Poovar near ThiruvananthapuramOne of the last of the pristine tropical paradise’s on the mainland, Poovar is located at Kerala’s southern tip and is 27 km from Thiruvananthapuram, making it ideal for a day’s trip or a more leisurely weekend jaunt. It remains largely unpopulated unlike other beach resorts and is home to a fishing community. Visitors can enjoy its idyllic golden sandy beaches as well as its backwaters where the Neyyar river drains into the Arabian Sea.
Once an ancient port, Poovar is known to have had trade ties with Arabia and Africa. It could have been the famed Ophir from where items such as ivory, gems, sandalwood, spices and peacocks were exported to King Solomon’s kingdom.
Apart from fishing, Poovar today also supports many spice plantations and groves of coconut and banana. The historic central mosque here is believed to have been built 1,400 years ago by Malik Ibn Dinar, one of the first followers of Prophet Mohammed to have travelled to India. St. Bartholomew’s Church here is equally historic built as it was in 1053. Pozhiyoor, 5 km from Poovar, is Kerala’s last village in the south. It is the location of the Anatha Victoria Marthandam Canal which connected Thiruvananthapuram to Kanyakumari, but is no longer in use today.
Neyyattinkara, a distant suburb of Thiruvananthapuram, on NH 47, is close to Poovar. It is largely a residential community. The Neyyar river flows through it on its way to the Arabian Sea. Sre Narayana Guru’s ashram here attracts many visitors. It is also a base for Kerala Automobiles Ltd. which manufactures three-wheelers for export to many developing countries.
The port of Vizhinjam is also close to Poovar and is also known for its beach and ayurvedic treatment centres. Vizhinjam today is a fishing harbour and is being developed as an international deepwater multipurpose seaport. It was once capital of the Ay Dynasty and now is known for its cave temples, church and mosque. Archaeological remains here point to the area’s once flourishing trade with the Roman Empire.
A few resorts offering leisure facilities and ayurvedic treatment are present at Poovar. Houseboats are also available for a cruise in the backwaters. Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of India, is 71 km from Poovar.
Location: 27 km southeast of Thiruvananthapuram.
How to get there: Easily accessible by bus and car from NH 47. Boat services run from Thiruvananthapuram. The closest railway station is at Neyyattinkara.
Resorts in Poovar
Accommodation at Poovar, while limited, is high end with comfort and convenience given top priority. Visitors can look forward to rooms and suites in typical Kerala architecture with all modern facilities and ayurvedic treatments. Poovar Island Resort even offers floating cottages. Prices start at Rs 5,000.
Poovar Island Resort
K.P. VII/911, Pozhiyoor
Poovar - 695525
Tel: +91 471 2212068, +91 471 2212073
Isola Di Cocco Ayurvedic Beach Resort
Beach Road, Poovar - 695525
Tel: +91 471 2210008, +91 471 2210800
Beach Road, Poovar - 695525
Tel: +91 471 2229222