Kovalam is the internationally popular beach just outside the Thiruvanathapuram city. Kovalam was only a small fishing community on the coast of the Travancore Kingdom of Kerala. Today it has become one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

Travancore Prince G V. Raja first highlighted the importance of the beaches at Kovalam after his realization of the immense potential of the scenery and environment of the beach, while he was on his honeymoon at his seaside palace there. This began the slow and steady rise of Kovalam’s fame as an exotic beach and eventual title of the southern paradise. The name comes from the practically endless groves of coconut palms the border the beaches at Kovalam, which literally means the ‘coconut grove’. Kovalam consists of a total 17 kilometers of coastline that is generally divided into three or four beaches. The biggest push to the popularity of this beach came with the hippie movement of the 70’s and the southern tip of India was an essential waypoint in the ‘Hippie Trail’, on route to Ceylon in the east. Later when the governments of India and Kerala realized the immense tourist potential in Kovalam, it was the first project in development of tourism in Kerala in early 90’s and soon it became India’s most popular beach. Today, Kovalam has become a tight community of resorts, hotels and spas hidden behind the dense coconut groves along sun swept beaches.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

  • March – May is Summer and it is humid and heat is immense. The temperature is around 200 C and 360 C, but strong sunlight makes it difficult to spend a long time at the beach.
  • June – September is the season of Monsoon with a stormy countenance and heavy rainfall. Only a few tourists come during this time and usually stay at the spas, as the sea is a bit rough.
  • October –February is Winter. The average temperature is cool around 160 C and 320 C with dry air. The pleasant temperate climate around this time of the year is very conducive for a good time on the beach.

The time in winter between November to February is the best time for a visit to Kovalam.

Attractions of Kovalam

Lighthouse Beach

This is the larger, more developed and serene of the beaches of Kovalam. The name comes from a large lighthouse at one of the rocky ends of the beach known as the Kurumkal hill and foreign tourists prefer this beach to the other beaches of Kovalam. This lighthouse is very old; perhaps the oldest in Kerala that was used to guide ships to the nearby Vizhinjam port and is still used occasionally, giving an eerie effect at night.

Hawah Beach

This is a smaller beach to the north of Lighthouse Beach. In the recent past western women, sunbathing topless were tolerated here and was popular among the foreign tourists, but sadly, today it has been banned.

Samudra Beach

Located further up north, this is a relatively small crescent beach that is used primarily by the fishing community for their fishing activities and a few tourists ever stumble here.

Water Sports

Kovalam is popular because of its variety of water sports. The surf here is good with waves reaching a little over 2 meters and guests can rent surfboards at a nominal price; an artificial reef is now set up to improve the whole surfing experience. Boat rides are also popular among many tourists, which takes them along the shore in traditional wooden catamarans. Apart from this, snorkeling and diving is popular, especially among Indian tourists, with un-certified and certified schools and instructors. A more recent and noisy addition are the motorboats.


The old port town and harbor, just 3km south of Kovalam village. It is famous for its seafood delicacies and a dainty mosque on the shore; it is a belief that the sunsets and sights here are fabulous.

Get In

By Air

The nearest international airport is in Thiruvanathapuram, the capital of Kerala, at a distance of just 15 kilometers. Generally tourists opt for a taxi straight from the airport but one can still linger around in the city a bit and take a taxi or a rickshaw to Kovalam.

By Railway

The nearest railway station is Trivandrum Central, again where one has to hire a taxi or a rickshaw.

By Road

The road is the only direct means of transport into Kovalam. The bus service from Thiruvanathapuram to the beach is regular and cheap, while many hire a motorcycle in the city and ride down here.

Get Around

The Kovalam is a very small community that is tightly packed and it is easy to just walking around town. Some may go for a bicycle or a motorcycle that allow for farther excursions.

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