|• Type||Municipal Corporation|
|• Body||Corporation of Trivandrum|
|• Official||Malayalam, English|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Kovalam means "coconut grove," after the coconut trees which are common there.
Kovalam first received attention when the Regent Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore constructed her beach resort, Halcyon Castle, here towards the end of the 1920s. Thereafter the place was brought to the public eye by her nephew the Maharaja of Travancore. The European guests of the then Travancore kingdom discovered the potentiality of Kovalam beach as a tourist destination in the 1930s. In the early 1970s many hippies came on their way to Ceylon in the Hippie Trail, beginning the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into a significant tourist destination.
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Kovalam has three beaches separated by rocky outcroppings in its 17 km coastline, the three together form the crescent of the Kovalam beach.
- Lighthouse Beach
- The southernmost beach, the Lighthouse Beach, is the one most frequented by tourists. It got its name due to the old Vizhinjam Lighthouse located on top of the Kurumkal hillock, 35 metres high. The lighthouse is built using stones, is colored in red and white bands and stands at a height of 118 feet (36 m). 
- Hawah Beach
- Eve’s Beach, more commonly known as Hawa Beach, ranks second, in the early day, is a beehive of activities with fishermen setting out for sea. It consists of a high rock promontory and a bay.
- Samudra Beach
- A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part.
Detour past Kovalam junction to land on Samudra Beach which is to the north of Ashoka Beach. One has the option to walk along the sea-wall too, where the sea can be sighted above the rocks.
Shallow waters stretching for hundreds of metres are ideal for swimming. The beaches have steep palm covered headlands and are lined with shops that offer a variety of goods and services.
Places to visit
- Karamana River - Karamana River originates from the southern part of Sahyadri Range. The river predominantly flows through an outskirt region of Kovalam called Karmana, hence the nomenclature.
- Vellayani Lake
- Halcyon Castle
- Kovalam Art Gallery
- Valiyathura Pier
- Neyyar Dam
- Aruvikkara Dam
- Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple
- Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple
There are a large number of beach resorts in and around Kovalam. The sea port of Vizhinjam is about 3 km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, churches and a mosque. The Proposed International Trans shipment Terminal at Vizhinjam is also close to Kovalam.
Kovalam was among the most prominent tourist spots in India during the hippy era. It still has a high status among tourists, who arrive mostly from Europe and Israel. Kovalam is finding a new significance in the light of several Ayurvedic salons, and recuperation and regeneration resorts which provide a wide variety of Ayurvedic treatments for tourists.
Kovalam assembly constituency is part of Trivandrum (Lok Sabha constituency). In 2016 Kerala Assembly elections, M Vincent of the Indian National Congress defeated incumbent Jameela Prakasham by over 2,500 votes.
A few other beaches in Kerala
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- "Kovalam video". travel trends360.wordpress.com. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
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- Ayub, Akber (ed), Kerala: Maps & More, 2006 edition 2007 reprint, p. 97, Stark World Publishing, Bangalore, ISBN 81-902505-2-3
- Ayurveda Archived 15 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine Ayurveda in Kovalam
- Assembly Constituencies - Corresponding Districts and Parliamentary Constituencies (PDF) (Report). Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Election trends". Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- Kovalam travel guide from Wikivoyage
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