Offering a rejuvenating retreat amidst the backwaters of Kerala, The Poovar Island is a scenically stunning sojourn. The island harbours floating cottages and mellow hammocks with a display of an array of scenic beauties.
The small isle is a sanctuary for those who seek seclusion and solace. It is enveloped in the backwaters and Neyyar river that converge at the Arabian Sea. This bucolic coastal island has been marked on the map for its serenity and unwinding experience for romantic and family getaway.
History Of Poovar Island In Kerala
The legendary King of Travancore, King Marthanda Varma, spent his exiled days here before claiming his throne back again. According to the legend passed down over generations, he once saw flower petals scattered and floating on the river. He then named the place Poovar from Pokkummoosapuram, as in ‘the river of flowers’, and that is how the place got its name from.
Poovar has been known to have a tradition of sea trading business (such as ivory, spice trading and timber), the origin of which can be traced back to the days of King Solomon. Ancient archives regard Poovar as the port of Ophir.
The central mosque is known to be one of Kerala’s earliest mosques. It was built by Malik bin Dinar around 1400years ago. He is regarded in the pages of history as the Arabian missionary who brought Islam to Kerala.
Things To Do In Poovar Island
The unexplored pathways made by the golden sands of the beach running along the serene backwaters of Kerala, which meet up to the Arabian Sea, is an attempt at escaping to one of the best of South India. Tourists unwind their time here by going on boat rides in the backwaters. You can either hire a canoe or a luxurious houseboat as per your convenience.
Local Life Experience
You can take a walk through the villages nearby to experience the local life there. The closest fishing village is only a couple of minutes far away by a boat. Only a few stroll into the finishing village, you can find the traditional martial arts, kalaripayattu, being taught. Centuries of tradition being nurtured and passed down to younger ones, Kerala’s own and unique self-defense system.
The unwinding experience in the Poovar Island goes in tandem with the Ayurvedic therapies offered by almost every major Poovar resort. They comprehensively tend to the tourists by providing them with various Ayurveda facilities. This works wonders for your body as you unwind not just by soaking in nature’s serenity, but also by the Ayurveda treatments.
You can also go on boat cruises. Poovar is known for its cruise facilities where you can either choose an hour or two ride in motor or country boats through the embedded mangrove forests and canopy of trees in the blue lagoon of waters. The cost of the two hour boat ride, which covers at least 15kms in water, is about Rs.200 per person. Along the captivating forest areas, the cruise moves to cover the mangrove forests, golden beach, statue of Mother Mary and so much more.
Best Time To Visit Poovar Island
The best time to visit Poovar Island is known to be the winter season from October to February. As the temperature drops and the visibility increases, the ambience of the entire place enhances the quintessential beauty of the entire region.
There is no entrance fee to the island. It is also open at every hour for the tourists to visit and enjoy. The accomodation at Poovar Island is very minimal as the isle is very small. There are only three major beach resorts and only a few other small establishments for accommodating your stay. The main three beach resorts are Isola de cocco, the Estuary Island Resort and the Poovar Beach Resort respectively.
Nearby Tourists Attractions Spots
Vizhinjam, a natural harbour, is only 14kms away from Poovar Island. Vizhinjam is known for the cave temple with rock cut sculptures which date back to the 18th century.
Another noticeably spot that attracts various tourists is the Pozhikkara beach which is just a kilometer away from Poovar. You can witness as a bank of sand separates the sea and backwater at the Pozhikkara beach. At the peak monsoon season, as the lake and sea merges, it is a sight to behold. It is also a bird watching area where many local (like the native Great Hornbill) and migratory birds (like Pied Kingfisher, Chestnut Bitten Cotton Teal) take shelter.
The infamous Kovalam beach is located just 12kms away from the island. It is one of the most sought out beaches in Kerala. Being only a few kilometers away from Poovar, it would be a waste not to visit it.
The Kuthira Malika Palace which is also referred to as the ‘Mansion of Horses’ is another remarkable place to visit. It is intricately built in wood carvings, wooden ceilings and floral motifs from the traditional Kerala architecture.
How To Reach Poovar Island In Kerala?
Poovar is also well linked by roadways to Kulathupuzha, Kollam, Kochi, Kottayam, Thrissur, Tirunelveli, Madurai and Thoothukudi. The isle is accessible only via boats. After reaching the nearest boat jetty to Poovar, you only need about 10 to 15mins boat ride to reach the island.
There are numerous routes and modes of transportation you can take to reach the closest boat jetty to Poovar. The three nearest towns are Neyyattinkara, Nemon and Trivandrum. Neyyattinkara is only 10kms away, whereas Nemon is 12kms far and Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, is just 30kms far. All three aforementioned towns have bus stations available.
In case you plan on traveling via train, the closest railway station is at Dhanuvachapuram, only 9kms away from the island. However, the frequency of the train is low and could be of inconvenience. Hence, the Trivandrum Central, the railway station of Trivandrum, is just 22kms far away.
Although the closest airport is the Trivandrum International Airport, in the capital city of Kerala. It is located just at a distance of 20kms away from Poovar. From there, you could get a cab or even a bus. Good thing is that the airport is connected to all metropolitan cities in India.
What Makes Poovar Island In Kerala Special?
Setting aside the mystical nature (that fortunately remains untouched), the undeniable charm of this gem is that it is a confluence of river, backwater, sea, beach and island, all at one place. Due to the Estuarine belt in this area, the beach is not suitable for swimming in every season, as it receives strong currents. So make sure to take precautions and ask the locals before diving in to the beach.
The Poovar Island in Kerala is owned and administered by the Floatels India Pvt Ltd. It is known to be the first company to have the idea of floating structures implemented in India. Thus, it is the only place in India where you can find floating cottages and villas afloat on the scenic backwaters which face the sea.
Kerala is known for its boat races that are held annually. But there are also many minor boat races that are conducted seasonally. Similarly, the backwaters of Poovar Island is one such place where you can witness years of traditions. It is the only time when the serenity of this place is disturbed due to the boat ride competitions in the neighboring fishing villages. The air is filled with enthusiasm and frivolity.
Poovar Island is a complete gateway to a tropical paradise with its lush flora and fauna. Golden sands, emerald backwaters, swaying coconut trees, crimson sunsets and bundles of history pages written in its name, makes this place one of nature’s finest.