Things to do in Kovalam and Trivandrum
The Zoological Park
One of the first zoos in India, the Zoological Park in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, was established as early as 1859. A reptile house with different species of snakes and a vulture house are also located within the premises. Plastic is banned inside the park. The park is open daily from 0900 to 1815 hrs. It is closed on Mondays.
Napier Museum and Natural History Museum are situated in the Museum compound, right in the heart of the Thiruvananthapuram city, near the zoological park. Napier Museum built in the 19th century, this Indo-Saracenic structure boasts a natural air-conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The Japanese shadow play leather figures, used to depict the epics of Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are very interesting.
Sree Chithra Art Gallery
The Sree Chithra Art Gallery near the Napier Museum was opened in 1935 by the then Maharaja of Travancore, Sree Chithira Thirunal, displays rare collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich; exquisite works from the Mughal, Rajput and Tanjore schools of art. An oriental collection consisting of paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali offers a visual treat and are a tribute to the art and culture of these countries. The collection also includes unique copies of Indian mural paintings from pre-historic times down to the 18th Century.
Pathmanabha Swamy Temple
Located inside the East Fort in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of the State of Kerala in India is the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. The history of Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple dates back to 8th century. It is one of the 108 sacred Vishnu temples or Divya Desams in India. Divya Desams are the holiest abodes of the Lord Vishnu that are mentioned in the works of the Tamil Azhvars (saints). The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu, reclining on Anantha, the hooded Serpent.
Light House Beach
The 35 m lighthouse at Kovalam is perched atop the palm-covered Kurumkal Hill jutting out on to the sea. Visitors can climb the spiraling staircase inside to the top of the red and white tower and enjoy a spectacular view of the surroundings.
Hawa beach or Eve’s beach lies opposite to the Light house beach. Many tourists claim it to be the most beautiful among the beaches in Kovalam. The exquisiteness of this Kovalam beach is enhanced by the stack of palm grooves which reward a unique elegance to this place. The beach in the early morning is found crowded with native fishermen who rely completely on the sea for their living. Chanting and singing of these people in their local language along with the cadenced waves create a great acoustic treat for the visitors here. Hawa beach is separated from other beaches by the foreland of Edakkalu. From here, you can get the majestic view of sunset at its apex grace. After the sun sets, the calm cove of waters in the beach provides a visual charm of moonlit nights.
Located 12 km south of Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala, Poovar is an isolated but spectacular beach. It is situated close to the Neyyar River estuary. A trading port in its early days, it is today an important tourist destination.