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 in the Hippie Trail. This exodus started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India.
PLEASE NOTE: the situation in Kovalam is a little politically-charged at present due to the Adani mega-port in nearby Vizhinjam. Please keep your political opinion to yourself and we will discuss this as a team when on the ground in India.
Once a calm fishing village clustered around its crescent beaches, Kovalam today is Kerala’s most developed resort town.
Kovalam has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings in 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 got its name due to the old Vizhinjam Lighthouse located on a 35 meter high on top of the Kurumkal hillock. The lighthouse is built using stones, is colored in red and white bands and enjoys a height of 118 feet. It's intermittent beams at night render the beach with an unearthly charm. Lighthouse Beach is currently closed to watersport activities, we will find out more and discuss this when we arrive.
- Hawah Beach
Eve’s Beach, more commonly known as Hawa Beach, ranks second, in the early day, it was a beehive of activities with fishermen setting out for sea. With a high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights.
- Samudra Beach
A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn't have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part.
Detour past Kovalam junction to land on Samudra Beach which is to the north of Ashoka Beach. One has the option to walk along the sea-wall too.The sight of the waves lashing on the rocks below is awesome.
Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of metres are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer all kinds of goods and services.
The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and Monazite. The normal tourist season is from September to May. Ashoka beach is also the part of Kovalam beach.