My major research before a trip is usually done through Lonely Planet. And the version I have does not have any sights and activities on it! Still based on other research, went ahead and for sure turned out to be one of the essentials.
The place is located about 200 kms from Alleppey, an inconsequential drive, unless you are interested in Mata Amritanandamayi and her ashram, it falls on the way at Kolam. The route is a part of the Thiruvananthapuram – Cochin highway so it quite busy with commercial traffic.
On arrival the driver announced that we would have to walk down about 5 minutes as the car does not reach the hotel. So we called a bell boy from the hotel to pick our luggage. So within about 50 m we realize what we were onto. On the first thought, the place was somewhere a mix of Goa and Miami in terms of the architecture. The place is lined with Goa type beach shacks along the beach with a pathway in between the beach and the shack. The second most striking thing is the black sand, something that is very rare in India.
|The beach, promenade and the Shacks|
Our hotel was Neelkantha, on the lighthouse beach. The rooms have sea view, something that is a better version of the shacks in Goa! Had other amenities but with beach, alcohol and good food, they don’t really matter. The alcohol ban in Kerala is compensated with beer and wine parlous spread along the beach. These places serve only beer and wine as the name suggests but it is good enough I guess. To add the German Bakery on the beach has amazing food!! Brilliant breakfast and dessert options. My favorite place for food.
|View from the German Bakery|
There are 3 beaches in continuation where the only ‘attraction’ is the light house. The height of the tower is 41m and the views from the top are stunning. Some very good panoramic picture taking opportunities.
The other attraction is Poovar village which is about 17 kms away from Kovalam. The place is worth going, but it is not worth the hype created around it. The best way to see the while thing is via motor boats. Ktdc has fixed charges for the boat and you can see things like backwaters, canal, Neeyar river, meeting of the river and ocean, golden sands beach, mangroves, some floating hotels etc. Do not fall for longer time options offered there. Just take the minimum time which costs about 2000 for a couple. So decide with care.
|Some views from the boat ride|
|The black and white Kingfisher – One of my favorite clicks|
On the return we visited the Padmanabhswami temple in Thiruvananthapuram.
All in all, would rate Kovalam as an essential stop. Out trip comes to an end here. Other Kerala details and itineraries on the page here. .
A place that indulges all your senses,, Kerala is a must visit destination for one and all!
Beware Vegetarians, you are on the wrong turf! Most of the restaurants along the beach have a lavish spread of sea food for you to choose from. The beer and wine parlour at the Jeevan Beach Resort also has a tandoor facing the sea. My wife was not at all happy with the sight of the catch and the cooking on the road.
Out hotel Neelkantha had the worst of the breakfasts of my whole trip. Appams were served with nothing to accompany. The staff also didn’t care enough to assist. Even though we has a breakfast complimentary, we opted not to have it on the next day.
Special mention here to German Bakery. Amazing deserts with coffee to spend the evening. We had the lemon cheesecake, almond cake along with green tea while watching the sunset. Fusion which is right next to the light house also has a good selection of Indian and fusion dishes as the name suggests. They also made sure we had our tummies full without having to see the sight of the cooking.