HISTORY OF KOVALAM

Kovalam means grove of coconut trees and true to its name the village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. 

Kovalam first received attention when the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore constructed her beach resort, Halcyon Castle, here towards the end of the 1920s. Thereafter the place was brought to the public eye by her nephew the Maharaja of Travancore. The European guests of the then Travancore kingdom discovered the potentiality of Kovalam beach as a tourist destination in the 1930s. However, Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies on their way to Ceylon on the Hippie Trail. This exodus started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in India.


KOVALAM TODAY

PLEASE NOTE: Adani is constructing a port in the region at the present time. As an on-ground foreign-based organisation we do not take part in or condone any conversations around the Adani port or associated politics.

Once a calm fishing village clustered around its crescent beaches, Kovalam today is Kerala’s most developed resort town and faces a number of environmental issues including a lack of waste infrastructure and management, burning of plastics and pollution of local lands and waterways.

Kovalam has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings across its 17 km coastline, the three together form the famous crescent of the Kovalam beach.

  • Lighthouse Beach

The southernmost beach, the Lighthouse Beach is the one most frequented by tourists, Lighthouse Beach derived its name from the old Vizhinjam Lighthouse located on top Kurumkal hill.

  • Hawa Beach

Eve’s Beach, more commonly known as Hawa Beach is home to our Marine Conservation Centre, and is the base of operations for our India team and many of their activities. It is also the focus for our Don’t Be A Sucker, India program, working with local street vendors to eradicate harmful single-use items.

  • Samudra Beach

A large promontory separates this beach from the two southern beaches, meaning it can only be accessed by vehicle or walking via Kovalam Junction.

Two major resorts - Hotel Leela and Uday Samudra Resort are located on Samudra beach, as well as a number of more initimate beachside restaurants, which sit on the break wall.


Map of Kovalam and surrounds, including Light House, Hawa and Sumadra beaches. Note Samudra beach is located between The Leela and Uday Samudra Resorts on this map.

Map of Kovalam and surrounds, including Light House, Hawa and Sumadra beaches. Note Samudra beach is located between The Leela and Uday Samudra Resorts on this map.

The location of our Global Partner SISP at Kovalam Junction - we will be running a number of activities at the SISP Centre.

The location of our Global Partner SISP at Kovalam Junction - we will be running a number of activities at the SISP Centre.