Once an idyllic fishing town, Kovalam is now a popular beach destination of Kerala on the shores of Arabian Sea. Kovalam meaning ‘land of the coconut groves’, is surrounded by three beaches that are separated by a rocky outcropping. These three beaches together form the famous crescent shape of Kovalam. From November to February, the weather of Kovalam is at its best. For tourists who want to visit Kovalam for wellness trip, monsoons are ideal for a visit. The tourists can visit the three beaches, popular landmarks or the region or just relax and soak in the laid back lifestyle of the region. Additionally, Kovalam is a popular adventure water sports destination of Kerala. One can experience an adrenaline rush while trying motorboat ride, parasailing, and surfing. Another fascinating experience for the tourists would be riding the traditional catamaran. These catamarans rowed with traditional bamboo paddles, are essential to the fishermen community of the region. The beauty of the area – with its tranquility and peaceful surrounding – has made Kovalam a popular holiday destination since the 1930s. Due to its closeness to Sri Lanka, during the Hippie Era, Kovalam was frequently visited by hippies and other European tourists on their way. Even today, one can find the tourists getting coppery tans while relaxing on the beaches. All thanks to the tropical sun. The laid back lifestyle and vibrant nightlife of the region, has made Kovalam a popular destination for the Israeli and European travelers. One of the popular honeymoon destinations of Kerela, one can see flocks of newlyweds in Kovalam enjoying the pleasant trip. Apart from the natural beauty and stunning sea beaches, Kovalam is also the land of festivals. The annual Kovalam festival is one of the biggest festivals in the region. The Elephant Festival, held in January, is another important celebration of the region. Beautifully decorated elephants, full in their regal gear, take part in the procession creating an awe-inspiring visual. Nishagandhi Dance Festival, Swati Thirunal Music Festival and Village Fair of Kovalam are some other important festivals of the region.
Kovalam is one of the biggest ayurvedic wellness centers of Kerala. The centers are well-known for treating patients with different ailments with the help of traditional ayurvedic therapies.
Kovalam’s was a quiet fishing village, until the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore, built her beach resort in the early 20th century. Her beautiful Halcyon Castle, a beach resort, was later used by her nephew the Maharaja of Travancore for hosting state dinners and other official events. He realized the potential of the region as a tourist’s destination, due to its beauty and peaceful beaches. With time, European tourists and elites of South India started coming to this beach town, for holidays.
During, the 1960s and 70s, Kovalam saw the arrival of Hippie tourists, who made a stop here before heading towards Ceylon, modern-day Sri Lanka. Their arrival boosted the economy of the region and helped it is turning into a popular holiday destination as it is known today.