Lots of choice around Kovalam for buying new clothes both mens & womens. The cost appears fairly cheap and quality is fairly basic. It appeared to me by comparing prices around the village that there was almost a cartel. Whilst appearing inexpensive to us the price was I think fairly hiked up in comparison bearing in mind they only have the tourist season to make their money. I believe that it would probably be cheaper to buy from one of the non tourist villages if buying a few items, bearing in mind a taxi ride is nominal cost, one trip to order, one to collect.
I Visited this temple as part of a Sunset Backwaters cruise. (see Kerala and/or Kovalam must do tips)
Although most Hindu temples forbid non Hindus to enter, Kerala has some temples that allow this.
We arrived by punt, and walked up some steps to the outer courtyard. We removed our shoes, before entering the inner sanctum.
Our guide then asked if we'd like to make an offering. We paid a small amount, then our guide returned with a parcel made from a banana leaf containing flower petals and a light coloured paste, which he dipped a finger into before placing a small amount onto our foreheads, and arms.
I must admit that I felt a bit awkward about this, being a western tourist "playing at being a Hindu", but one of our party explained that it was a way of "protecting" the Hindu devotees from us!
Again, I don't feel comfortable, wandering around, while people are praying at their shrines, particularly as one woman appeared to be in a trance like state as she went from one deity to another.
However, it was an opportunity to see inside a Hindu temple, which I found fascinating, and as our guide was a local, it must have been ok.
Backwater cruise - part 3
Before returning there was chance to visit the beach at Poovar. This stretch of golden sand is sandwiched between the estuary and sea. I enjoyed spending time there as the sun was setting. Once it became dark the boat returned to its moorings and I was driven back to the hotel.
Kovalam - changed but not ruined (IMO)
"A great place to chill out"
I first came to Kovalam Beach in 1991 when it was a lot different than it is now. I must admit when I stepped on to Light House Beach a few weeks ago after a long day's flying (fog delays that made me arrive at 10:30 pm rather than the 3:30 pm I was schedule to arrive at) I hardly recognized the place. But after a few weeks I don't think that the change is all bad and some of the efforts made to keep the beach pleasant and safe (garbage pick up, garbage cans, strong police presence) are welcome.