Poovar Island - a hidden gem in Kerala, you can't afford to miss...

Tripoto
10th Oct 2016

Poovar, Kerala

Photo of Poovar Island - a hidden gem in Kerala, you can't afford to miss... by Indrarup Saha

A boat ride through the meandering waterways of Poovar Island was one of my best experiences in Kerala !!!

Located very close (~14 km) to the Vizhinjam Beach, Kovalam - Poovar Island lies in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.The Neyyar river cuts through Poovar before emptying itself into the Arabian Sea.

Thus if you are in Poovar , get ready to soak in the natural beauty - a lot of it !! It includes river,canals,estuary, beach, mangrove and coconut vegetation, birds (a lot of it) and so on.

P.S - If you are a bird-watcher/photographer this should be in your list of must-visit places.

Day 1

Boating starts

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

There are many boating centres located at various points of the island. Thus, starting point for your ride vary accordingly. Some centres have shabby temporary structures, without any display of company name (they would provide you with some hand-outs with the company name on it and photographs too good to be true :) ).Others are managed more professionally by larger groups or resorts located within Poovar island itself.

Our chauffeur drove us to one such boating centre under shady trees with invisible name plate :) The rates though, seemed slightly overpriced at Rs 1500/- per person for 1.5 hr boat ride (including stop-over at the Pozhiyoor Golden beach).

However, the motor boat (which, seven of us boarded on) was in good condition with an overhead shade. We were also given proper life jackets.

Our boatman-cum-guide was also very cooperative throughout. He helped us spotting numerous birds on the way to the estuary. It was a fun experience for someone like me, who had never been a serious birder before.

Birding starts within a minute of the boat ride; seen here is a Brahminy Kite

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

The vast expanse of deep blue river is quite a treat to the eyes for any city folk. With both banks of the river dotted with numerous coconut and mangrove vegetation - riding through this serene paradise lets you forget worries of daily life.

Vast expanse of deep blue water

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

You would also find villagers selling staffs like coconuts on their boats. Rowing through the meandering canals, a sip of coconut water would always compliment your blissful ride !!

A local coconut seller

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

A crane spotted beside the river

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

Blue and green - the prominent colours of Poovar Island

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

View from our boat - our boat approaching estuary

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

Estuary seen at a distance

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

There are also few floating restaurants situated near the estuary - good for some quick refreshments.

Floating eatery

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

Pozhiyoor Golden beach

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

After about 30 minutes our boat was anchored at the Pozhiyoor Golden beach. The narrow beach is unique - with the sea at one side and river on the other. During high tides, the river from the other side meets the sea on the other. It is somewhat a touristy spot - with people enjoying horse riding or having fruits or snacks. As a result, the beach is not squeaky clean and calls for proper maintenance and responsible tourism.

Tourist enjoying horse ride at the Golden Beach, Poovar

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

The Neyyar river seen from The Golden Beach

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

The Pozhiyoor Golden beach - river on left, sea on the right

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

However the sea here is rough and has strong undercurrents. No one is allowed to go beyond a particular demarcation - so swimming or bathing on this beach is a strict no-no.

A tourist alone in the beach - but with PLASTIC bag !! Why ?

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

I could spot many tourists in the beach carrying plastic bags with them. Why ?? Why do we fail to understand that plastic acts as a weapon of death for the sea animals and ecosystem as whole. We ourselves should religiously practice caring for nature before being vocal about it on social media.

Thinnest section of the beach - waves from sea is visible from the boat on the Neyyar river

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

The elephant rock near the beach is surely a landmark one cannot miss. One can clearly observe up to where the water rises during high tide by looking at the monolithic structure.

Elephant rock

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

Though the backwaters and canals here are best for birding, on the beach too one can find birds of different types.

Kite on the Golden beach

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

From the beach, one can spot multiple luxurious cottages on the banks of the Neyyar river. Throughout the island, various resorts like this cater to tourists who want to spend a day or two away from the dins and bustles of city life.

Luxurious cottages near the estuary

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

A Pied Kingfisher

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

While returning from the beach, we took a different route through narrow canals. At places, these channels were too narrow for two boats to pass simultaneously. The shady trees on the banks would sometimes overshadow our meandering waterway, making it more thrilling.

Canals of Poovar

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha

When we returned to our starting point, we almost forgot the 'unreasonably high' prices. We left Poovar only with ever lasting, cherished memories imprinted during that short span of 1.5 hrs...!!!

Photo of Poovar, Kerala, India by Indrarup Saha
Be the first one to comment