Kovalam Things to Do

  • Where the beaches meet
    Where the beaches meet
    by tim07
  • Things to Do
    by tim07
  • Things to Do
    by tim07

Best Rated Things to Do in Kovalam

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Ride an Elephant!

    by suvanki Updated Nov 18, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not in Kovalam, but at a village called Chirakarathazham, near Paravur. I went as part of an organised tour with Manos, but you should be able to book in resort through hotels/tour offices/taxi driver. Probably about an hour away (sorry, I don't wear a watch when I'm away)
    There are 18 elephants owned by Mr Shaji, who used to rent them out for Temple rituals etc, but recently saw this venture as a tourism promotion.

    You have the chance to feed the elephants bunches of bananas, ride them....bareback, like sitting on a huge leather sofa, and bath them...getting into the water and scrubbing them with soap and coconut shells..the elephants seemed to really enjoy this and the attention they were getting.

    They also demonstrated their party tricks of placing a garland of flowers over a volunteers head, using their trunk, and also helping the mahout to embark, by raising their leg to hoist him onto their backs.

    I don't usually enjoy performing animals, but this wasn't too bad.

    Apparently this is a fairly new venture, but will hopefully bring some money into the area, and continue the well being of the elephants.

    The rest of the day was spent on the backwaters (another must do) Aqua Serena Resort (for buffet lunch..swimming pool too)and Varkala Beach (42km north of Trivandrum) Beach at foot of cliff..steep walk down, and even steeper climbing back up!), but worth it for the soft sand and warm sea.

    This trip cost GBP30, but can probably be done cheaper if arranged independently

    Me riding Elephant Aqua Serena Varkala Beach
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    The Beaches!!

    by suvanki Updated Jan 9, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most of Kovalam life revolves around its beaches (Lighthouse, Hawa, Samudra, and Rock) Lighthouse Beach probably being the busiest
    06.00 onwards
    Early morning Sunrise - Expect to see a few souls performing yoga etc, people walking, enjoying the cooler air.

    07.00 ish
    As the day begins, fishermen/restaurant workers/shopkeepers go about their daily business. Fruit sellers/vendors start plying for business.

    08.00 ish
    Smells of food ..breakfast cooking, blends in with the sunlotion being applied by serious sun worshippers. Bars and shops start cranking up the music! (usually traditional Indian music, with some Western sounds)

    10.00ish
    The beach gets livelier with games of volleyball/swimming etc. Holidaymakers and students/locals walking along the beach. Chatting, or stopping to shop or eat/ drink at the many beachside shacks.

    11.00ish
    The fishermen can be seen and heard, singing and chatting as they haul in the catch, which is then sold to the nearby restaurants

    1900ish
    As the sun starts to set, people wander to the rooftop bars to enjoy a sundowner, or gather on the rocks near Hawa Beach to cheer and clap at the sunset. The smell of charcoal/ wood burning as grills are prepared to cook the variety of food on offer

    20.00 ish onwards
    Night activity continues, with another change in atmosphere. Eating/drinking/people watching/parading and shopping all go on with a backdrop of light from colourful lanterns (or candles/oil lamps if the powers off) Music live or recorded can be heard from the bars and restaurants, mingled with a variety of languages being spoken.

    Around midnight, restaurants usually close or are closing, shops are locked up for the night, as people wander back to their hotels, ready to start again tomorrow.

    Lighthouse Beach
    Related to:
    • Fishing
    • Beaches
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • radz's Profile Photo

    Kovalam Beach

    by radz Updated Jul 5, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    This is main beach called Kovalm beach,there are 2 more beach one is Lighhouse beach,and Eve's beach,its 4km from this place.
    It was drizzling when we first went,then rain stops,it was sunshinning ,funny weather :)).

    So empty,full beach is for us only ,later on few ppl came .Here swimming is dangerous,so can only play water and sit relax.There is only one shop opned,to buy water .So when you going there moonsoon time ,take umberalla,water ,spare dress.:)

    There you can walk on top of the cliffs,its so beautiful landscape to watch.

    PS.:High season it will be crowd&very touristy :)).

    Kovalam beach
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Surfing

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Kathakali Performance.

    by suvanki Updated Jan 9, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Something I'd wanted to experience since I first heard of this art form. Although due to see this in Cochin I couldn't wait.

    Kathakali (Story Play) originated centuries ago, with the present form dating from 17th century, and are based on the Hindu epics of The Ramayana and The Mahabharata.

    Performers undergo many years of training, requiring fitness and discipline.
    The drama is narrated by the dancers, by intricate, precise movement/gestures and facial expression. Musicians and/or singers vocalise the story.

    Preparation for each performance is lengthy, with costume and make up taking upwards of 2 hours. You are allowed to watch this process, I found it fascinating..each character having their own individual look.

    The performance lasts about an hour, sheets explaining the gestures are handed out, and they were also demonstrated prior to the drama. The performance I saw was accompanied by taped music, and despite a few powercuts which halted the performance, it was an enjoyable experience.
    Although performances are now shorter, and are performed in halls,/hotels instead of the temple grounds, tourism is helping to prevent the decline of this fascinating traditional art.

    Mon. & Thurs 1700 make up 1900 performance. Think I paid about 250 rupees but not sure.
    Sponsored by Kalarangam Cultural Centre

    Please also visit my Kochi and Kerala pages for more info/pics

    Kathakali Performer Kovalam
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Theater Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • SabrinaSummerville's Profile Photo

    Be a Beach Bum

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Feb 2, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Kovalam I discovered that it is a very rewarding experience to wander the beach at any time of the day, just to see what you might see. By and large this amounted to locals-watching, but there was also an enormous amount of pleasure to be derived from watching the sunset over the Indian ocean.

    You will really know when the locals have a day off, as they swarm the beach. At those times I felt that I was invading - nothing to do with the attitude of the people, just something within myself.

    The best way to illustrate what I discovered is to post some pics - my favourite will be the main one, the old man walking by the sea. It's so colourful and absolutely illustrates the local image and culture.

    I have a feeling that their minds are as colourful as their clothes, and certainly they radiate an aura of contentment and happiness.

    Local relaxes after a day's fishing Fishing boats resting for the evening More fishing boats
    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    AyurvedicTreatments

    by suvanki Updated Jan 9, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ayu (life) Veda (knowledge). The Science of Life! Ayurveda has been practised in India for centuries, and is considered to be a rich complex body of knowledge in which disease can be understood, diagnosed and treated.

    Although becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, Ayurveda was forced to "go underground" during British Colonisation, with it's education and practice being banned! Nowadays, this practice has regained its importance as a preventative and treatment model.

    To gain true benefit, a course of prescribed treatments would be recommended, with care taken to chose a suitably qualified practitioner.

    However, as a 'one off' relaxing experience, and the chance to try something different, I 'd recommend it!

    There are many establishments to chose from in Kovalam.

    I went to the Hotel Neptune. There is a "menu" of treatments I chose a rejuevenation massage (oil massage) which lasted about an hour , followed by Dhara, (about 45 mins) Herb infused oil is trickled onto your forehead from an overhead pot, in a gentle rhythm.

    Both treatments were extremally relaxing. Though it took me quite a while to shampoo the oil out of my hair, and the massage probably had the bonus of exfoliating my skin, as even though I'd showered carefully, there were still some grains of sand stuck to my skin!

    Care must also be taken in the sun afterwards, as you fry with the oil thats left on your body...I was only in the sun for about 5 mins, and I burnt.

    Would try these treatments again, and some others.

    Sign advertising ayurveda treatments Kovalam
    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • Budget Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • radz's Profile Photo

    Light house beach

    by radz Written Jul 5, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    This is Lighhouse beach,this is longest beach in Kovalam.hmmm may be summer it look more walakable & swimming,but rain washed moonsoon it dont look like good to me ehehehhe.So first we went there,had a look then head towards to Kovalm beach.:)

    This beach is full of shops,hotels,in summer this is busiest beach here.Kerala beaches were diffrent look at depends on season.

    Dont buy anything shopping here,its so costely,the same thing u can buy less price in Trivendram.

    Light house beach
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Surfing
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Backwaters (2)Sunset cruise

    by suvanki Updated Jan 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Backwaters at sunset is a magical time!

    A small group of us set off mid afternoon, in a punt.
    The local guide told us stories about the area where he grew up, as we floated along.
    We cruised along the waterways, spotting wildlife, and locals going about their daily lives.
    Stopping off to look around a temple, we were then given refreshing coconut drinks.

    As sunset approached, we were near to a beach, and viewed the sight through the coconut groves.

    It was quite atmospheric, very quiet and still, as the punt floated along darkening waterways.

    Sunset Backwaters
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Fishermen

    by suvanki Updated Jan 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of my favourite sights in Kovalam was watching the fishermen hauling in the nets.

    On Lighthouse Beach, at around 11am, lines of men form, to pull the nets out of the sea. While they do this they chant and sing.

    It's quite a colourful sight, with the blue sky, blue sea, yellow sand and the multi colours of the fishermens lunghis (sarong style clothing) and headwear.

    The nets are taken out to sea in boats, then cast across the water, between the vessels. As the nets are pulled in they scoop up the fish. This can take quite a while due to the strong currents. As the nets are dragged up the beach, crowds gather to see the catch.

    You may even be invited to join in, helping to pull in the catch!

    Soon, a group of women arrive, with bowls and trays balanced on their heads, ready to buy the fish, then sell to the nearby restaurants. By their expressions, they looked to be hard bargainers!

    At night, lines of fishing boats can be seen in the distance, by their twinkling lights.

    My first night in Kovalam, I was quite disorientated by this sight, thinking it was another town!
    Apparently the waiters enjoy telling tourists that its the bridge to Sri Lanka!

    Fishermen, Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • herzog63's Profile Photo

    Local Fishing Boats

    by herzog63 Written Jun 26, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I think I noticed that twice per day these guys would take there net very far out and drop it off and let 2 groups of fisherman pull it back in. I'm not excactly sure how far out but it was several hundred yards! The 2 groups that pull the lines in start at the opposite ends of the beach and they get closer to each other as the net gets closer to shore. Some days I joined in on the net pull.
    It was a lot of work for those guys with very little rewards! Most of the time there wasn't hardly enough fish in the net to sell.

    Fishing boat
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Fishing
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • herzog63's Profile Photo

    Fisherman pulling in the net

    by herzog63 Written Jun 26, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here you can see the fisherman pulling in the net. They start out at opposite ends of the beach and as they pull in the lines they remove sections and coil them up to picked up later. I've seen this same style of fishing in other asian countries so it is a time tested way of fishing that is very popular.

    Pulling in the nets
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Fishing
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • herzog63's Profile Photo

    Lighthouse beach

    by herzog63 Written Jun 26, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the end of the second beach of Kovalam you will see this beautiful Lighthouse and if my memory serves me right the name of the beach is lighthouse beach. This area must be dangerous for boats as it is very near to the Cape Commerin and this is where the Seas can be very rough!!
    The guys you see in this picture were walking up and down the beach looking for Scantily clad foreign girls!! They weren't very secretive about it either. They had binoculars and would stand about 40 feet from the girls looking through the binoculars!! They were having a Grand ol' time!

    Light House Beach
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • ajayzener's Profile Photo

    The Lighthouse Beach

    by ajayzener Updated Mar 11, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I visited the beach to take some sunset snaps, unfortunately the clouds played sour and I could'nt even take a single pic. But then I enjoyed the beach and the vibrance around the beach...Lots of tourists on the stroll and lots of kids having a nice time around the beach... there were teenagers playing volleyball and as it started growing dark..the shops and restaurants lit up to add to the beauty...and enchanting & vibrant scene...

    The striking lighthouse stood at the far end..by 7 pm it was lit and looked beautiful, this beach has rocky hills on both sides, the beach is sandwiched between the hills....there were also number of small boats on the shore...and some of the tourists were seated on top and chatting away...

    I think this is a wonderful beach....

    Light House Beach - Kovalam
    Related to:
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • tim07's Profile Photo

    Backwater cruise - part 1

    by tim07 Written Oct 16, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From my hotel at Kovalam I went on a sunset cruise around the backwaters near Poovar. The drive to Poovar took about 30 minutes. I then embarked on a 2 hour cruise. The backwaters were just so serene, there was hardly any noise, except for the boats engine.

    The cruise took me around the river and lake, giving me a close up view of the vegetation. There were chances to spot many different birds and take in up close the areas lush green plants and trees. I particularly loved the reflection of the palm trees in the still water. Every so often you would see locals going about their daily lives, such as washing or fishing.

    Cormorant

    Was this review helpful?

  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    The Sunglasses Man!

    by suvanki Updated Jan 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You'll probably hear this man before you see him, with his distinctive 'sing - song' call "Sunglasses!" He walks up and down the beach with his selection of sunglasses festooned around his body!
    He also does a side line in coconut oil.

    It's not certain as to whether he's actually sold a pair of sunglasses yet, but whenever I saw him he was smiling! He is legendary for his friendly nature, always ready for a chat, but he's not a pushy salesman!

    This man is a legend in Kovalam, he's featured in holiday brochures ( for many years), and travel articles/ sunday supplements etc. plus, the group - Geezers of Nazareths' single "Sunglasses" is about this man!

    Afraid my photo of Sammy didn't come out :-(

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Kovalam

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

20 travelers online now

Comments

Kovalam Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Kovalam things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Kovalam sightseeing.

View all Kovalam hotels