Along the 600 kilometre length of the
Kerala coast, there are many sandy beaches, rocky promontories
and coconut palms. The fishing village of Kovalam lies 10
kilometres south of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala.
Kovalam is the only beach resort of Kerala, and is very popular
with the Indian as well as international tourists. Industry
is relatively small scale in this area and the prices low.
The beach is just a few minutes walk from the village.
Kovalam consists of three successive small crescent beaches;
the southern most known as Lighthouse Beach, is where most
of the visitors spend their time. The beach is bordered with
low cost lodging houses, and restaurants which offer adequate
facilities, at affordable tariffs - ideal for a long stay.
The light house on the promontory at the southern end of the
beach, offers a spectacular view across to the Vizhinjam mosque.
Photography is prohibited here.
The middle beach, overlooked from a rocky headland by the
five star Ashok Radisson resort, functions each morning as
a base for local fishers. North of Ashok, is the third beach
which is very little affected by the changing times. It is
dotted with a few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels.
Swimming on the beaches is not always safe, as the undertow
can be very strong, therefore it is essential to follow the
warnings of the safety flags. However, days can be spent here
just lolling around on the sands or retreating under the awnings
of the beach cafes.
There are numerous craft and carpet shops (usually of Tibetan,
Kashmiri and Rajasthani origin), clothing stores and general
stores, yoga schools, travel agents and massage parlours lining