Visiting Kovalam and the backwater of Poovar

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Kovalam is a small coastal town which was once a forgotten village of fishermen. Kovalam beach caught the attention amongst hipsters after 70s’ and is now one the most visited places in Kerala. Its proximity to the capital city makes it a much more favorable place to visit. At least in our case, it was true as we had to catch a homebound flight from Trivandrum.

Hawa Beach- Kovalam
Hawa Beach, Kovalam.

Kovalam beach is divided into three parts by the huge rocks, namely Samudra Beach, Hawa Beach, and the Light House Beach. The first two beaches generally see the activities of fishermen while it is the large crescent-shaped, Light House Beach where the majority of the tourist activities take place. One can still feel the relaxing hippie vibes here as the tourists can be seen surfing, sunbathing and relaxing on the beach/the beachfront restaurants.

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Lighthouse Beach- Kovalam
Just a usual evening at the Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam.
Vizhinjam lighthouse
The Lighthouse Beach is named after Vizhinjam lighthouse which offers a panoramic view of the town from the top. Unfortunately, it was closed during our visit and so we could only satiate our eyes with its view from the beach.

The promenade along the beach is fringed with souvenir shops, attention-grabbing hotels and the restaurants, and ayurvedic massage parlors that tempts one to enjoy everything Kovalam has to offer.

Streets of Kovalam
The colorful street in Kovalam.

Streets of Kovalam

After the experience of Varkala, the hustle-bustle of Kovalam felt like a respite. Our city instincts had kicked in and we were delighted to have street foods like bhel and pani puri. The hot and humid weather outside made us stay indoors most of the time binging on the TV. But, the spectacular sunsets and visiting the backwater of Poovar made up for the trip. The sunset time was even more special, as I noticed most of the people leaving their other activities aside, to watch the magic in the sky for the last time before the darkness engulfs the light. It radiated the feeling of togetherness and mutual love for nature.

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Sunset at Kovalam Beach

Sunset at Kovalam Beach

Visiting Poovar Island:

The boat cruises slowly in the muddy waters, passing through the road bridge overhead. It passes through mangroves and coconut trees flanked on either side of the backwater.

Backwaters of Poovar

Backwaters of Poovar

The ducks are carelessly pedaling in the rippled water while the young boys diving in the distance provides a glimpse of the local life. Birds shy away and fly back to its branches as our driver points out towards them. We are cautious for the next time to not make any noise to see fauna in their natural habitat.

Poovar Island
Life on the backwater of Poovar.
Backwaters of Poovar
A vendor selling coconuts on the backwater.
Poovar Island
The only satisfactory picture of a bird that my kit lens managed to click.

As the boat enters into the denser foliage, there is a pungent smell of the marshy land. It is dark as the sunlight hardly reach the surface and the green-brown colors can make one build his own Disney world.

Backwaters of Poovar

Poovar Island

Just when I get lost in my imaginative world, the driver tells us that a part of the Anaconda movie was shot here and I wonder about the morbid possibilities of a carnivore creature living in this jungle.

Read: From Guhaghar, with love

Poovar Island

Poovar Island

Poovar Island
The symbolic picture of Kerala. What comes to your mind when you hear/read about Kerala?

As we continue to remain awestruck by the visuals, the boat slowly makes its way towards the Golden Sand Beach where the backwater meets the Sea. It is our pitstop before returning to the starting point.

Golden Sand Beach
Golden Sand Beach.

There are several floating restaurants around but we decide to relax and sip coconut water on the beach rather than spending too much and return home completely broke. Riding through the backwaters was my first experience and although it proved to be a costly affair, it kept me on my toes throughout.

Read: Ganpatipule in pictures


Where is Kovalam?

Kovalam is 18 km (half an hour ride) from Trivandrum. Cabs and rickshaws are easily available from the main city.

What to expect in Kovalam?

Kovalam is a small beach town with few attractions. Hire a chair on the beach and relax or sit in one of the cool restaurants/ cafes facing the beach. One can also visit the backwaters of Poovar. The stay and food in Kovalam are costly. The rates for stay may depend on the season and the crowd. An A/C room for 3 people costed us Rs. 2500.

Where is Poovar?

Poovar is 15 km from Kovalam. Book a cab or a rickshaw from Kovalam and bargain for the cost of roundtrip beforehand. It is difficult to get transportation from Poovar. We rented a rickshaw for the roundtrip that costed us Rs. 600 for 5 people.

What is the cost of the boat ride in Poovar?

The boat ride is expensive. They charged Rs. 4000 for 5 people for 90mins of the boat ride. But we managed to bargain and bring the price down at Rs.3000.

Author: Hariom PrabhakarSingh

Finding solace in travel and writing.

9 thoughts

  1. What a beautiful spot – I don’t know much about Kerala so it was interesting to read and see. Maybe someday I will have a chance to visit. It looks like I would really enjoy it.


  2. Poovar Island looks interesting. Have been to Kovalam but not Poovar. Have a beautiful memory of Kovalam, it had suddenly started raining heavily in the evening, while everyone rushed for cover, my friend and I just sat on the beach and got drenched to the skin while watching the waves. Did you climb up the spiral stairway of the lighthouse?


      1. Oh I see. I had been there 5-6 years back. At that time I used to travel very Differently. I used to be more of a tourist than a traveller. But now i travel in the real sense and this change happened only after Himalayas 😍


  3. Unfortunately it was cloudy when my friend and I explored the backwaters of Kerala. We were based out of Kumarakom where we stayed at a heritage house. For me the best things about this part of India were the local food and Kathakali.


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