The fishing village of Vizhinjam, adjacent to Kovalam is a great place to get more acquainted with fishing and fish dishes!
If you are a boat person and were visiting Vizhinjam, you would be forgiven for thinking life had rewarded you. Wherever you look, they are there in all shapes in sizes, keeping a centuries old tradition of sea fishing.
Yes, Vizhinjam is a small village adjacent to Kovalam, and just a little south of Kerala’s state capital Thiruvananthapuram. Incidentally it is just a stone’s throw from our flagship resort – Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra. Guests at the retreat can visit the local fish market at 7 am with our celebrity chef. The open-air fish market is situated at Vizhinjam harbour where the boats come to unload. Choose the fish that you want our chef to cook for your dinner and don’t forget to mention the cooking style you prefer. Later that night enjoy a three-course dinner at our Kovalam beach resort with the freshest fish that you selected!
Fishing is the chief activity here, though an upcoming massive port might have a say in that. Vizhinjam, a natural harbour, is an ideal spot for fishermen to enter the sea during the rough monsoon season. It is one of the few fishing harbours in the state where the tides and waves are not as rough as they are at other locations during monsoon. This unique feature has meant that fishermen from across the state and even from neighbouring Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari camp there. Do take out some time watching the ancient custom of fish auctions as each boat arrives back from a long night at sea.
The area has been a centre of activity since ancient times. Ancient Vizhinjam was the capital of Venad. It’s port shows evidence of having trade links with the Roman empire. From the middle of the ninth century to the fifteenth, it was a battle ground for many wars between Kulashekhara and Chola dynasties. The arrival of the Europeans, especially the Dutch and Portuguese traders from the 14th and 15th centuries further increased the importance of the port as it became an entrepot of major trade.
Today Vizhinjam is a bustling busy port again. Here you are more likely to see traditional boats than other ports in the region. The marina is full of boats, but there are other attractions too. There is a marine aquarium in Vizhinjam where visitors can see a wide variety of rare aquatic species such as the piranhas, giant turtles, lionfish, clownfish, butterfly fish, trigger fish and even sharks. The view across the harbour looks past the big Old Catholic church right on the beach and a couple of distant mosques at the far end. Vizhinjam has the rock-cut temple dating to the 18th century. The presiding deity is Vinadhara Dakshinamurthi. Plans by the state tourism indicate more attractions will come up in the area. What are you waiting for?
For more on Vizhinjam, here is some additional information