Kovalam – A Tropical Paradise
God dipped his fingers in acopious palette and created the magical colors that bathe Kovalam with their grandiose beauty every day. Dusky hues, fiery tones and soothingly romantic colors paint the skies of Kovalam and its majestic beaches in bejeweled tones before quietly winking off into the night. This resplendent display makes one believe in the true power and blissful magic of nature and her lavishness.
The paradisiacal destination of Kovalam is located to the south of Kerala, truly God’s own country.It is just a 20 minute taxi-ride away from the capital city of Thiruvanathpuram which is how I travelled to have one of the most transcendent experiences of my life.
Kovalam factually means a grove of coconut trees.I was really astounded by the panoramic vista of the endlessly swaying palm trees that stretched to as far as the eye can see.The tranquil and serene place is painted with a colorful history and has been the playing ground of royalty like the Maharaja of Travancore since the 1920’s. But Kovalam first got its share of the limelight pie in early seventies with the exodus of hippies. This singular event brought about the transformation of a casual fishing village into one of the most sought after, wish-list tourist destinations in all of India. Kovalam is now finding a new significance in light of several Ayurvedic salons, recuperation and regeneration resorts.
But the main reason behind droves of tourists thronging to Kovalam by the masses is because of its three fantastic beaches, demarcated by natural rocky outcroppings that form its illustrious crescent shoreline.
The Lighthouse Beach is the most popular tourist hangout. Its name originates from the old Vizhinjam Lighthouse located on a rocky cape. The intermittent beams of which render the cove with an unearthly charm in the mysterious hours of darkness. This charming seaside haven is also a popular place for swimming. The waves are gentle and there is not much depth in the ocean. But beware the caution of lifeguards, as they monitor the waves and alert swimmers to any foreseeable danger. Moreover, there are many restaurants along the beach front where the days catch is prepared in a light and delicious manner and is modeled off as special of the day.
The next little piece of heaven is Eve’s Beach or Hawa Beach. It is so uniquely named, for the topless European women who used to throng here. It is the first beach of its kind in India and provided the locals with a much appreciated view. Though topless bathing is banned now, certain resorts and private coves still allow it. The high rocky promontory, the calm blue waters transform this stunning inlet into a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights. You can find a range of beach hotels in and around this area.
Detour past Kovalam junction to land on Samudra Beach which is just north of Ashoka Beach. One has the option to walk along the sea-wall, sea-bathe and swim here, if the tides favor you. Experience the spray of the waves lashing on the rocks below and indulge in escapades like surfing, motor and wooden boat rides and catamaran cruising to experience the rush of a lifetime.This is where I spent the bulk of my time and almost got thrown into the waters for my heroic efforts while surfing. Accommodation in this city is not a problem, as there are a good number of motels and hotels in Kovalam.
But on a sober note, the frenzied beachfront development, bloated prices and indefatigable souvenir-sellers of Kovalam are very well worth it. But then there’s that one moment of perfect peace or clarity when you know that the universe is a much larger synonym for infinity and you are a part of something indefinable and in the true presence of Godliness. Truly that is bliss, Sheer bliss.
So get ready and get set for an overwhelming and magical experience. Pick Kovalam and pack your bags for the long weekend. I sure will.