MY INSPIRATIONS, ON WHY KOVALAM (TRIVANDRUM) ?
1)Kerala,"God's own country":State of lush green mountains,spices,backwaters,fishing nets and endless stretches of sea.
Allepey last year was a real treat,and I then realised I should cover Kerala ASAP.And the best way to begin it was by travelling through one of the best beaches of india , Kovalam(Trivandrum) as they say.
2)These incredible India ads "gods own country ad", either make your day or for nomads like me,adds a new destination to the travel list.
HOW THE JOURNEY TO KOLAVAM(TRIVANDRUM) STARTED??
While road journeys are synonymous to fun filled journeys,rail journeys are more slow and peaceful.Thank god we still dont have the fast running jet trains,we can enjoy every terrain every landscape in a slow motion "chuk chuk gadi".
We started off from chennai for our journey to Trivandrum.It takes 15 hours from chennai to reach Trivandrum.The kovalam beach is 11kms from Trivandrum.
VIDEO ON KOVALAM,TRIVANDRUM
AHA,WE REACHED TRIVANDRUM,WHAT NEXT?
We havent heard of Trivandrum as a tourist destination,have we?Until..
shree padmanabhaswamy temple happend.Its not easy to neglect India's richest temple.
1) Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple,Trivandrum
I usually use 100% of the time I have in hand to explore places,this ones no different.With a day to tour around,which was more to know and explore kovalam,when the train reached trivandrum,I was like,why not trivandrum to begin with.With the little time I had,I explored this beautiful temple,can't say magnificent but yes,the feeling of standing in front of the richest temple was different.Call it "The uncle scrooge moment".
As casually dressed in my jeans,the pandit wrapped a longer than a lungi shorter than a sari around me,and I've never been this traditional my whole life,but as they say,every place in India brings surprises.The huge eternal resting pose in gold of the padmanabha swamy was grand.
Facts about Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple,Trivandrum
- Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum is one of the 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu situated at Trivandrum, Kerala.
- The wealth of Lord Padmanabhaswamy, kept unbelievably safe, so far counted is estimated at Rs1 lakh crore.
- Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum is one of the richest temple in India
-Indian temples are usually welcoming to guests, not so in Kerala. Only hindus in traditional garments are allowed in.
A beautiful white nine yard wrapped around me in a jiffy,was very traditional indeed. They provide you with the white lungis to be wrapped.Inside the temple only white lungi (mundu) is allowed for men.Even shirt/banians are not allowed in for men.
-Even after much hullabo after the declarations if Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple,Trivandrum being the Richest temples of the world, the entry remains as simpler and easy as always.
Though we find lot of security on the doors,the entrance was simple and it made me think "was it really the richest temple I was going into"
-Darshan to Shree Padmanabhaswamy Temple,Trivandrum was chaotic.Loads and lots of people pouring in,trying to get a single glimpse of shree padmanabha swamy.The management seemed confused on how to control the crowd.
-The eternal resting pose of Sree Padmanabha Swamy with his left hand sheltering a little shivalinga underneath, can be viewed from three different doors.
-The first temple being the Parashuram Temple at Tiruvallam where the lords head was first visible. Second is the main padmanabhaswamy temple itself where lies the lords resting middle portion. Third temple is at Trippadapuram which is located between TVM- Kanniapuram road. Here Lord Vishnu's feet darshanam is visible.
I was lucky enough to be escorted by the local pandit so I did avoid the queue,and covered the three temples in the first place.
-- Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple,Trivandrum temple complex that also houses golden lizard,which is worshipped as well.The golden lizard is placed upside down on the ceiling of the wall,we had to climb stairs to seek his blessings.
-Camera inside at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple,Trivandrum,not allowed.
Advantage:Of course,the richest temple in India.What more to say?
Disadvantage:Non- hindus are not welcome.Gets chaotic at darshan time.
2)Veli Tourist Village,8 kms from Trivandrum
"Ringa ringa roses,pocket full of poses",Gone are the picnic days.The veli tourist village in trivandrum will remind you of your childhood,when you used to go out with your parents,relax stroll in a garden.Of course,children these days prefer playing farmville on FB more,how things have changed.
I have this hate-love relationship with the social networking sites.I love it when it comes to making new friends,contacts,connecting with friends,checking out their pics.But hate it,as I used to do something more productive before and never used to have virtual friends.The ones who ping you,like you but never call you.
Back to picnic,veli tourist village is 8 kms from Trivandrum ,and is a popular picnic spot.Not the ones which make you say wow,but yes,the sculptures and the lake is beautiful.And the best part is,I got to feed the birds there,each one curious to know whats in for them.
Facts on Veli Tourist Village ,Trivandrum
-The Veli Tourist Village (8 km from Thiruvananthapuram city) is sandwiched between the Veli Lagoon and the Arabian Sea.
-The lagoon here is separated from the sea by a narrow sand bar. Facilities at the village include water sports in the lagoon and 18 acre waterfront park with a floating bridge that connects the village to the beach.
- Besides water sports, am 18 acre waterfront park with floating bridge connects the village to the Shankhumukham beach and also there is a children’s park around the floating bridge.
Disadvantage:None,but dont expect miracles.The village is a park an ideal picnic spot.Nothing more.
Advantage:A relaxing gateway for a day,or for a dayout with friends.
Shanghumugham Beach Trivandrum is notorious for its menacing, fear-inducing tides.The place where the boards invite you with a warning on not to swim.The first thing you notice is the big sculpture of a mermaid.A giant huge 35 m long sculpture at the entrance is a major attraction.We spent 5 minutes at the beach,we cant swim,we cant do much at the beach.Just a few clicks here and there and we were ready to go kovalam.
Facts about Sankhumugham Beach,Trivandrum:
-Is very near to Trivandrum Airport
- Shanghumugham Beach is one of the important tourist destination near Trivandrum, Kerala state.
-If you go further from Shanghumugham you can reach famous Veli tourist village.
- One of the major attraction of Shanghumugham beach is the presence of rare clean white sand.
-Shangumugham beach is a perfect place to watch sunset and sunrise.
Advantage:The giant sculpture of mermaid.
Disadvantage:Not much to do here.
ITS 12 O CLOCK,3 HOURS MORE,LETS GO KOVALAM!
Last year during my short visit to cochin,one of my friends said,if you havent seen kovalam,you havent seen Kerala.So this time I made up my mind to visit kovalam for sure.The sea here is wild,compared to the sea at goa.The kind of where you can relax,sun bathe,but cannot go very deep down.
Kovalam beaches are pristine beautiful,but deep,the shore makes waves in an arc,and you know this place is not for that long swim.The kind of where life gaurds are more vigilant than you,yes,the moment I entered sea,they put a tight rope across and I was told to move away as waves here are unpredictable.Maybe It wasnt a day for a swim.
Facts about Kovalam
- Kovalam is famous for its pristine mermerising beaches,a charming village in its yesteryear,now popular with the tourists.
-Kovalam is 16 km from Trivandrum
-Kovalam has four beaches Samudra Beach, Ashoka Beach, Eves Beach and Lighthouse beach all within short distance of each other, provide visitors with their fill of sun, sea and sand.
-Kovalam not only attracts tourists with scenic beach beauty, but also because of Cruising, Ayurvedic therapies, Shopping, Snorkeling lending the exotic locale a different identity.
-The view from the Kovalam lighthouse was stunning,with one side covered with tall coconut trees and the other side the harbour and the sea.
-The sea at the fishing harbour is beautiful,you need prior permission to enter the harbour,but its worth the visit.Specially when from the lighthouse you get to see the vast road which cuts the sea across,maintained clean.
Advantage of Kovalam: Its a nice gateway,though I think a bit over rated.
Disadvantage of Kovalam:None.I wish the sea was more calm.
Rating of Kovalam:07/10
Snorkelling at Kovalam
Snorkelling has recently started at Eve's Beach Kovalam.Though I doubt about the visibility here,as the water is not crystal clean and plain blue,how much of coral reefs can you see here is a question.But then again,unless you try it yourself you would never know.
Snorkelling involves swimming through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask with a shaped tube called snorkel. There are several guides for snorkelling at kovalam, they provide you with breathing apparatus and clear goggles but the sport is yet to catch up.
The only feasible diving spots happen to be near the rocky parts of the coast where colourful fishes, mussels and plants can be observed. Since fishermen practice shore seine fishing at Lighthouse Beach, the only spots available are Edakkal rocks and a strip near Leela hotel.
The best time to go snorkelling at kovalam is december to march when the sea is calm.
Charge : approximately Rs 500/hour and
Timings: 8 am till 5 pm at Edakkal rocks