My first night in Kovalam, I was ready for a cold beer, but on walking past the restaurants, I hadn't spotted anyone with a glass of beer/lager.
Everyone seemed to be supping tea!
Eventually, I gave up, and walked into a restaurant, reckoning I would be drinking a fruit drink.
The waiter whispered "Gin & Tonic?" I asked if he had beer, he said yes. This was shortly presented to me in a teapot with a mug!!
The laws on selling alcohol in Kovalam (and Kerala) can be a bit confusing. Officially it's not to be consumed in public places, or non designated places, such as bars.
Dry days can be enforced too, according to festivals etc.
In other restaurants I was served Kingfisher beer with the bottle wrapped in newspaper, sometimes placed under my table.
Cocktails were often listed with non alcoholic ingredients, but the waiter checked which spirit you wanted adding!
If the police were patrolling, the waiters could get a bit jumpy!
A few hotels serve alcohol.
There is a government liquor store at Kovalam junction, just hire a tuk tuk.
Probably a good idea to stock up with your fave spirits etc at Bahrain etc. duty free or bring from home!
A liquor licence in Karalla apparently cost a fortune so most establishments do not have them although they still serve alcohol knowing if they are caught they face a few days in goal. Kingfisher lager is usually available and local brand spirits are served which can be a bit potent (they creep up and knock your legs from under you). If you want branded product then go to the Taj Green hotel or for home consumption the liquor store at Kovalam Junction. Wine is sold at most hotels but at a very premium price, hotel drinks are normally listed on the bill as "specials", some of the bars on the front of Lighthouse Beach serve the beer in Teapots to pour into cups.
The local festival to celebrate harvest in January is more like a vivbrant carnival. An electric atmosphere with drums beating, fireworks going off into the night. A stage was built in the square just outside a small local Temple next to The Uday Samudra Hotel; a mimed play was staged with all the locals watching. The women of the village sat around the stage whilst the men stood back almost in segregation. We were offered seats by the Temple (I thought at the time this is going to cost me) we were politely asked if we would like to make a small donation and of course we did. In all the highlight was the Elephants entering the village via GV Raja Road followed by a long procession making their way to the beach at approx 11pm, with the local of all ages joining the occasion.
Kerala is a destination for an individual who has been to places such as Goa, where the emphasis is more on the partying than nature. Dont expect kerala to be a wild party zone like Goa where sunset means more fun and more booze. The tourism officials are also quiet strict here with nudity and drugs on the beach.
Sunset in kerala brings along food n classical dances, and, if u might prefer, a massage near the beach. Tourist from all over the world have made kerala a must see location on thier India itinary, so have a thought and let the revellers enjoy themselves.
In this snap here, it must a portugese girl. what an amazing face.
Pic courtesy: firstname.lastname@example.org (just one of the monkeys)