About Kovalam

An idyllic village along the coastlines of the Arabian Sea, Kovalam is most famous for its three pristine beaches with shallow waters and low tidal waves where one can go surfing, wooden and motorboat riding.The beach town of Kovalam has three famous beaches - Lighthouse beach, Samudra beach and Hawah beach, which together form its majestic rocky crescent. Kovalam essentially means a ‘grove of coconut trees’ and the little town is filled with these palms. Kovalam shot to fame with its hippie epoch in the early seventies and still sees the influx of tourists from Israel and Europe. The Samudra Beach, Kovalam Beach, Hawa Beach and the Light house beach are the places from where Kovalam derives its beauty and attraction. Ayurvedic treatments are one of its most popular indulgences along with yoga, meditation as well as other cultural activities. Kovalam perhaps comes full circle as it is also a shopping destination given the rich spices, wooden statues and handicrafts that can make popular takeaways.

Place to must visit in Kovalam

Places to Visit in Kovalam

Travellers are preffering these places in Kovalam

Experience Time: 2-4 days

Distance: 2 kms

Water Sports in Kovalam

Kovalam is a small village situated 14 km from Trivandrum in Kerala. It is a beautiful beach surrounded by rows of green palm groves. It is one of the most picturesque beaches of India with a wide variety of water sports activities. Kovalam beach can be divided into three parts. Lighthouse beach, which lies to the South, the northern most part is known as Samudra and Hawah which is located in the centre. All three parts are frequencted by travellers and have a wide offering of restaurants and beach resorts. The water activities which are offered by the sports clubs include parasailing, snorkelling, wind surfing and back water cruise.

Experience Time: 1-2 hours

Distance: 0 kms

Lighthouse Beach

Scrumptious food, comfortable and affordable lodging, and breathtaking views - the Lighthouse Beach of Kovalam offers it all. This is precisely why the beach is today one of the most visited places in the entire region of Kovalam, and why tourists make it a point to visit this beach the first thing in Kovalam. Located in southern Kerala, it boasts of a lighthouse that is 30 metres in height, which is what gives the beach its name. Known as the Vizhinjam Lighthouse, the structure is located on the top of the Kurumkal hillock, and is made up entirely of stones. The lighthouse is coloured in red and white bands, and visitors love to reach the top of this tall structure by using a spiral staircase to click some memorable photographs. Other than the majestic lighthouse, the beach is also well known for its lush palm plantations and trees that dot the entire area. Just like other beaches in Kovalam, the Lighthouse beach also has vast stretches of glistening silver sand, and the playful waves of the clear blue Arabian Sea are always dancing up and down merrily. This makes the beach a perfect spot to enjoy water activities and sports, such as surfing, parasailing and paragliding. The mesmerising beach is frequented by people of all age groups but is especially popular amongst honeymooners, who visit this attraction to steal a few moments of peace from the hustle-bustle of the city and to experience an adrenaline rush by taking part in the myriad of sports that are offered here. The easy accessibility and the lip-smacking food served here only add to the charm of this place and make it a must visit.

Experience Time: 1 to 3 hours

Distance: 1 kms

Hawah Beach

Hawah is a stretch of isolated beach famous for its enchanting sunset views. Renowned as the second largest beach, it is also known as Eve's Beach for it being the first topless beach in India. However, topless bathing is banned now.

Experience Time: 1-2 hours

Distance: 1 kms

Halcyon Castle

Halcyon Castle was as a family retreat built for the royal family of Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bai. The castle is located in Travancore in God's Own Country, Kerala. The splendid castle is an example of the traditional architecture of Travancore. The beautiful expansive lawn all around the magnificent castle is a treat to the eyes. The castle was sold to the Government of Kerala after which a hotelier bought it and opened it to the public as a 5-Star Hotel in Kovalam. There have been several owners of the hotel till date. However, the majestic Halcyon Castle never fails to attract tourists from all over the world. The stunning castle primly sits atop an outcrop on the Kovalam Beach. Tourists can get a splendid view of the beach and watch sunsets on the private beach which can be accessed from the luxurious Hotel. Guests can choose from rooms and cottages midst tall coconut trees, and that face the beautiful Kovalam Beach for a wonderful stay. The hotel provides world-class amenities that tourists can make complete use of during their stay here. One can explore the beach front or go swimming in the sea before enjoying some mouth-watering traditional Kerala Cuisine. Halcyon Castle is a chosen Heritage Hotel among most of the tourists visiting Kerala.

Experience Time: 1 hour

Distance: 1 kms

Samudra Beach

A large promontory separates this Northern beach from the southern side. Samudra Beach is where you can enjoy the sight of shoreline fishing and watch local fishermen ply their trade. There is also a mosque on this beach.

Experience Time: 1-2 Hrs

Distance: 4 kms

Vellayani Lake

One of the most popular freshwater lakes, Velliyani Lake is located 7km away south from Kovalam in Trivandrum, Kerala. Velliyani lake is also known as 'Velliyani Kayal' in the regional language Malayalam. Spread over 7.5 acres, the lake is a significant water source for irrigation and drinking purposes. Vellayani Lake is in the premises of Vellayani Agricultural University which is also a must see place. It is ideal for an evening walk with the cool breeze and lotus blooming on the lake that rejuvenates any passerby. Vellayani Kayal gives a nostalgic feeling to anyone who wishes to experience the goodness of a village away from city life. Surrounded by a scenic landscape of coconut groves and backwaters, the lake is a favourite picnic spot among locals as well as tourists. It bustles with entertainment during Onam, the traditional festival of Kerala. The traditional boat race is organised here, inviting an enormous crowd. The lake's ecosystem flourishes with a variety of flora and fauna. The origin of Vellayani lake has a mythological twist, as per the famous legend, there was once a beggar who was thirsty. He visited a saint who was meditating. The saint realised that his bowl was almost empty and threw the last few drops by chanting a small prayer. Surprisingly, the land that bore the drops of water gradually turned into a lake that's today known as Vellayani Lake. However, at present, the lake is undergoing various atrocities that involved officials in draining the lake for agriculture. However, the locals and environmentalists objected this. The lake stands beautiful and refreshing for any visitor till date.

Experience Time:

Distance: 2 kms


Surfing in India is not the way it seems. The beautiful beaches spreading across the 7500 km of coastline in India provides exciting surf spots for surfing enthusiasts. Every year in October, the surfing federation of India organises a surfing competition in Kovalam. Most of the surfers are from the fishing communities of Kerala hence the surfing club has got its own praise. The Kovalam Surf club supported by a more large wing, NGO SISP is one among the many surf clubs in the coastline of Kovalam. They provide surfing classes for all age groups between 6- 60 years. One can visit the Kovalam Beach as well enjoy the view from the lighthouse. The Sebastian Indian School Projects (SISP) is a non-profit organisation that aims to provide free education to the deserved communities of Kerala. In the previous years, the Kovalam Surfing club has sent passionate surfers to join the International Surfing Association course with an intention to bring in more surf instructors. Apart from this, the Kovalam Surf club has something remarkable. As it has turned out into a home-grown, organic and spontaneous surf culture, it has kept the youngsters of the village from narcotics and alcohol. Hence, this has owned its name not only as a tourists spot but a mission with a vision to bring in a positive change.

Experience Time: 3-4 hrs

Distance: 6 kms

Karamana River

Originating from the southern part of the western ghats, the Karaman River is a prominent tourist attraction in Trivandrum. The river flows through a small suburb called Karamana. It attracts many tourists with various indulging activities. There are extensive tropical plantations around the river which lets every visitors engage themselves in nature's beauty. Tourists can enjoy the scenic landscape along the river bank. The Thiruvalam Boating Camp anchored on the bank offers various water sports like canoeing, kayaking and houseboat cruises. There are many houseboats which can be reserved for a night's stay by the tourists. This pure, untouched beauty with the sound of bird twilight and the serene atmosphere is worth a visit. The catchment area of the river mainly consists of dryland crops like pepper, rice and coconut with a canopy of forests. The Aruvikkara dam and Peppara dam are the two dams over the river with many other bridges that connects its either side. The picturesque and beautiful Karamana river is one of the backwaters of Kerala with significant biodiversity.

Experience Time: 2-3 Hrs

Distance: 15 kms

Veli Tourist Village

The Veli Tourist Village is a famous picnic spot in the mouth of the River Veli. Situated 12 km from Thiruvananthapuram, the site offers various indulging activities. The most prominent ones are the pedal/speedboat that explores the lagoon on the southern banks of the river, the children's park, horse rides and swimming pool. Tourists can book boat rides and engage in activities like games, horse rides and the children can play around in the park. The swimming pool, shopping complexes and cafeterias are other recreational activities at the Veli Tourist Village. Apart from these, the bay on the banks of Veli river is the spot for vast biodiversity with pigeons, swans, birds, fishes and tortoises. The Kerala Tourism Department Corporation (KTDC) runs a floating cafe and a walkway that is adorned with stone and grass sculptures within the premises. This beautiful picnic spot also houses a floating bridge that connects to the Veli beach. Visiting the spot during sunset is an excellent time by the tourists as it bestows an exceptional view. It is a perfect leisure spot and a photogenic place for families and friends.

Experience Time: 2-3 hrs

Distance: 2 kms

Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple

Vizhinjam is a seaside hamlet, and one of the earliest rock-cut caves in Kerala is very close to the scenic Kovalam Beach. It is situated 17 km from Trivandrum.Vizhinjam Caves have rock cut sculptures from the 8th century that houses one-celled shrine of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi with the outer wall depicting an unfinished statue of Lord Shiva holding a bow and Parvathi on either side. The icon of Tripurantaka with a bow and arrow in two of his four hands, with his left foot resting on Apasmara, the crown of his head that's elegantly carved and highly ornate is a beautiful model of the 8th-century art. It is incomplete yet mesmerising to see. With two zones of north and south that concentrates on the Chera and Ay community, the oldest rock-cut cave is an intrusive element in Kerala. The nearby attractions of this place are Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium and the Fishing Harbour. Since 1965, Vizhinjam Caves is a protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India. Although it went unnoticed for many years, it's structure holds great significance. It is arguably the smallest rock-cut shrine in southern India.

Experience Time: 1 hr

Distance: 1 kms

Kovalam Art Gallery

Kovalam Art Gallery is home to many intricate paintings, artefacts and one of the favourite tourist spots in Kovalam. It is at a proximate distance from Hawah Beach, Trivandrum located on the Samudra beach road. The paintings showcased provide rich knowledge not just for adults but also the kids by bestowing inspiration and motivation. With the intricately made artworks, the gallery opens a world to what's trending on this side of the globe. It is a feast for the eyes of artist and art lover alike who wish to place their eyes on traditional Indian art. The essential paintings of the gallery are of Raja Ravi Varma, Nicolas Roerich and Svetlova with some rare, ancient collection of Indian fresco artworks. The age-old art which represents the cultural traditions of the indian subcontinent is also displayed. Hence it is heavily frequented by international visitors. After a visit to the Kovalam art gallery, one can visit the nearby Hawah Beach and have a lip-smacking seafood meal at the nearby restaurant as a perfect end to the trip.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 9 kms

Valiyathura Pier

Valiyathura Pier became one of the most famous spots of south Kerala in 1950. Earlier it was extensively used for transport of cargo and currently its mostly used by fishermen to launch catamarans during rough weather. It is significantly famous sightseeing for tourists for its mesmerising view. The 60-year-old pier is 703 foot supported by 127 concrete piles and made of 571 tonnes of cement and 250 tonnes of steel. Closely located to the Shanmugham beach in Trivandrum, the pier is a friendly resort for visitors. The exciting part of visiting the dock is watching the sky change colour in the evening. The pier had one 10-tonner and four 3-tonne cranes to unload cargo from ships. Since it was located in shallow waters, massive ships couldn't anchor itself from the deep sea and transport their ware. It was once Kovalam's pride until the development of Kochi port came up. With dismantled cranes, eroded structure and rusted cargo godowns, Valiathura turned out to be a dead port in the late 20th century. Although the port is abandoned today, the pier is home to fishers who use the weakened structure to launch their catamarans during rough monsoon weather. There is an excellent number of Malavu fishes that visit the coastline occasionally. Currently, the Harbour Engineering Department has announced a reconstruction project for the pier.

Experience Time: 1 hr

Distance: 20 kms

Aruvikkara Dam

Located 16 km north of Trivandrum, Aruvikkara Dam is situated on the banks of the river Karamana. It is a favourite getaway for visitors who wish to feed the fishes that pop up on the shore or take a casual stroll around the picnic spots near the dam. Apart from this, it is a perfect location for basking under the sun in the calmness and beauty of nature. Situated in the premises of the Aruvikkara Village over the Karamana River, the dam was built to support agricultural activities of the villagers. With boat rides and a small park, this is a great spot for visitors who can engage themselves in activities. The dam is the primary reservoir that provides water to Trivandrum, the state capital of Kerala. The dam is a little small in stature but well maintained by the authorities. Visitors are restricted from taking a bath in the river as it has many stones with curve edges. The Aruvikkara Devi Temple of Goddess Durga, with stunning architecture and the beach resort, are the nearby retreats that have always attracted tourists since 1930s. Apart from this, there is also an artificial waterfall making Aruvikkara Dam a renowned leisure spot.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 5 kms

Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple

Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple is situated on the banks of Karamana River. It is known to be the only temple in Kerala dedicated to Lord Parasurama. Located 1km from Sree Alukadu Devi Temple, 2km from Pazhanchira Devi Temple and 3km from Attukal Temple, this heritage is under the list of monuments that are of national importance. According to the folklore the 2000-year-old temple is believed to have visited by Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Built in the 12th century by the legendary king Athiyaman Perumal, the Parasurama Temple is a Trimurthy temple with the shrines of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. The temple is a venue to pay respects to the ancestors. Hence during the Karkidaka Vavu day, the devotees take a dip in the river and pray for the departed souls. The popular ritual commonly known as Balitharpanam or Vavu Bali is held here where hundreds of people gather to offer kshetra Bali and Kadavu Bali with the assistance of 15 chief priests performing the rituals. As said, Lord Parasurama is reigning deity of the temple is believed to have created Kerala. The legend also glorifies Adi Shakara who made a Bali at this temple for his mother. It is now managed by the Travancore Devasom Board and is considered a protected monument by the Archeology Department, Kerala.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 0 kms

Artificial Off Shore Coral Reef

Honoured as India's first offshore coral reef, Artificial offshore coral reef in Kovalam has gained popularity. This major project aimed to protect and enhance the environment by the government of Kerala in association with the Department of harbour engineering. However, artificial coral reef became a major tourist attraction after surfing was introduced. The surfing sport has boosted a large number of tourist to this region. Here visitors are provided with a diving outfit and safety arrangements underwater. The erosion level in the atmosphere has reduced drastically ever since the project was installed. Although the materials used to create the reef are artificial, it doesn't affect the health of marine species. It has also induced a survivable ecosystem to the marine life. The Artificial Off-shore coral reef is open at all times of the year. However, a favourable time to visit the place is from March to June as the water is warm.

Experience Time: 2-3 Hrs

Distance: 2 kms

Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium

Located about 2km from Kovalam near Theatre Junction, Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium is situated in one of the busiest fishing harbours. Officially known as Sagarika marine research aquarium, the place houses a large variety of rare aquatic species like squirrelfish, clownfish, moon wrasse and a school of invertebrates and ornamental fishes. A treasure trove of colourful corals, giant turtles, lionfish, piranhas, triggerfish, sharks surgeonfish and a lot more. It is very informative and exciting for sea explorers who can get a closer look at the mysteries of marine life. Besides, the aquarium is famous for its Image Pearl Production. The procedure is when a mould made of shell cement is embedded into a pearl oyster which after 2-3 months produces a pearl in the shape of the mould. The aquarium is situated roughly 1.5 km from Kovalam town and was established in 1997. It is now managed and administered by the Central Marine Fisheries Institute.

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