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Kovalam is a beach town on the Arabian Seamarker in Keralamarker, a state in south India. It is located around 13 km from downtown Thiruvananthapurammarker (Trivandrum).

Etymology

Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees.

History

Kovalam was brought to the public eye by 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. However, Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. That started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India- the Kovalam beach. It is a beautiful place in Kerala.



Geography

Beaches

Kovalam has three crescent shaped beaches separated by rocky outcroppings. 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 all kinds of goods and services.

The larger of the beaches is called Light House Beach for its 35 metre high light house which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. The second largest one is Hawah Beach named thus for the topless European women who used to throng there. It was the first topless beach in India. Topfree bathing and parading is banned now except in private coves owned by resorts. Visitors frequent these two beaches. The northern part of the beach is known as Samudra Beach in tourism parlance. A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn't have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part. The sands on the beaches in Kovalam are partially black in colour due to the presence of ilmenite and thorazite. The normal tourist season is from September to May. Ashoka beach is also the part of Kovalam beach.

Tourist facilities

There are a large number of beach resorts in and around Kovalam. The sea port of Vizhinjammarker is about 3 km away and famous for its special varieties of fish, old Hindu temples, big churches and a mosque. The Proposed International Trans shipment Terminal at Vizhinjammarker is also close to Kovalam.

Kovalam was among the most prominent tourist spot 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.

Politics

Kovalam assembly constituency is part of Trivandrum . The assembly constituency of Kovalam is represented by George Mercier of Congress. He defeated the independent A. Neelalohitadasan Nadar (who represented the constituency four times earlier), in the 2006 Kerala legislative assembly elections. The Left Democratic Front candidate, Rufus Daniel of the Janata Dal , came third.

Gallery

Image:Kovalam Lighthouse Beach.JPG|Light house beachImage:Kovalam Hawah Beach.JPG|Hawwah beach (Eves beach)Image:Kovalam Samodra Beach.JPG|Samudra BeachImage:Kovalam economy.jpg|Foreign tourists in the international beach of KovalamImage: DSC02371.JPG|Kovalam beach - view from lighthouseImage: Muringa Vila construction.jpg|Muringa Vila, Samudra BeachImage:Kovalam Jama Masjid.JPG|Kovalam Jama Masjid on the Samudra beachImage:Kovalam Leela.JPG|Kovalam beach with Leela Kovalam in the backgroundImage:FishingBoat-KovalamBeach-Kerala-India-May2002.jpg|Fishermen and bystanders bringing a fishing boat ashore on Kovalam (Lighthouse) Beach (May 2002)Image:Kovalam Sunset.jpg|SunsetImage:SANY0336.jpg|Fishermen pulling in the nets, Lighthouse Beach, 2008Image:SANY0352.jpg|going out on wooden catamaran boat, Leela/ Samudra Beach, 2008


References

  1. Ayub, Akber (ed), Kerala: Maps & More, 2006 edition 2007 reprint, p. 97, Stark World Publishing, Bangalore, ISBN 81-902505-2-3
  2. News The Hindu
  3. Election results Election Commission of India


See also


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