5 Fun Things to Do in Kovalam India
Are you a beach bum?
Perhaps you need some stress relief.
Or maybe you want to enjoy one of the more serene settings in southern India.
Kovalam has you covered on all counts.
This charming little beach town is located in Kerala.
My wife Kelli and I had been told repeatedly by Indians how Kerala was indeed the best place to visit in India because it was “God’s Own Country”.
I quickly saw why this was the case after spending a few hours in Kovalam.
I liken the community to the Deep South in the USA. Kind folks. Genuine folks. Chatty folks. People who just want to connect with you.
The high literacy rate in Kerala and fact that most folks spoke English in this town made for some fun, enjoyable chats with locals.
I even talked with a few people who knew folks from towns in my native New Jersey, which was neat.
The frenetic vibe commonly experienced in many regions of India was completely absent here, which was a nice change of pace for us too.
A few fun facts about Kovalam:
- this spot has a strong Communist presence, although you’d never guess this was the case save a few hammer and sickle themed murals
- hamburgers are served in a few restaurants here (a rare thing from the towns I visited in India; the Communist presence likely has something to do with this)
- this region is world renowned for its Ayurveda healing centers
After spending a few weeks in this gem of a location I want to share 5 fun things to do in Kovalam.
1: Hang at the Beach
Kovalam Beach is a serene, scenic beach nestled on the Lacciadive Sea.
I enjoyed the calm water, stunning views of local jungles and hills and the fascinating scene unfolding before me.
Bonus points for the dudes who dropped trow to show off their super tighty whities before jumping into the sea. Props to them.
Another fun scene: seeing a group of about 25 men checking out a collection of bold women who donned thong bikinis.
Take a dip in the warm waters or gaze upon the colorful fishing boats sitting on the beach.
Or hang with one of the local pups who work the beach for some tender vittles.
2: Get an Ayurveda Treatment
Kelli bought a most glorious 10 day Ayurveda treatment while we chilled at Kovalam.
Kerala is pretty much the birth place of the Ayurveda movement. You will find no lack of places to choose from.
Walk around the neighborhood behind the boardwalk, getting lost in Ayurveda possibilities. Which is code for:
if you closed your eyes and pointed your finger in any direction, you will find a place where you can get a treatment.
Ayurveda calms the mind, dissolves tension aka energetic blocks in your body and promotes your overall well being.
The 10 day package was much needed by wifey. She patiently attended to me after my near death experience with giardia in Muhamma, where I lost 20 pounds in a dangerously short period of time.
3: Shop at the Boardwalk
Shop at the boardwalk to enjoy your day in Kovalam.
No shortage of trinkets, keepsakes and other goods exists in the shops by the boardwalk.
Need a SIM card for your phone? We bought our card there. Good eats? Check (see #4). Beach wear or gear? Done.
Or you can just window shop for some sweat-inducing, water weight dropping cardio sessions.
4: Grab a Bite to Eat on the Boardwalk
Grab a bite to eat at the boardwalk.
A wide array of restaurants delights your taste buds.
Do you like Italian? You’ll find it there.
Indian fare? More than enough to go around.
Or if you just want a burger – yep, you can actually get hamburgers here – an eatery or 2 serves ’em up by the boardwalk.
My fave haunt: Swiss Cafe.
Kelli helped nurse me back to health after my rough encounter with giardia (see that skinny guy in the photo below?) by hitting the market for fruits and veggies and by dragging me to Swiss Cafe where I’d enjoy a few bites of roti or other starchy carbs.
Any boardwalk restaurant affords you brilliant views of Kovalam Beach. Feast, with a view.
5: Get Lost in the Residential Jungle
I like to call the area set back from the beach the “residential jungle.”
This is a jungle setting with lush, green vegetation, plenty of canopy and peaceful surroundings yet you have homes, quiet, rarely used streets and that peaceful, sleepy vibe that permeates through the neighborhood.
Kelli and I enjoyed our little walks in and around the neighborhood. We’d find interesting little shops here and there, cute homes and an opportunity for solid cardio when walking up or down hills.
Toss in our jaunts along the walk that rose above the mangroves and you had a fun way to spend a few hours in Kovalam.