I guess what they say is true. All you need to do is take the first step of a journey , not only will you find the path but you will also find people who will make the journey a lot less difficult and a lot more fun.
The plan was to travel to Cochin and explore the city alone but not only did it get extended to other parts of Kerela, I also got the company of an equally impulsive and crazy friend. We spent an entire day exploring Ernakulam and Fort Kochi, then returned to Angamalai, his home town from where we took a night bus to Trivandrum. We boarded the bus around 1 am and reached Trivandrum at 6 am in the morning.
Here’s a quick snapshot:
The roads are decent and we slept peacefully in a semi deluxe private bus and were woken up by the conductor when we reached the last stop in Trivandrum. From there we took an auto to Lighthouse beach, Kovalam. Though my friend is from Kerela and was very comfortable speaking in Malyalam, I realized that there is no language issue in this state at all. Most people here are comfortable with English and they know enough Hindi to help one get by. And the best thing, they don’t look down upon you for not knowing their language but are very welcoming to the tourists there.
It took us 20 minutes and INR 300 to reach the beach and the first sight of the Lighthouse beach left us mesmerized.
We headed to Jhony’s beach house. It was a petite house situated right behind the queue of restaurants, just 2 minutes away from the beach. Jhony met us outside and showed us to our rooms. Small and cozy, with a balcony and a perfect view they were just the right size in the perfect location.
Jhony Beach house ( Ph: +91-93496-40000 )
Near Lighthouse, Kovalam beach, Vizhinjam, Trivandrum
Double room : INR 650
We decided to go for an early morning dip in the ocean and walked the length of the beach from the lighthouse in one end to the end of the Hawah beach in the other direction. The view is slightly different from this beach – more mountains and raw beauty as compared to the Lighthouse beach.
On our way back we stopped at one of the many cafés for breakfast. You have many options to choose for breakfast – English, Indian, South Indian, American, French, Lebanese etc. The restaurants here seem to cover all the cuisines and of course sea food is one of the main attractions. Since, I’m a veggie I won’t comment on the quality of the sea food but I did see people enjoying it. We spent the entire day in beach chairs. It was all about food, drinks and the beautiful surroundings. It was, in true sense, just perfect.
In the evening we went to another beautiful beach, Varkala, with another one of our college friends who is from Trivandrum. This beach is about 50 Kms from Kovalam and has a beautiful cliff side.
The shops, market, Guest house, cafes, restaurants, music – everything reminds you of Goa. This beach is more frequented by foreigners and less by the local crowd. It took us around 120 minutes to drive from Kovalam to Varkala and back. The time spent there was just amazing with good food, great music and wonderful company. We didn’t realize how the day came to an end while we sat there reminiscing about the happy, sad, funny and really close-to-our-heart moments from the IMT life.
We reached Jhonny’s beach house around 12 am and instead of heading to our rooms went upstairs to check out the terrace. We were greeted by one of the most beautiful sights we have seen in our lives. Clear night sky with thousands of twinkling stars, coconut trees standing tall and the beam from the light house lighting up the entire area periodically. It was a scene out of our dreams and we spent the entire night just staring at the sky, hoping for the night to never come to an end.
The next day we had brunch at a restaurant in Kovalam while enjoying the view at the Lighthouse beach. Post that, Jhony had set up a tour to Poovar for us. He had arranged for a taxi to take us to the back waters from where we could hire a Speed boat and go explore the beauty of backwaters, mangrove forests, various species of birds, floating restaurants in the lake and head to the golden sand beach.
This village almost marks the end of Kerala and the beginning of Tamil Nadu and there are various resorts situated on the banks of the lake. This place is surreal, the beauty breathtaking.
One side you can see the calm waters of the lake and the lush greenery, typical of Kerela. On the other side there is a sea wilder than any you have seen before. And while you are floating around in the lake, taking in the beauty, you see beautiful boats turned into restaurants and café in the middle of the lake.
On both sides of the lake you can see glimpses of villages and you are just forced to imagine how great life would be for people living in such a beautiful untouched place. Pure, away from any kind of pollution, right in the lap of nature.
While we were sitting at the beach it started raining and we had to rush back to our boat and back to the car before the water levels rose too high. Though our visit was cut short due to rains but it made the place and the experience even more beautiful.
The boat ride was INR 1000 for two people and lasted for around 2 hours. The taxi guy charged us INR 800.
The Taj Backwater Cruise ( Ph: +91-93496-40000 , +91-99610-71628 )
Bund road, Poovar, Trivandrum
Cab Driver : Vijayan ( Phone: +91-9895996895 )
Even driving around in Kerela during rains is a beautiful experience. At every instant you realize that it’s not called “God’s own Country” for no reason. We went to Shankumugham beach on our way back, enjoyed the rain for a bit, saw the mermaid statue, experienced the feel of a beach in kerela with the locals and then headed back to Kovalam, which by this time felt like home to us.
We didn’t go back to our rooms, even though we had got drenched in the rains. We headed straight to Pizzeria, one of the café’s we liked most at the Lighthouse beach. The entire evening was spent sipping coffee and staring at the canvas that God had painted so beautifully – the beach, rain, setting sun, birds and the Vizhinjam light house added just the right amount of color to it.
We sat at the beach for hours, took a stroll to capture the sight of the complete stretch once again and decided to retire early for we had decided to start a fresh new chapter the next day.
Planning a trip to Kovalam?
Here are some tips to help you plan better
- Mode of Travel: Train, Bus (Direct train and buses from Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin)
- Nearest Airport: Trivandrum (~ 15 kms)
- Who to take along: Friends, family, Go solo or take that special someone for a romantic getaway
- Food : Sea Food (for Non-Vegetarians)
- Duration : 2 days
- Major attractions : Lighthouse Beach Kovalam, Hawah beach, Shankumugham beach, Poovar, Varkala beach
- Places Nearby: Kottayam, Alleppey, Chennai, Cochin, Ponmudi, Kanyakumari
- Best time to visit : September to March
- Must carry : Photo ID’s and all your essentials for a beach holiday
- Cost : Approx. INR 4000 – 5000 per person
If you want to take a printout/PDF version of this post to refer on your trip, you may request the same in the comments below. We will be glad to mail you the same in an attempt to make the planning process easier for you.
If you have already been here or to other similar places, share your experiences or engage in a conversation below. (Alternatively, here’s a link to the discussion on our facebook page)
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