Over at the Trivandrum FB page, Divya Dinesh has given some nice insights into leisure spots around Trivandrum and thus gave us this idea of user-contributed articles on such spots, which focus more on what to plan for, so we can enjoy a visit. Particularly of interest for families with kids.
Disclaimer: This article is purely advisory in nature and does not mean you should not do your own research about weather, security and local conditions of the place. The climb seems mildly challenging and if you have health issues, please take advise from your medical professional. For any emergencies, please contact the Tourism Police outpost at Kovalam.
This is one structure which should be very familiar to anyone who has visited the Light House Beach at Kovalam. The long tubular structure stands up like a proud soldier dressed in red and white atop a hill at the northern end of the beach. Past dusk, it is amazing to view the massive light sending its beam across the gleaming waters of the Arabian Sea.
There are two ways to reach the Lighthouse.
Route 1: Park your vehicle at the Kovalam beach; stroll all the way to the northern end of the walkway and there you can find a set of stairs leading through the side of the rocks to a tiny door which has ‘Vizhinjam Lighthouse’ written above it. More steps up the side of the cliff would ultimately take you to the entrance of the Lighthouse.
Route 2: Instead of taking the right turn from Kovalam Jn continue on the road towards Poovar. hardly a kilometer ahead the road forks into two- a slight curve towards the left would take you to Poovar and the road straight ahead would lead you to the Lighthouse ( a big display board by Kerala Tourism placed at the junction will ensure that you do not lose your way!) Around 500 mtrs further on this road, to the right hand side you would find a smaller road leading steeply downwards. This leads directly to the entrance of the Lighthouse compound. A short drive up the winding road will take you right to the footstep of the building. Parking here is free 🙂
Built in 1972, it has withstood the tests of time and is a beauty to behold especially when the setting sun glistens against its glass panes. The Lighthouse is open to public daily from 3 pm to 5 pm. Best way to enjoy the visit is to reach there around 4:30 so that the heat would be bearable. Entry ticket is Rs.10 per person (be it adult or child) with additional charges for camera. Rates are different if you are a non-Indian 🙂 😦
Remember ….footwear is not allowed inside the building and its best you have a handy bottle of water, plenty of sunscreen (for the ones with sensitive skin) and of course shades (sunglasses). Hats and caps stand no chance as the wind would just whisk them off !
The structure is around 120 feet tall so it is quite a climb up the spiral staircase before you reach the top. The walls are dotted with glass windows and there is enough space to sit on the ledge and take a breather or two, while taking in the beauty of the surrounding sea and greenery.
Now comes the tricky part…..the very top of the staircase opens up to a hatch. The reflectors and the lamp of the lighthouse is placed in the middle of the hatch. So in order to reach the outer balcony of the building we have to climb a short vertical ladder. It has railing on both sides for support and the guard at the top lends a helping hand to lift you right to the top 🙂
Word of caution: Ladies in skirts or saree might find it more challenging since the wind blowing from the base of the building can play spoilt sport by lifting your garment in the most embarassing manner! Same goes for men wearing the traditional mundu 🙂
Once out in the balcony all the effort taken in reaching there would seem absolutely worth it ….because the view is breathtaking!! It becomes more spectacular if there are rain clouds on the horizon. Take your time and enjoy…soak up the sun’s rays, breath in the fresh air from the sea and delight your eyes with the lovely greenery on one side and the endless ocean on the other!
The climb down the ladder is also a bit tricky. Nothing to fret about……helping hands are aplenty!!
Back back on ‘terra firma’ clicking pictures standing on the outer wall seems to be a favourite of all the visitors. There is also a mini park for children to play around!
All in all, a trip worth making on a weekend evening. Hope you enjoy the visit!!