Tuesday, May 3, 2011

189# Visit Kovalam beach

The most spectacular beach resort just 14 kilo meters from the city of Trivandrum, Kovalam is a sheltered natural bay. There are plenty of hotels to stay and a choice of simple restaurants located right at the beach offer excellent sea food.  

Kovalam was brought to the public eye by the Maharaja of Travancore. The European guests of the then Travancore kingdom discovered the potentiality of Kovalam beach as a tourist destination in the 1930s. However, Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. This exodus started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India.

Beaches
Kovalam has three crescent shaped beaches separated by rocky outcroppings. Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of metres are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer all kinds of goods and services.
The larger of the beaches is called Light House Beach for its 35 metre high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. 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.However topless bathing is banned now except in private coves owned by resorts. Visitors frequent these two beaches. The northern part of the beach is known as Samudra Beach in tourism parlance. A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn't have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part. The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and thorazite. The normal tourist season is from September to May. Ashoka beach is also the part of Kovalam beach.
  
Getting there 
Air : Nearest airport is Trivandrum, which is about 16km away from Kovalam beach. Pre-paid airport taxis are available at the airport. Airport telephone : 0091 471 2501424.
Rail : The nearest rail station is Trivandrum, which is around 14km away from Kovalam. Tel : 0091 471 2321568
Road : Kovalam is well connected to Trivandrum city by road. There are bus services to Trinadrum every fifteen minutes, operated by the Kerala road transport corporation (KSRTC)






Tourist Facilities

There are a large number of beach resorts in and around Kovalam. The sea port of Vizhinjam is about 3 km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, big churches and a mosque. The Proposed International Trans shipment Terminal at Vizhinjam is also close to Kovalam.

Kovalam was among the most prominent tourist spots in India during the hippy era. It still has a high status among tourists, who arrive mostly from Europe and Israel.Kovalam is finding a new significance in the light of several Ayurvedic salons, and recuperation and regeneration resorts which provide a wide variety of Ayurvedic treatments for tourists.

There are tourist's information office near the Leela hotel and the Kovalam bus stand. Tel : 0091 471 2480085.

Around Kovalam
Samudra beach, Kovalam Sri Dharmasastha temple, Vizhinjam fishing village, Vizhinjam cave temple, Vizhinjam fishing harbour, The marine aquarium, Chowara fishing village, Azhimalathura beach, Pulinkudi Azhimala temple, Amalothbhava matha church.



google map

Phone numbers of some of the hotels around Kovalam.

Dial 0091 471 then dial the number given against the hotel's name;

Hotel samudra kovalam  Tel : 2482036
Surya samudra 2480413
Palm shore light house 2481481
Kadaloram beach resort 2481116
Coconut bay beach resort 2480566
Varmas beach resort 2480478
Lagoona beach resort 2484857
Raja hotel kovalam 2480455
Thruvathira 2480588
Hotel sea face 2481835
Hotel Orion 2480999
Leela Kovalam 2480101
Thapovan heritage home 2480453
Gopal's ayurvedic beach resort 2480833
Namaskar inn 2481903
Government guest house 2480146







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