Kovalam is a village and Beach town on the arabian sea sea side in Kerala, India. It is located about 17 km from Trivandrum.Kovalam is famous for its beaches, among the most pristine in India. Kovalam is extremely popular among westerners due to shallow waters and low tidal waves. It is part of tourist circuit right in 1930s. Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. That started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India- the Kovalam beach.
The beaches are the star attractions here. Kovalam has three crescent shaped beaches separated by rocky outcroppings. The larger of the beaches is called Lighthouse Beachknown for its 35 metre high lighthouse which towers over it atop Kurumkal hillock. Most of the foreigner’s stay on Lighthouse Beach, which is more developed. There are some vendors on the beach, but they are not too pushy. It takes less than five minutes to walk from Lighthouse Beach to the second largest beach, Hawah Beach. This beach is named thus for the topless European women who used to throng there. It was the first topless beach in India. However topless bathing is banned now. The northern part of the beach is known as Samudra Beach. A large promontory separates this part from the southern side. Samudra Beach doesn't have tourists thronging there or hectic business. The local fishermen ply their trade on this part.
The old lighthouse, located at the southern beach is a local landmark, for being one of the oldest lighthouses of Kerala, guiding ships to the nearby Vizhnjam port. The lighthouse can be visited from 3PM .