So, last time I’d left off at the point where we had started off from Kanyakumari for Kovalam. En route we stopped at Nagercoil to visit the Padmanabhapuram Palace. The following three pics were taken by D.
I liked the Festival Hall the best because it had beautifully sculptured pillars and statues.
We arrived at Kovalam at about 2:30-3:00 in the afternoon. We stayed at a resort on Lighthouse Beach. Here is a pic of the lighthouse that I'd taken from my hotel room.
The view from our room was quite fabulous; tall coconut trees swaying lazily in the wind, and we could just about make out the sea in the distance.
After lunch we decided to snooze for a while. In the evening we decided to go for a walk on the beach. We were really surprised to see that the sand was black in colour. We later found out that in November-December the sand changes back to a pale yellow colour. This is all got to do with the way the sea moves, tides etc. This is also the tourist season in Kovalam.
Anyway, as I’d probably mentioned earlier, I looooooove water!! So I was completely excited and wanted to wade in. But Ma as usual was like, “Don’t go in too deep! The waves will suck you in!” Well, this time she did have a point, as the sea was really rough. You could hear the waves crash against the beach really loudly.
Next day we decided to go to Trivandrum. We first went to the Veli Tourist Village. There were lots of bizarre sculptures at this place!
As for me, I was just grinning like an idiot throughout the ride, and this song called “Na To Raa” (which I think means “Come with me”, but am not too sure) from a Telugu movie called “Ninne Pelladata” kept on playing in my head. Nagarjuna and Tabu had starred in this movie. All the songs in it are damn good! It was even dubbed and released in Hindi, but I forgot what the title was in Hindi. It is the song in which Nagarjuna and Tabu are enjoying all sorts of adventure sports on water.
Anyway, I digress, so lets get back on track. After the Veli Village we went to see the Padmanabhaswamy temple.
At night we dined at the Malabar Café. I had a pizza after a really, really long time and was very, very satisfied! :D
D was also satisfied as he got to watch the FIFA on a TV mounted at the restaurant. A variety of fresh fish were displayed outside most of these cafés, and one could inspect and choose which fish one would like to eat.
The next day we went to the Neyyar Dam sans D, as he just wanted to have a day of R & R on the beach. The road to the dam was just awful, and even though I had taken a travel sickness pill, I felt quite sick! At last we arrived at the dam and I was glad to walk on stable ground again!
The dam was surrounded by a large garden. We turned a corner and all of a sudden came face-to-face with a man peering at us through a binocular lens! I got so startled! And after a few seconds I realized that the ‘man’ wasn’t moving at all, and that’s when it hit me that it was just a statue! There were freaky statues like this all over the place! There was a statue of a woman in a swimming suit even at the edge of a swimming pool! Photgraphy around the dam was not allowed.
There was a Crocodile Protection Center some 3-4 km away from the dam. The poor crocs were kept in tiny cages. Most were quite small. The biggest one is the one below:
We then found out that there was also a Lion Safari Park just a few km away from the Crocodile Protection Center and we signed up for that along with another family, who were also from Bombay. I’d never been on a lion safari before, so turns out this trip was one of firsts for many things!
There are 3 female lions, 1 male lion and 2 cubs in the reserve. We were told that there was a distinct possibility that we may not come across any of the lions. We could hear the roars of the animals from time to time though. We then turned into a clearing and came across two of the lionesses.
We were all so completely thrilled! We were just about 2-3 feet away from wild animals! I rushed to sit in the seat just beside the driver’s and kept on filming the two lionesses on the camcorder, even though all they did was sit around and regard us with an air of utmost boredom! Some distance below the clearing was a large cage in which the two cubs were kept. The lion was sitting just outside the cage. The two cubs were not really all that small, and were kept separate from the lion to avoid any territorial fights.
At one point the driver asked me if I wanted to see the two lionesses walk. I just shrugged my shoulders and wondered how he would manage that. All he did was nudge the van closer to them. The two got up grumpily, walked just a few inches away and plonked themselves back on to the ground!
Then the driver got out on to his side (the lionesses were on my side of the van) and tried to get the lion to come up where we were. He shouted a bit and threw a stick or pebble to distract the lion and make him come up. At this point I grew quite nervous as the lionesses could come around on to his side at any moment and swipe at him as if he were a rat! I just wanted him to get back into the van and shut the door tight!
After the excitement of the lion safari we headed back to Trivandrum and visited the Napier Museum at last!
There is also a zoo somewhere close to the museum, but I was not in a mood to visit a zoo, so we just went to the museum. It had some really interesting artifacts ranging from Southern India to Fiji! There were also some models of the famous seals and statuettes found at Harappa and Mohenjodaro.
We spent the next day at our hotel, and I got a massage. This one was much better than the one that I’d gotten in Thekkady two years ago. I felt completely relaxed afterwards and I think it even cured my hair loss problem!!
At night we went back to the Malabar Café on the Lighthouse Beach promenade. It was our favourite little café. It even had a hotel attached to it.
Out of all of the places that we had visited this time, Kovalam was my absolute fav! It gave me a very “Dil Chahata Hai” feel! And the whole time that I was there I kept on thinking of how fantastic it would be to come back to Kovalam with all of my gal pals and spend an entire week (or more) just lazing around on the beach, eating at the Malabar Café, and maybe getting a massage or two. That would be just heaven! :D
The next day we got in to the Netravati Express and came back to Bombay after spending nearly 24 hours in the train, as it was terribly late! So I just spent the time getting onto D’s nerves by talking utter nonsense all the time and asking him innumerable questions! Hehe! Well, he deserved it for annoying me for all of my 23 years!
We were greeted by a very wet Bombay and all that was left of our trip were fond memories and a deep tan!