Weekend gateways from Bangalore or Chennai
Kovalam is a small coastal town in South of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala with a stunning view of Arabian Sea. If you want to feel the cool blue water of Arabian Sea, then Kovalam is one of the best alternative of Goa. It can be planned as weekend gateways from Bangalore or Chennai.
We visited Kovalam in August 2016. Here are some quick information of Kovalam and its nearby Places-
How to reach Kovalam, Kerala:
Nearest Railway station/ Airport/ Bus stop: Trivandrum International Airport & railway station (15 Km Away from Kovalam):
From Trivandrum to Kovalam: Auto/ share Taxi/ Bus/ Ola (In 2016 Uber was not there)
Weather: Weather would be best in winter (November- February): 20-24 degree Celsius, although in august (when we travelled) the weather was also good. (At least better than that of Chennai!!). However if you want to witness the lush green and rain washed view of Kerala, you must visit in the monsoon (June- August). Humidity may vary between 70%-85%.
Places to see: In Kovalam, there are many places to see e.g. Hawa Beach, Lighthouse Beach, and Kovalam Beach (All three beaches are connected through sea shores which you can walk over). Other than the Beaches there are Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple, Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium, Neyyar Dam etc.
Our Trip: As mentioned in the title, we have visited both the places Kovalam & Kanyakumari. Our trip was for 4 days.
Day1: We reached at Trivandrum station at 12.30 pm and booked one Ola cab. While waiting for the car, we had explored the beautiful Trivandrum station, for which the full credit goes to my daughter. We only followed the little explorer (running behind her in the station area). We did not want to lose all our energy at the beginning of the tour, so decided to book an auto to reach Kovalam. Our hotel was pre booked from www.makemytrip.com. The hotel was very near to the Light house beach. While taking the delicious lunch at the restaurant of the hotel, we enjoyed the sea view (as it was just beside the beach). Evening we took short walk to the Hawa beach and Kovalam beach.
Day 2: We hired a cab for 2 days and decided to go to Varkala Beach. The place is almost 50 km from Kovalam. It is a unique beach in Kerala having Cliff. The serenity of the beach is amazing. It is also considered the cleanest beach in Kerala. Beach is running parallel to the cliff. Lot of resorts/restaurant are there beside the beach.
We took lunch from a local restaurant there. Sometimes not fixing the itinerary might be helpful. That happened in the Kovalam trip. After visiting Varkala beach, on driver’s request we visited one museum/park. I forgot the name and I could not find it in the internet also. The place was very good. There was a large lake, where Boating was available. The lakes is separated from sea by a small land. We stayed for a while and enjoyed the view.
While returning, we visited Anchuthengu Fort. Anchuthengu Fort (also known as Anjengo Fort) was established by the British East India Company (EIC) in 1696. Located near the town of Anchuthengu, the fort served as the first signaling station for ships arriving from England. (Source: Wikipedia). The fort was the East India Company’s first permanent post on the Malabar Coast.
After returning hotel, we took little rest and evening we walked around the beach, did shopping for my daughter.
There is a good news for fish lovers- you can buy any fish from the restaurant outlet and the same fish will be cooked as per your choice and served to you. All the fish preparation we tried in those 3 days were awesome. However the price of the food items are as higher as in Goa.
Day 3: We wanted to visit Kanyakumari, as it 90 Km from Kovalam. In the morning after breakfast at 9am we started and reached Kanyakumari at around 12 pm. Kanyakumari is the place where Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean & Bay of Bengal all three meet. It is the only sea shore in India, where you can see the Sun Rise and Sun Set from the same place. The most recognizable landmark of Kanyakumari is the Thiruvalluvar statue with the pedestal. The statue measures an exact 133 feet to represent the most important work in Tamil of literature. Kanyakumari is also famous for the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, where Swami Vivekananda meditated and decided to carry his message of peace across the world.
We saw a long que for going to see the Thiruvalluvar Statue & Vivekananda Rock Memorial. It would have almost taken half of a day in standing for getting the ticket for ferry, so we decided to drop the idea. We stayed in Gandhi Museum and saw the statue from far.
While returning we took lunch and came to Neyyar Lake and Poovar. Poovar is a small coastal village in the Trivandrum. Poovar is a rare location in Southern Kerala where you can witnessed tranquil backwaters and opening out to the Arabian Sea and a dream Golden sand beach.
We booked a package for Rs. 2500 for three of us for 1.5 hours of ride (The rate may now changed, as this was in 2016). If you book for more person, the charge would be less for per person. The boat will take you through the backwaters of Neyyar Dam, where you can witness various unknown birds (unknown for me!!) along with other flora and fauna. There are some floating restaurant and hotels. We saw the Poovar Island resort.
If you want to stay there for 1-2 days, you can book from www.makemytrip.com / www.goibibo.com / www.yatra.com. The price for one day stay is around Rs. 5000. The Neyyar Dam is separated from sea by Golden Beach. This beach is the best beach I have ever seen. One side of it is clear blue lake water and other side the Arabian Sea. As we have started at around 4, we just missed the sun set at Golden Beach. I am sure that the view of sun set would be memorable.
Day 4: The next day was our return day. We were feeling little lethargic, we roam around the beach. After taking lunch, we took the train from Trivandrum.