Beaches, touristy and
unexplored, galore along the 600 km Kerala coast. A bunch of them
have historical significance too. Kodungalore coast near Kochi had
been where St.Thomas, the Apostle of Christ and first missionary in
Indian coast, landed. Vasco De Gama, the first European voyager,
stranded at Kappad near Calicut heralding the European invasion.
Sea has always been an inspiration for Malayali literati and
filmmakers. Keep your ears close to the pages of Malayalam novels.
You can hear roaring of sea and the poignant life on the coastal
Kerala. Ace novelist, late Thakazhi had set, Chemmeen, his
masterpiece, against the background of sea. Many films have coastal
life as background screen .
World famous Indian beach since 1930 where foreign and domestic
tourists throng. This post-card tropical beach, boarded by blue
waters and lush coconut gardens, once was a haunt of hippies from
European countries. Kovalam, more popular among backpacking
travelers, is a western cultural dot on a traditional and orthodox
"Kovalam" means a grove of coconut trees and true to its name the
village offers an endless sight of coconut trees. The
crescent-shaped beach has three parts. The southern most beach, and
the most popular, is light house beach. It offers an amazing sight
of Vizhinjam mosque. The northern Samudra is a laidback one and
time, seems, stands still here. The middle, hawah, in the early day,
is a beehive of activities with fishermen setting out for sea. With
a high rock promontory and a calm bay of blue waters, this beach
paradise creates a unique aquarelle on moonlit nights.
Azure water and favorable climate make Kovalam a favorite year-round
spot for swimming. Sea, here, is pacific and shallow where you can
take a dip in the saline waters. Landlubbers will get lifeguards'
service. The clean white sandy beach will arouse a temptation
irresistible: to lie in idle on the sands and tan the body.
Feeling a spent-cartridge after aquatics and beach activities. Get
into an Ayurvedic massage centre-there are many such centres- and
lie down on the wooden lath for a herbal, body-toning massage. To
make the visit memorable, go for a shopping in handicrafts,
jewellery and cloth shops spread across the shore. Food and
accommodation suiting your purse is available along the beach.
Come into Cochin (Kochi), Queen of the Arabian Sea. Believed to be
the finest natural harbour in the world. With ferry rides commanding
its breathtaking view. Cruise around man-made islands with lush
green lawns sloping down to the water's edge. Cochin is the oldest
European settlement in India. Recording a history of visitors who
came, saw and stayed for hundreds of years. Layered impressions -
Chinese, Arab, Jewish, British, French and Portuguese, are contained
within its environment. Giant Chinese fishing nets that billow
from massive teak and bamboo poles dot the entrance to the harbour.
Silhouetted against the setting sun, they present a magnificent
sight at the waterfront. A narrow, palm-fringed island, easily
accessible from the mainland is where the Bolghatty Palace is
situated. The palace was built by the Dutch in 1744.
The palace has a golf course on its
A virgin beach, 9 kms south of the renowned Kovalam Beach is the hot
spot these days for the traveller. It offers a harmonious
combination of nature where you can enjoy lush greeneries,
whispering sea breeze and the murmering surf. And it is a "must
visit" destinaation having heritage and Ayurvedic resorts like
Somatheeram, SuryaSamudra and Manaltheeram.
A popular city beach near Thiruvananathapuram Airport. On holidays,
the city comes out to the beach for a weekly refreshing. Long and
wide sandy beach can accommodate tens of thousands. An indoor
recreation club, children's park and a star shaped restaurant are
some of the facilities at the beach.
A large, enticing mermaid sculpture greets visitors. During temple
festivals, the beach witnesses ritual washing of temple idols. That
the beach is a fishermen village ensures an interesting sight of
fishermen having their daily catch.
Varkala Papanasam Beach
Varkala spa, 42 km away from Thiruvanathapuram, is the best spot
along Kerala coast for watching sunset. The sight of the sun melting
into the sea would blossom your poetic sense.
During monsoon, bellowing waves engulf the beach lying beneath
towering cliff and mineral water spring. The mineral water gushing
from the hill is believed to have medicinal properties.
The Varkala sands has become an ideal spot for confluence of
cultures exotic and alien. Varkala also houses a leading pilgrim
centre in Kerala. The 800-year old Janardhana temple, dedicated to
Ayyappan and Hanuman, atop the hill has brought a sobriquet for the
region, Southern Kasi (Benares). Non-Hindus are not permitted to
enter the inner sanctum but can hang around the temple.
Sree Narayana Guru(1855-1928), saint, social reformer, philosopher
and leader of Ezhava community, made Varkala his headquarters.
Sivagiri mutt, instituted by Sree Narayana Guru, is another major
pilgrim centre here.
Bekal fort, 14 km away from Kasargode, is the best preserved fort in
Kerala. The seashore fort along with its premise is being designed
into a major tourist resort. The fort, in its domineering position
on a promontory, offers a panoramic view of palm-fringed beaches on
both flanks. Shrubby hill slopes down from the fort to rugged rocks
before engaging itself with a tête-à-tête with the frothy sea.A
sauntering inside the fort would transport to the battle days when
rival forces fought for wresting the fort, then a vantage position
on Western coast. A Navel academy is nearing completion at Ezhimala,
in Kannur near Bakal.