions of security personnel as there can be strong undertows. The middle one is known as Eve’s beach, which is rocky and tides slightly bigger than the ones at the Light House beach. The northern beach seems to be lagging by a hundred years, hiding itself away from the buzzing tourists’ eyes.

Soothing Ayurvedic Massage and Yoga
There are ayurvedic spas and massage centers, yoga centers, etc. Massaging with medicated herbal oils is indeed a rejuvenating experience. You should take a little care here – take the massage from government licensed spas only.

Food
Kovalam is a fisherman village and seafood of varied kinds is available here in abundance. Nice tasting grilled shrimp or shell fish will be unique experience. Also available are international menus like continental or Chinese food. You can also find a variety of traditional Kerala food items like iddli and sambar, puttu and kadala curry, dosa and chutney and a variety of snacks and finger foods like pazham pori (roasted banana slices), upperi, vadai, etc. There is food outside the five star restaurants. You can find the best of food in many of the downtown restaurants, which are usually cheap.

Shopping
Window shopping is available where you can buy souvenirs to take home or to present you friends with. There are seashell decorated mirrors and a lot of handicraft items like little monkeys carved out of single coconut husk. Just a walk along the window shops is indeed fascinating. You will also be surrounded by hawkers, offering to sell you a variety of curios.
Best time to visit ‘Paradise of the South’Kovalam is a year round destination, but the official tourist season is from September to March. It is hectic activity at the beach during Christmas-New Year season. During this season it will be 100% occupancy for majority of hotels.

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