While thinking of what’s the best that the capital city in Gods own country could offer…among the many places I threw the dart at Kovalam Beach.
Having lived in the city for quite some time now, Kovalam beach would definitely be on the top of the list if I had to suggest places in Thiruvananthapuram.
No matter how many times I revisit this beach, it still feels as new as the first time I had seen it. It’s just like a cocoon that transforms into a butterfly as time passes. Just keeps getting prettier.
Located about 15 kilometres from the Trivandrum Central, the place is easily accessible via services such as train, bus, auto and cabs.
The interesting bit is that the beach is divided into three sections
- Lighthouse beach
- Hawa beach
- Leela beach
There’s the completely packed tourist spot, the fisherman’s arena and the serene one among the three. These three beaches extend to a really vast space. Shallow waters along with low tidal waves make it a common spot for chilling as well as for adventurous water sports.
Another one of the distinguishable features that make Kovalam special is the presence of Ilmenite and Monazite that gives the sands here a light shade of black. Only certain spots around Kovalam has this feature, so make sure to not miss out on it!
Walking around the black sand in summer afternoon is a bad idea, so do take precautionary measures and wear your slippers around the area.
To the eyes, the beach is definitely a new take from the common beaches..to me it always looked like the blue waters were creating a chilling effect on the sizzling charcoal-like sands. Whenever I visit here, look at clear waters any confusion or stress I was feeling vanishes and my mind feels clear than ever before.
If you’re a morning person, you’d be able to view several beautiful sights.
The early morning joggers, fishermen preparing themselves for the day’s catch, few workers cleaning up the beach and some who bring their pets around for their routine walk. Most of them were pretty friendly when I had approached them, and one among the fishermen agreed to take me along for fishing the following day as well!
A good share of Keralites are among those who believe in “Athithi Devo Bhava”, the guests who come over are nothing lesser than an embodiment of God.
I believe that this is exactly why they’ve created a heaven-like space for each guest who comes by.
The Lighthouse beach is the popular one among the three and hence is crowded almost at every point of time.
I could also find several resorts and Malabar cuisine restaurants along the beach end. Staying at Kovalam will never be disappointing… cosy rooms with the beach view, to me it was more or less like I was tucked in between a bunch of clouds.
The Vizhinyam lighthouse on top of a small hillock would be open till around 6 pm for the visitors. I had gone here, and I still keep going back to it just for the view from the top.
Vast expanses of blue play a contradictory game with the dark sands of the beach.. looking from the lighthouse windows, nature’s most beautiful colour palette stood there in front of my eyes.
This beach was declared a tourist enclave in the 1930s and have a long traced historical association since the time of Travancore Maharani Sethu Lakshmi.
The place was used as a casual fishing spot as well as the summer retreat for the royals until the early 1970’s when wandering hippies flocked down to the beach. Slowly more people got to know about this sapphire gem in the capital city and transformed it into a tourist spot.
In comparison to the Lighthouse beach, the other two divisions are pretty calm. Those who prefer some solitary time can come around here and sit by the rocks watching the sunrise and the sunset.
Leela beach is a common spot for the localites during the weekends.
While at Leela beach, one of my favourite rituals is the wooden boat rides. The fisherman’s hub, this area has some boats kept aside for the tourists. Exploring this side of Kovalam that existed before the tourism industry and modern tech came about, is a must-do activity!
Wooden boats with their bamboo oars give a very familiar nostalgic vibe and introduce the untouched version of Kerala.
The wooden boat rides can last for either 15 minutes or go on for two hours. During sunsets going on one of these beauties into the beach gives you an unforgettable view of the sun melting off into the waters.
They even provide options such as snorkelling, and the best time to opt for this would be the morning hours.
Not far from here, adventurous sports such as surfing, body boarding, motorboat riding and so on can be availed.
There are shops along the side that let me hire a surfboard and an instructor had accompanied me to the artificial reef. They ensure that you’re well instructed and are well versed in several languages in order to communicate with foreign tourists.
There is also Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium not very far from the Kovalam beach for you to enjoy.
The black sand beach along with a plate of freshly fried Malabar fish is all it took for me to understand why the land is celebrated as God’s own.