I’ve been to Kovalam several times. Each time I go, I think one day is sufficient for Kovalam. I mean how long can you sit on a beach? But, once I hit the water all thoughts of leaving Kovalam were literally washed away. Here’s a description of the two nights we spent in Kovalam.
How We Got There
Kovalam is 16 Kms from Thiruvanandapuram (Trivandrum), which is the capital of India’s greenest state, Kerala. To reach Thiruvanandapuram, we caught the early morning Intercity from Kayamkulam. As it was the day after Christmas, there was a lot of rush in the train. We spent most of the two and a half hour journey on our feet. I managed to secure half a seat for me and my son at Varkala, which is about midway to Thiruvanandapuram. Since I had to keep my son amused, we played our own version of KBC. Some time later, two people got up and we gratefully relaxed our aching muscles. As the train pulled into the station, I glanced outside the window. The board read ‘Thiruvanandapuram Central.’ Drat! So much for a comfortable journey…
After coming out of the station, we caught an auto from across the road. A little haggling and then the autowallah agreed to take us to Kovalam for 100 Rupees. The journey to Kovalam just took a little over half an hour, and of course, was much more comfortable than the train.
Looking for Accommodation
Perhaps, one of the reasons that Kovalam is such a popular tourist spot is because it has accommodation to suit all budgets. You can take your pick from a Rs 400/- budget room to a 10,000/- a night room in a luxury hotel or beach resort. Since it was the holiday season, most of the private rooms in Kovalam were being offered at double or triple the original rate. Typically, the rooms a little away from the beach are better equipped than rooms that overlook the beach. We found a nicely furnished room just about 5 minutes from the beach. After we unpacked, we were ready to hit the water.
In the Water at Kovalam
The beach is of course the primary attraction of Kovalam. Kovalam has three beaches separated by large rocky outcroppings—Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach, and Samudra beach. The Lighthouse beach is the largest and most popular beach in Kovalam. You can enjoy a lot of water sports at Kovalam. While experienced swimmers enjoy surfing, swimming, and waterskiing, inexperienced swimmers can create their own water sports with a little imagination. That’s what we did. On the first day, we dared each other to go as far out as possible into the water. This dare was meant mainly for our son who refuses to do anything that looks even slightly risky. Despite our cajoling, he ventured into the water only after ascertaining that there were enough coast guards. Then, we all tried swimming as best as we could. Watching my son swim was a very entertaining experience. He would lie down in about 10 inches of water and wait for a wave to come. As soon as a wave washed over him, he would start swimming with all his might till the wave subsided. Then, he would wait for the next wave to come in. Next we played a game of rating the waves. I sat with Monu in my lap in about two feet of water with my back to the waves. We would wait for a wave to crash against us and then rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 depending on the extent to which it displaced us. Surprisingly, there were plenty of waves on scale 10 even though Monu and I together weigh around 95 Kg. These waves were huge and would sweep us forward along with them. We enjoyed playing with the waves so much that we ended up spending about eight hours in the water over the two days we were there. And even then, only the dread of catching a chill got us out of water.
Other Things to Do in Kovalam
Even without entering the water, there is a lot to do in Kovalam. The sunset at Kovalam is very picturesque. Just sit on any of the beach facing restaurant with a cup of coffee and watch the sun slowly submerge in the water. There are plenty of curio shops in Kovalam for those who love shopping. Sea food lovers can have a good time here sampling many of the exotic dishes prepared in South Indian and Continental styles. You can also get an all body ayurveda massage at pretty reasonable rates in Kovalam. Or, you could simply while away your time ogling bronzed and sculptured hunks or bikini-clad beauties, depending on your preference.