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Kerala is widely known as "God's Own Country". Truly to live on this name, God made his kingdom in Kovalam. That's why Kovalam is otherwise known as "Paradise of the South". Kovalam is a beach town on the Arabian Sea in Kerala, a state situated in South India. It is located around 16 km outside Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) city in the Thiruvananthapuram district.
Thirty years ago, Kovalam was a picture perfect tropical beach; a traditional fishing village providing fresh fish, fruits and toddy (coconut beer). Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. From there starts the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in the world- the Kovalam beach. Today this tiny beach is the focus of a multi-million dollar business, drawing thousands of tourists for a week dose of ozone, UV and a refreshing Indian Experience. Now this place figures prominently one of the top spot on the world tourism map.
The crescent-shaped beach has three parts. The southern most beaches, and the most popular of the three, is Light House Beach. The northern most beach is Samudra Beach. Between these two beaches lies Hawah Beach. With a high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights.
Swimming and bathing are very refreshing and exhilarating in the waves. One can walk into the sea for about 100 meters without loosing ground. This cove is also the safest place for swimming. At many coastal places there are beautiful patches of coral reefs. The underwater views, which are visible during snorkeling, are really marvelous. Azure water and favorable climate make Kovalam a favorite year-round spot for swimming.
Sea here is pacific and shallow where you can take a dip in the saline waters. The clean white sandy beach will arouse a temptation irresistible: to lie idle on the sands and tan your body. You could get into any of the Ayurvedic massage centre and indulge in a rejuvenating herbal, body-toning massage and holistic therapies.
Light House Beach
The larger of the beaches is called Light House Beach for its 35 metre high light house towers over Kurumkal hillock. From this Light house tower you can get a great view of whole Kovalam. Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular of the three - it has hotels, restaurants, decent lodges on the seashore itself. It is frequented by outsiders who stay and enjoy Kovalam.
The second largest one is Hawah Beach named thus for the topless European women who used to throng there. It was the first topless beach in India. Topfree bathing and parading is banned now except in private coves owned by resorts.
The Northern most Samudra Beach is crowded on the weekends, is very popular with the locals, day-travelers, and those who passing-by tourist buses.
Nearest places to visit
Padmanabhapuram Palace: It is located at 54 km from Thiruvananthapuram across the border in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari district. Built during the 14th century it was called Darpakulangara, but later in the 18th century it was renovated and renamed as the Padmanabhapuram palace.
Anchuthengu Fort: This place situated 36 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, the historic remains of the fort built by the British East India Company in the 17th century and an adjoining cemetery are the noteworthy relics of this first major British trading station on the Malabar Coast.
Science & Technology Museum: The Science and Technology Museum (17 km), situated in Thiruvananthapuram was established with the prime objective of setting up of galleries with working, animated or participatory type of exhibits, on all disciplines of Science and Technology.
The Govt. Art Museum: Widely known as "Napier Museum" named after a former Madras Governer General, John Napier. It is a gem of architectural enthusiasm, combining traditional Kerala styles and good doses of Chinese and Mughal Influences.
Sree Chithra Art Gallary: (18 km)
It has a rich collection of paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and Roerich. It also has copies of paintings of the Ajanta, Rajput and Mughals.
Veli Lagoon (Tourist Village): (12 km)
Veli Lagoon is a delightful Waterfront Park. This is an ideal picnic spot where the lake merges with sea. The wadingpool, gardens, exquisite sculptures, a floating bridge and a wide range of aqua sports facilities.
Shanghumugham Beach: (9 km)
It is popular city beach adjacent to the airport. An indoor recreation club, children's traffic training park and a star shaped restaurant are some of the facilities at the beach.
How to get there:
Nearest Airport: The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) about 15km from Kovalam.
Nearest Railhead: Thampanur railway station in Trivandrum is an important rail head of the Southern Railway and is well linked to major towns up country as well as within the State just 15 Kilometers from Kovalam.
By road: Thiruvananthapuram the capital city of Kerala is easily accessible by road.
Local Transport: Local buses, cycles.
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