This international beach, 12 km south of Trivandrum city, is one of the finest beaches in India. A high rocky promontory jutting into the sea has created a beautiful bay of calm waters for sea bathing. Kovalam was just a sleepy fishing village with narrow lanes and thatched dwellings with wide countryards for drying fish. However, once its spectacular beach and Shallow, crystal-clear waters were discovered, it became a favorite with hippies and backpackers, and over the years acquired the reputation of being a shabby, downmarket resort. Today, however, it also attracts the rich and famous, who come here in private planes. As a result, the beaches are dotted with both luxury and budget resorts, as well as cafes and several government-approved Ayurveda centres that Offer anything from a simple massage to three-week treatments. hawkers, too have set up stalls selling handicrafts and inexpensive beachwear. Despite the onslaughts of mass tourism, Kovalam retains an inherent charm that makes it one of india’s finest and most popular beach resorts.