Kovalam has lots in store besides the raw charm of its famed beaches

Vizhinjam village, Chowra, Valiyathura, Thiruvallam, Vellayani and other picturisque locations around Kovalam also impress tourists often. Photo: Representative image/iStock/f9photos

Kovalam, which has made an indelible mark on the world tourism mark, is synonymous with coconut-lined shores, crescent-shaped long beaches, shallow blue waters and sugar-white sands.

Without an iota of doubt, the tourist locale that is 16km away from the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, is the most famous vacation spot in Kerala. Kovalam was apparently a sleepy fishing hamlet once and it was the Europeans who banked on its tourism potential in the 1930s, and it became what it is today after riding on the hippie culture. 

The three crescent-shaped beaches that are separated by rock formations make Kovalam popular among tourists. The three beautiful spots ‚Äď the Hawa beach, the Lighthouse beach and the Samudra beach ‚Äď are spread across 17kms and they can tempt any beach lover with their crystal blue waters and fun vibe. The spot that separates the Lighthouse beach from the Hawa beach is the best sunset viewpoint in Kovalam.

Another sought-after location is the Ashoka beach, which is considered part of the Samudra beach. The Kovalam Juma Masjid is on the Ashoka Beach. The Samudra beach is the ideal place for you if you want some privacy on the beach. Most of the honeymoon packages include a day or two on the Samudra beach. 

But Kovalam is not just all about these famous beaches. It has many other places of interest too around it. 
1. Vizhinjam village 
The fishing village of Vizhinjam lies on the south side of Kovalam and is 2km away from the favoured tourist center. The Vizhinjam fishing harbour, which is a natural one, is the busiest fishing harbour in the Thiruvananthapuram district.

History has it that Vizhinjam was the capital of the Ay dynasty and the Dutch first constructed a warehouse here. The first Catholic Church was consecrated in Vizhinjam in 1622. This fishing hamlet also has age-old cave temples that are a picture of neglect.

The St.  Mary’s Catholic Church, which is believed to be constructed by the Portuguese in the 17th century, and the ancient mosque are very popular. The village also boasts of an aquarium, which is a microcosm of marine life.  

2. Chowara 
Chowara is a picturesque and serene beach that is located a few kilometers away from the Kovalam city center. It is the best weekend getaway to be far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

The Chowara beach, which is one km long and 20m wide, mirrors the tranquility and the charming beauty of the Arabian Sea and is the perfect destination to spend some quality time with family members. The beach oozing with quietude is on the southern side of the Kovalam-Poovar coastal road.

The Chowara beach stands out as it is in close proximity to the river mouth of the Neyyar River. Tourists throng the Chowara beach as the estuary is a natural spot for swimming. 

3. Valiyathura 
Valiyathura, which is 10km from Kovalam, is an old fish landing area that was used by the fisher folk. You can see the long shoreline of Kovalam on one side and the Shangumugham beach on the opposite side from Valiyathura, which witnesses a regular flow of both domestic and foreign tourists. 

4. Thiruvallam 
Thiruvallam, which prides itself in having Kerala’s only Parasurama temple, is the confluence of Killi River and Karamana River. An attraction near Thiruvallam, where both the rivers empty into the Arabian Sea, is the Pozhikkara beach. The Parasurama temple is situated near the spot where Karamana river, Parvathy Puthannaar and Killi river meet. 

5. Vellayani Lake 
The Vellayani Lake, which is one the two largest fresh water lakes in India, is near Kovalam. The water body that is spread across 7.5 sq km should be on the must-see list of every traveller. The Vellayani Lake is a great place for boating and bird watching. 

6. Veli 
There can’t be any destination better than the Veli Tourist Village, which is 12km away from Kovalam, to spend a quiet holiday on the lap of nature. The tourist village, which is at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Veli Lake, is one of the best spots to go on a boating spree.

The garden, the children’s play area, the park of statues and all types for boating, among others, make Veli a favourite hunting ground for tourists. 

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