The Europeans of the then Travancore kingdom discovered the potentiality of Kovalam as a tourist destination in the 1930s. But the real popularity as an ideal beach resort was established later in the early seventies with arrival of groups of Europeans popularly called 'Hippys' to this place. It was a beginning of the transformation of just a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. Now some foreign companies have started bringing tourists in a large number to Kovalam apart from the usual travelers, most of them are repeated travelers. A proud thing about Kovalam is that although it is just a small village when compared with its area, still it is considered one of the best places attracting tourists in large numbers.
Kovalam is just sixteen kilometers away from Trivandrum (thiruvananthapuram) city. The word ‘Kovalam’ means a grove of coconut trees. The coconut trees at the Kovalam villages add to the natural beauty and economic value. A characteristic feature of the sands in the Kovalam beaches is that to some extent they are black in color. It is well known for the atmosphere which provoks activities like sun bathing, swimming, and catamaran cruising, kayaking and other beach sports. Kovalam also known as ‘Paradise of Southern India’ is popular region comprising of three beaches. The southernmost beach known as the Lighthouse Beach is the most popular of the three. Many hotels, restaurants, lodges and shops are located here. It is frequented by outsiders who stay and enjoy Kovalam. The northern most crescent is crowded on the weekend which is very popular with the locals, day-travelers and passing by tourist. Hawa Beach is among one of the beaches in India where top-less sunbathing is tolerated. The tourism department provides a vigilant life guard service on both Lighthouse and Hawa beach. It is like one of the dream destination for the people who love beaches.
Being blessed with palms streamlined bays, Kovalam is popular across the globe for the serene natural beauty of this town. It is immensely popular for the special sun kissed beaches, yoga centers, fun water sports, massage parlors offering Ayurvedic massages and the pristine aura of the place. Kovalam has three beaches crescent (lunate) in shape and separated from each other by rocky outcroppings. The most well-liked of the three beaches is the Lighthouse Beach. The northern Samudra beach has a couple of primitive wooden vessels for fishing. Hawa beach is located in between the other two beaches. This beach offers the picture of fisherman setting out for sea. The calm blue waters of this beach are so enchanting and the beauty of the beach multiplies on moonlit nights. The high reef formations of this lunette-shaped beach make it safe for a person wishing to take a swim bath. The refreshing and exhilarating waves in the water are truly energetic.
The Kovalam Beach resort with its traditional Kerala style of architecture adds to the beauty of the lighthouse beach and the middle Hawa beach. You can go for surfing at Kovalam beach. People from different continents and multiple cultures arrive at Kovalam a place to which nature has abundantly offered its treasure of beauty, to enjoy their holidays. At Kovalam many hotels and resorts offer the Ayurvedic massage and treatment. Yoga centers are also plenty in Kovalam. Some theatres perform the traditional Kerala art form, Kathakali and ethnic martial art, Kalarippayattu.
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