Kovalam used to be a calm fishing village once upon a time but not anymore. The town of Kovalam has now developed into a full-fledged beach town and is popular as Kerela’s most developed resort. The main beach, the Lighthouse Beach, is lined with hotels and restaurants, all catering to the needs and demands of tourists. Hawa Beach, located in the north is usually the place for day-trippers who wish to head to the beach right off the taxi stand. The beaches here have some promising surf and it’s also a good base for various yoga and meditation courses plus ayurvedic treatments.
About a couple of kilometres further north is the Samudra Beach, more famous with the elite crowd for its range of upmarket resorts and a rather peaceful beach.
Apart from its beautiful beaches, Kovalam’s most striking attraction is the candy-striped Vizhinjam Lighthouse which stands tall at the southern end of the Lighthouse Beach on Lighthouse Beach Road. Climb up the spiral staircase to the top to catch a magnificent view over the endless sea. The lighthouse is open from 10:00 A.M to 05:00 P.M. Entry to the lighthouse costs INR10 for Indians and INR 25 for foreigners, camera is INR 20 and video is INR 25.
Santhigiri, located on Lighthouse Beach Road, is an excellent centre for massages and ayurvedic treatments. It is open from 09:00 A.M to 08:00 P.M. Visit their website www.santhigiriashram.org
A cab between Trivandrum and Kovalam will cost roughly INR 400 while an auto-rickshaw will charge INR 250 approximately. All buses to Kovalam stop at the Kovalam Junction which is around 1.5 km from Lighthouse Beach. There are regular buses plying between Kovalam and Trivandrum every 20 minutes starting as early as 05:30 A.M and until 10:00 P.M. It takes about half hour and INR 9 for the journey. There are other buses from here to other nearby places such as Alleppey, Kollam, and Varkala.