- Along the eastern bank of the
Chambal River lies Kota - an amazing juxtaposition of the majestic medieval
age and modern industrialisation temples its untouched wealth of impressive
forts, opulent palaces and splendid temples dating back over several centuries
retain the past glory, the present day edifices and heavy industries have
made it the industrial heartland of Rajasthan. The history of the city dates
back to the 12th century A.D. when the Hada Chieftain, Rao Deva, conquered the
territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti. Since then Kota became a hallmark of
the Rajput gallantry and culture. However, modern Kota is all hustle and bustle
as befits a town which boasts of Asia's largest fertiliser plant, a precision
instrument unit, and an Atomic Power generation and nuclear research among other
- At Kovalam, don't expect a Goan beach party. Soft sands,
high waves, seafood, fruit and toddy (coconut beer) stalls and a squeaky-clean
ambience make it the ideal beach for package-tour tourists. The perfect setting
photographs: children building sand castles, wives sipping
green coconuts and husbands busy clicking away the sea, the sky, and almost
anything in sight.
17 km south of Thiruvananthapuram (capital of Kerala in south India), Kovalam
is the state's most developed beach resort. There are three beaches in Kovalam
that extend over a 4 km stretch. The Lighthouse beach, the Hawah beach and
the Samudra beach, the last a little undeveloped. The town has its own attractions:
multi-cuisine eateries, souvenir shops and Ayurvedic oil massage centres.
Kovalam has been very popular with the Europeans since 1930's. Each year,
an increasing number of foreign visitors - budget travellers and jet-setters
alike - arrive in droves in search of sun and sea. If you happen to be in
Kovalam in December and January, do not miss out on the Kathakali performances
(the traditional masked dance of Kerala) organized by Kerala Tourism.
Lighthouse beach :
A blue and white lighthouse at the southern end of
the beach gives the beach its name. The most crowded of all the three beaches,
this is where most of the cheaper hotels are located. From the Lighthouse (open
daily between 2 - 4 pm), it's a picture-perfect view of high waves lashing the
Hawah Beach :
The middle beach, the Hawah beach, is north of the Lighthouse.
Surrounded by a bay of tall swaying palms and silvery sand - it's a vision straight
out of a dream. If you go swimming here, exercise caution. The sea is a little
rough in these parts.
Samudra Beach :
The secluded Samudra beach is to the north of Kovalam.
It has clear waters and a wonderful view of distant fishing boats on the waves.
The awesome waves that rise more than 20 ft high are a pleasure to watch in
3 km south of Kovalam, Vizhinjam is a village with a rich
heritage. It used to be the capital of the Ay rulers, one of the earliest dynasties
of Kerala. The village is witness to bloody battles between the Chola dynasty
and the Chers in the 11th century. The Tali temple in the middle of the village
is an ancient Shiva temple. It also has Naga snake statues.
Pozhikkara beach :
This is a secluded beach, located 3 km north of Samudra.
It has a wonderful resort, the peaceful Lagoona beach resort. It organizes backwater
trips for its guests.