Monsoon is the time when the coastal areas are usually less visited. The sea gets rough, the beaches look unusual, and the constant rain can be a spoilsport for most of the time. But if you are one true lover of the sea and ready to walk on the dark and more granular sand on the beach; monsoon is the time when you should visit the sea. With less crowd around and hotels selling out in comparatively lesser price, you can save some extra bucks for a delicious plate of freshly cooked fish. This is exactly what I did a couple of weeks back.
It was a trip for the weekend; Saturday at Kovalam and Sunday in Poovar. By night, I was back in Bangalore and ready to face the Monday blues on a happier note!
Kovalam in monsoon
Usually known for its white sand, this monsoon, I found the Kovalam beach different. Black in color and with coarse granules; it still looked beautiful.
Just for a day, so me and my friend, chose to stay close to the lighthouse. (Even if the rain came pouring down, we could still manage to sit in the balcony and do nothing but gaze at the beautiful lighthouse. Catch the first rays of the sun as it falls on the lighthouse.)
Less crowded but with the same vibrance. Restaurants serving the best fishes, shops selling the best jewelleries and dresses, and the warmest of smiles adorning the faces around; that’s how I found my Kovalam; just like the last time.
This beach forms the most perfect “U”. One leg towards the lighthouse and the other leg towards a small cliff. You can find hotels on both the sides. Right at the middle of the “U”, there stands a view point.
It opens quite early in the morning. So, in case you wish to watch the entire coastline of the Kovalam beach, the numerous colorful boats with the busy fisherman on them, or just watch the waves break at your footstep, head to the view point.
Leaving aside all these, here are couple of things that really caught my attention, on the Kovalam beach.
• Towards the lighthouse end, you can find this aunty selling tea from 6:30 am in the morning. Getting hold of a cup of tea so early in the morning and watching her serve it with that generous smile; it’s an absolute bliss.
• Several sports enthusiasts flood the beach early morning. You can find lot of groups playing volleyball and football in their favorite corners. And the furry buddies that they bring along.
• You can find a medicine shop right at the beginning on the beach. Also a few more shops selling important items and not just dresses, jewelleries, or food.
• Strolling on the beach early on Sunday morning, I came across this group of lifeguards. It was a vision watching them huddle together, discuss the day’s agenda, and pray together holding each other’s hand.
The stupidest thing I did was to miss visiting the lighthouse. I kept watching the lighthouse and just forgot to visit it. (The lighthouse opens at 11:00 am and closes at 5:00 pm) That’s my usual trait, I keep one thing undone so that I can come back one more time. Just to fulfill it.
Sunday in Poovar
We reached Poovar around noon on Sunday. (It is approx. 45 minutes from the Kovalam beach.)
Our plan was to spend the maximum time exploring this mystical island. Thanks to one of my contacts in Kerala that I made a year back. This uncle gets me the best deal possible; every single time. We booked a speed boat just for the two of us. The boat costed up Rs. 1500 for two hours. We could stop for lunch and that time wouldn’t be counted in the package. By the way, the usual rate is Rs 2500 for two hours. Now, isn’t it a good deal?
Backwaters fascinate me more than anything else. Having already covered the backwaters of Kumarakom and a smaller stretch in Mangalore, I started my boat ride in the Poovar island.
Poovar island is one of its kind where the lake, river, sea, and beach meet the land. A rare find in Kerala, the southern state of India. Hence, needless to say that the island was a house to a variety of birds, fishes, and plants. Of this lot, the mangrove swamps made our ride through even more magical.
Before heading to the Gold Sand beach, we stopped by to place order for our lunch. Our boatman had already enquired about our preference and hence took us to the perfect floating restaurant. He along with the restaurant staffs, helped us decide on the menu. Placing the order, we headed to the beach.
We found the beach a bit crowded. Hence chose to quickly take a stroll and head back to our lunch. As we headed towards our boat, I stopped for a while. I realized what a beautiful place I was standing in. The sea behind me, the backwater in front, the cottages of the Poovar island resort lined on one corner, and the floating restaurant calling us for the lunch.
Our lunch comprised of rice, grilled red snapper, and prawn masala. Gorging down the delicious food in no time, we headed back.
Making way through the other part of the island, we found more of coconut trees on this side. Enchanting, magical, lyrical, and every moment beautiful.
Vellayani lake and Shanmugam beach
Still few hours to head back to the airport, we chose to visit the Vellayani lake and the Shanmugam beach.
Vellayani lake is the largest freshwater lake in Trivandrum. It’s a favorite among the locals for the evening. Along the bank, you can find people sitting holding their fishing rods, families engaged in happy moments, children busy having ice-creams and playing around.
Shanmugam beach is on the western side of Trivandrum, is situated very near to Trivandrum International Airport. This was our last stop before calling off our weekend trip. With high tide warning announced, we couldn’t get ourselves into the sea. We took a walk around the entire area and then headed to the Indian Coffee house.
That last 30 minutes by the sea, we sat there watching the sun go down and sipping on a hot cup of coffee.