Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy, is the capital city of Kerala. The city is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the east whereas by Arabian Sea in the west. The scenic view of the city can be seen due to the presence of the wooded highlands of the western ghats on borders of east and north east side. The city attracts the most of the tourist due to the beaches, backwater stretches, historic monuments, mosaics, sculptures, temples and other holy shrines. Tiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is among the most beautiful cities of India due to its cleanliness and lush greenery.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The 8th century ancient temple is built in the East Fort of the city and exhibits a mix blend of dravadian and Kerala style. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The deity of Lord Vishnu is reclined on the hooded serpent. The place where the temple is located is believed to be one of the seven Parasurama kshatras and Skanda Purana and Padma Purana also mentions about the sacred temple. The hindu shrine possesses incredible idol that is situated on a single stone which is 18 ft long and said that it was made of 12008 salagramams, bought from river Gandhaki of Nepal. There are three doors in the temple and the idol can be seen from all doors.
First door displays the head and chest, second door displays hands and third door displays feet of the Lord. The temple is carved out of stone and bronze and the interiors are spruced up by paintings and vista. Copper sheet with gold platings covering the enormous sacred dhwaja stambh which is 80 ft high. Sculptural skeleton of the temple is carved with hindu deities. On the eastern side of the temple classical form of dance kathakali is performed on the ground floor in the malyalam month during the ten day annual festival.
Note: Only hindus are allowed in the temple and the dress code for men is only dhoti with no kind of shirt and for women dress code is sari, half sari or skirt & blouse.
Pazhavanagadi Ganpathy Temple
Ganpathi temple is also situated in the East Fort and is famous temple of Lord Ganesha. The temple is close in proximity if one is going to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple as it is just at a throw away stone distance. The main idol of Lord Ganesha is very small in size with a folded right leg in sitting posture. There are about 32 types of paintings of Lord Ganesha inside the temple. The chaturthi and jayanti related to the deity are main festivals of the temple other than vijaya dashmi, mahashivaratri etc. The main offerings to the deity is coconut and the dress code for men is dhoti only and for women any traditional attire.
Sri Chitra Art Gallery
Established back in the year 1935, the art gallery is visit most by the tourists visiting Kerala. For art lovers the gallery is equivalent to paradise as one can find here the awesome creativity of renowned painters from all over the country. The art gallery of Raja Ravi Varma paintings and preserved art works of Mughals, Rajasthani & Rajputs by Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and the ancient times Indian mural paintings are some main attraction of the gallery. The art gallery exhibits the perfect mixed blend of the ancient and modern schools of Indian Art. The gallery also holds the beautiful artwork collections of China, Japan and Tibet.
Note: The art gallery is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.
Situated in the heart of the city and built in the 19th century Napier Museum possesses a rare and unique collection of bronze idols, archaeological and historic artifacts, ivory carvings, a temple chariot and ancient ornaments. The exhibition of Mahabharata and Ramayana by leather figures of Japanese shadow play is very curious and exciting. The museum depicts the glimpse of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. The museum was named after John Napier the former Governor General of Madras. The place is an exceptional piece of architecture that glorifies the natural air conditioning system and a beautiful combination of Kerala, Mughal, Italian and Chinese architectural style.
Note: The museum is closed on Monday, Wednesday and Forenoons.
Spread over 55 acres of woodland, the place was established by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1857. With lakes and lawns the place was first planned for some leisure creation but due to excessive deforestation and danger&effect on wildlife, the goal of the place was changed to flora and fauna preservation. More than 130 years later the place got monetary and technical support from Central Zoo Authority and the place was refurbished by iron enclosures natural ambiance. There are about 82 species of fauna from all over the world.
The zoo also boasts native species like Indian Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Asiatic Lion, Asian Elephants, Nilgiri Langoor and Lion Tailed Macaque. Snake farm exhibits the both poisonous and non poisonous snakes. Zoo also contains some animals from Africa like Giraffes, Cape Buffaloes, Zebras and Hippos. The zoo is a good picnic spot and also a good source of knowledge for everyone.
Note: The zoo is closed on Mondays.
Kovalam beach is one of the Internationally famous beach with an immense headland situated on the banks making inlet of the sea look elegant and attractive. There are plenty of things to do in your leisure time like body toning massages, cultural programs, sunbathing, swimming and catamaran cruising. Visit beach in the daytime can tan your skin as tropical sun is too painful to bear. The footfalls are seen maximum during the dusk and continues till the late night. There are many places to hang around in the beach complex that includes shopping zones, ayurvedic massage centers and health resorts, swimming pools, cottages, assembly rooms and yoga centers.
There is a huge attraction of European tourists since 1930 and the place offers cuisines of all variety in different restaurants and cafeteria. The staying facility is also available starting from budget hotels to five star ones.
Sanghumugham beach is the beautiful beach with magical evenings located 8 km from Trivandrum city and can be accessed easily by own conveyance or through city transportation facility. The crowd visits here in the search comfort, relief and soothing of soul and mind as the sea breeze carries cool air that rejuvenates the minds. Wooden boats and canoes can be seen in action meanwhile in the sea during daytime and resting on the golden sand in the evenings. The attractions on the beach are Starfish Restaurants, Indoor Recreation Club, Nehru Park and huge Mermaid Statue. Another attraction at the beach is Veli Tourist Village which is a renowned picnic spot located nearby and connected to the beach by a floating bridge. You can hire paddle and speed boats and have a refreshing splash in the water. The area within holds several restaurants that can be used for refreshments.
The peak is a approx 1900 mt high and offers a scenic view of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary and located in the western ghats. The peak is believed to be the pilgrimage center for Hindus. Statue of Agathiyar is situated at the peak and devotees offer prayer. Many rivers originates from the mountain which includes river Thamirabarani, Neyyar and Karamana. A Tiger reserve, Kalakkad Mundanthurai lies in the agasthyamala range. If you want to reach the top of the peak, the only way to reach there is trekking which has strict guidelines from the Kerala Forest Department. Bonacaud is the starting point for trekking and is 50 km from Trivandrum. Bonacaud to peak takes 2 days of trekking to reach and is 28 km in distance. Trekking is open from January to mid March. The peak is full of medicinal plant with over 2000 species and can be accessed only with the permission of Kerala Forest Department.
- By air
Trivandrum International Airport is located 6 kms from city has more than 30 airlines with several countries. Jet Airways and Indian Airlines can be boarded for domestic travel from and to different parts of the country.
- By road
Long distance buses can be boarded from Central Bus Station at Thampanoor whereas, short distance buses can be boarded from City Bus Station, East Fort.
- By train
Trains can be boarded directly from all major stations of Kerala as well as of India
- State: Kerala
- District: Thiruvananthapuram
- Famous for: Pilgrim, historical, leisure and adventure.
- Population: 3234356(2011 census)
- Languages: Malyalam, English, Tamil and French.
- Best time: October to February
- Std Code: 0471
- Pincode: 695001