A sheltered bay, Kovalam is 16 km from Thiruvananthampuram (Trivandrum). A sheet of solvery sand curves into an arc that borders the spread of green palm groves on one side while azure blue waters border the other. Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort is a unique concept in resort hotels and provides a complete holiday to the tourist; The Resort is cut into the hillside and is spread out like a small village complete with facilities for waterspouts, yoga, traditional oil massage and special arrangements for Kathakali dances and other local entertainment. The 40 cottages have provate sun-decks that open to the beach and the sea.
Kovalam is 10 km away from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
Kovalam is just 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram Central.
Padmanabhapuram Palace: Located at 54 kms from Thiruvananthapuram across the border in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari district, the palace nestles at the foot of the Veli hills. Built during the 14th cenury it was called Darpakulangara, but later in the 18th century it was renovated and renamed as the Padmanabhapuram palace. A place of elaborate woodwork, it was the ancient seat of the Travancore rulers Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma till the capital was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram in 1780. It contains relics of historical and artistic value.
Kaudiar Palace: This palace is the home of the late Maharaja Sree Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma and his family. The view of the grand old building from the gate is excellent, but unforunately it is off limits to the public. If you are lucky, you could probably walk a few steps inside to get a better view provided the gate keeper is friendly enough.
Anchuthengu Fort: Located 36 kms from Thiruvananthapuram, the historic remains of the fort built by the British East India Company in the 17th century and an adjoining cemetery are the noteworthy relics of this first major British trading station on the Malabar Coast. This colossal monument was once the trading station of the mighty British. The monument built in the 1800s stands as an excellent example of sturdy and lasting forts constructed in the English style.
Koyikkal Palace: Classified as a double storeyed ‘nalukettu’, Koyikkal Palace was the official residence of the of the rulers of the erstwhile State of Travancore. This ancient palace, located 18 km from Thiruvananthapuram on the way to Ponmudi hillstation and the Kuttalam waterfalls, dates back to the 15th century. In1979 this Palace was declared as a protected monument and further in 1990 after carrying out restoration work, it was converted into a Folklore Museum and Numismatic Museum.
Napier Museum: The museum contains a fine collection of Kerala's bronzes, ornaments and contumes, and a model of "Tharawad'-the traditional Nair family home.
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum: Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, a classic specimen of Kerala Architecture is situated in 'Kuthiramalika'. The palace, with its excellent carvings and amazing architectural designs, is by itself a slice of heritage. The museum has a wide range of exhibits representing the erstwhile state of Travancore.
Science & Technology Museum: The Science and Technology Museum, situated in Thiruvananthapuram was established with the prime objective of setting up of galleries with working, animated or participatory type of exhibits, on all disciplines of Science and Technology.
Veli Tourist Village: The seemingly placid sheet of water that backed away from the visibility reverberant sea offers a general idea of the famous backwaters of Kerala. Located near the airport this popular picnic spot offers landscaped gardens and water-sports facilities.Pedal boats, rowboats, and motored boats are available.Children in particular have a lot of fun and frolic climbing over the huge sculptures, which dot the landscape, and riding a ferry.
Sankhumugham Beach: Located 8 kms from Thiruvananthapuram city, the Shankhumugham Beach is a favourite haunt of sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and Veli Tourist Village.the 'Matsya Kanyaka', a gigantic 35 m long sculpture of a mermaid and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are the major attractions here.
Varkala Beach: Varkala is a sea side resort, as well as an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. The 2000 year old Janardana Swamy Temple and the Nature Centre are the two main attractions here. High cliffs border the excellent beach. Located 55 kms north of Trivandrum with unusual land formations, Varkala beach does has not many visitors. Cliffs, 3 kilometers of shining white sands, the red soil of the hilltop and coconut trees makes it unique. The beach named as Papanasam- an auspicious place, for Hindus to worship their ancestors.
Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple: This ancient temple is the most dominating feature of Thiruvananthapuram. Overlooking the Padma Theertham Tank, the temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu who is depicted reclining on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake from which the city derives its name. Exquisite stone carvings and pavilions are worth admiring. The temple is open only to Hindus and dress regulations are strictly enforced.
Aruvikkara: Sited 16 km from the capital Thiruvananthapuram,Aruvikkara is both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot, with a waterfall nearby. On the banks of the Karamana River, the spot houses a temple, where a rock cut shrine is dedicated to Goddess Bhagvathy, the divine embodiment of female power. A stream with fishes, which come up to be fed by visitors, is another attraction.
Ponmudi: It is a beautiful hill station which is around 61 km away from the city. It is a centre of natural scenery, salubrious climate and the scope of hiking in high trails which make the visit an exhilarating experience.
Vettukad Church: About 7 kms from Thiruvananthapuram, The 'Madre De Deus' Church popularly known as the Vettukad Church attracts thousands of devotees from all religions. The annual celebration here is called the 'Feast Of Christ, The King'.
Vizhinjam: Situated near Kovalam, Vizinjam is a fishing port, and is also important for an ongoing pioneer project to generate electricity from wave energy.
Public Park: Truly a representative of the clean and verdant aspect of the city, the Public Park houses many important institutions, like the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. The observatory on the Observatory hill is also located in the Public Park.
Beema Palli: Located at 5 kms south of Trivandrum it is an important Muslim pilgrim centre dedicated to Beema Beevi, a pious Muslim lady believed to have possessed divine powers. Devotees of all faiths visit the mosque.
Kuthiramalika Palace: A gala event of music organised by the Government of Kerala every year in the last week of January. A conglomeration of great maestros from all over the country celebrates Indian classical music in all its variety and grandeur. It is held in the premises of the famed Kuthiramalika Palace, Thiruvananthapuram, where once upon a time the great poet-king of Travancore, Sri Swathi Thirunal, composed many of his verses.
Cultural Programmes: Kathakali dance - Hotel Neptune (during session), Jalatharangam Seaside Cultural Evenings organised by Kerala tourism every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from mid December to mid March.
Nishagandhi Dance Festival: A coming-together of India's best dance exponents. Classical dances share centre stage with folk, fusion and contemporary dance forms. Performed under the night sky at the Nishagandhi arena in Thiruvananthapuram.
Onam festival: Celebrated for centuries, it is a festival of joy. Carnivals. Feasts. Dances. Fireworks. Music. Games and parades give life to this fiesta. The occasion is the retreat of the monsoon and the advent of the New Year with the harvest. Natives believe that it is that time of the year when the mythical, legendary king Mahabali, visits his people once a year, after being banished from earth by vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It also coincides with the tourism week celebration.
Gramam: The Kerala Village Fair: A close up of vintage Kerala. Life in the 40's recreated in a hamlet a little away from Kovalam Beach. Amazing display of rare curios, traditional houses, village artisans at work, art forms nearing extinction, and sale of exquisite handicrafts and costumes. In all, a down-time travel to a bygone era.
The Great Elephant March: It is the time for the Great Elephant March of India (January 9 - 12) when a hundred odd tuskers, decked up in festive style parade before the tourists. There are opportunities for Elephant rides and Elephant feeding.
If you thought you could buy only sunglasses in a beach resort, then Kovalam defies your notions of beach shopping. Shopping in Kovalam can be fun if you are planning to carry home handcrafted items as souvenirs and gifts. Kovalam is famous for statues made of teakwood and rosewood. There are a plethora of shops in Kovalam selling handicrafts, ranging from carpets to clothes. If you are looking for some ethnic clothes and fashion accessory you should check out the shops selling Rajasthani, Kashmiri and Tibetan items. You can also carry the aromas of this beautiful place in the form of spices.