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Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum
Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum:
Thiru- Anantha- Puram or the city of holy Ananthanag, Thiruvananthapuram is popularly known as Trivandrum. It is the capital of the state of Kerala. Paschimghat hill is encircling the city in the east and north east where as the Arabian Sea is surrounding the city in the western side.
Thiruvananthapuram, the pleasure garden of South India, is located in the middle of the awe inspiring cosmos and is delimited by seven hills. The sight of the city resembles Rome. The splendid city, Thiruvananthapuram, is getting aid from the gulf countries for infrastructure developments and decorations. Slender streets of the city look marvelous with the red roofed pagoda like homes which are built at the roadsides. Modern architectural excellence and grandeur along with innumerable flower groves embellish the city. The dearth of skyscrapers makes the city even more attractive.
Even though the splendor of the city entices many but the mesmerizing natural surrounds at the Kovalam beach, about 16 km away from the central part of the city is the prime and foremost attraction. The Vishnu temple in the vicinity is there for the spiritual tourists. Thiruvananthapuram is famous at every corner of the country due to the existence of the astonishing Kovalam beach in the proximity.
Cover different destinations of Kovalam and Thiruvananthapuram by hiring a taxi or an auto. If you stay for 2 days at Thiruvananthapuram, it would be sufficient.
Take a walk approximately for 10 minutes to the pious Sri Padmanabhaswami temple, located at the opposite side of the East Fort Bus stand (Municipal). The divine idol of Vishnu in the temple is the largest in the world. Witness the divinity of the huge idol from a platform but for that you need to buy a ticket. The primeval holy temple was reconstructed and revamped in 1733. The 7 storied and 30 meters tall Gopuram of the temple depicts Dravidian architectural flair and styles. Climb up the Gopuram to watch the panoramic vista of the city.
At the main entrance of the holy temple of 18th century, the nature lovers can see the fabulous grandeur of the wooden pillar which is wrapped in gold. The chief throne of the temple, Kulashekhara Mandapa, is built with granite stones and is standing tall on 368 pillars. Another prime allurement of the sanctified Vishnu temple is its 28 monolithic pillars. Each of the big pillars comprises of multiple small pillars. Just make a sound hitting at one of the pillars and listen to the rhythmic tune at another adjoining pillar. The impressive architectural excellence of the temple would definitely fascinate spiritual temple lovers.
The hallowed Padma Tirtham Sarobar or Lake is situated in the hinterland as well. Watch the reflection of the temple on the water of the lake. One of the prime enticements of the city is this temple. The Kalarippayati architecture on the walls of the temple will amuse many. A 10 days long festival is organized in the neighborhood in between March- April and October-November. During the fiesta, a striking procession which moves towards the sea beach is organized. Animated dancers and well adorned elephants stroll slowly in the procession. Even though the time of inauguration of the temple was unknown but it is said that more than 4000 master craftsmen, 6000 labors and 100 elephants were involved in making the temple. Approximately 6 months were taken to complete the temple. Only Hindu devotees can enter into the divine Sri Padmanavaswamy temple.
Besides the holy Sri Padmanavaswamy temple, a number of other temples of the deities like Sri Krishna and Khetrapal are there in the close proximity. The red colored C V N Kalari, located in the vicinity, is a physical training institute. The Ayurvedic massage of C V N Kalari is also quite popular. Interested tourists can even meet doctors for treatment. Take a walk and cross C V N Kalari to hit another dancing training school of Thiruvananthapuram.
Puttan Malika Palace, located at the south- eastern side of the temple, is an ancient palace which was built in 1750 by the king of Tribankur. Interested tourists can watch the old but valuable collection of the museum which is there in the palace. 122 pillars of the palace look like the horses and are an impressive epitome of the fine arts of Kerala. The wooden structure of the pillars and the imprinted wooden arrangements helped to keep the room temperature down. Primeval furniture, Belgium chain of hanging lanterns, Belgium cut glasses, chairs of the elephant teeth, Crystal throne of Dutch, collection of pictures, musical instruments and other items still recall the old memories of the palace.
A number of Government offices are located at the end of M G Road. Zoo or the Botanical Garden, covering a straggling area of 80 acres, is located on the Observatory hill at the opposite side of the chain of Government offices. The Art Museum, Srichitra Art Gallery, Natural History Museum, Srichitra enclave and K.C Panikkar Glallery are the other coveted tourists’ destinations of Thiruvananthapuram. Everyone who buys a ticket with 10 rupees can enter into the Park view or the Botanical Garden.
Hire an auto or taxi to visit all the adjoining places at one go or else you can avail a bus to Padmanava temple in the morning. Watch the beautiful Kovalam beach and take another bus in the afternoon to Thiruvananthapuram (Shangumugham) beach.
The Napier museum, built in 1880, is an attractive destination for the tourists. The pictures of the colorful pillars of the edifice of the museum, Indo-Serasenic architectures, fine-looking glass windows and wooden ceilings would be captured as frames in the minds of the holiday makers. Innumerable attires, musical instruments, handicrafts, collection of Bronze idols, architectural sculptures of Cholas, Jain and Buddha dynasties are on display as well. Models of the Kathakali dancers, models of the joint Nayar family and 300 years old temple car are the other attractive items. A zoo is situated in the neighborhood as well.
A striking Art Gallery, built in 1935, is there in the territory of the museum. Modern artistic sculptures of many artists like Ravi Varma and Micheal Royeric are kept and maintained in the Art Gallery. The impressive assortment of pictures of Rajput, Mughal, Tanjore, Bali, dynasties is displayed. The museum also houses the pictures of Tibet, Chine and Japan. The visiting time of the museum and the Art Gallery is same.
The best attraction of the 50 acre Zoo safari is the aquarium, located on the beach of the Arabian Sea. Astonishing collection of inundated flora and fauna is the prime enticement of the aquarium. Few rare and atypical set of the inundated animals are the foremost allurement of the aquarium. This modern aquarium is said to be the largest in Asia. Every holiday maker should visit this particular place.
Many of the tourists like to witness the splendor of the nature during sunset. Sanghumugham beach, about 8 km away from the city of Thiruvananthapuram, is the best place to fulfill your wish of watching the sight of the sunset. Plenty of arrangements for the Tourists’ entertainments are already there on the beach. Indoor Recreation Club, Children Traffic Training Park, Star Shaped Restaurant and Skating Rink are the few names where you can enjoy with your family members and friends. The fabulous artistic touch of the artist Kanai Kunhiraman can be seen on the idol of mermaid in Sanghumugham. 35 meters long idol of a woman made up of snail would also fascinate holiday makers.
Interested tourists who want to spend some time in Sanghumugham can stay at various hotels which are located adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram Airport. If you are high on energy then you can visit the nearby place called Veli.
To enjoy the natural surrounds tourists can also stay at Veli. The waves of Arabian Sea touch the Veli Tourist Village, about 8 km away from the city of Thiruvananthapuram. To enjoy the spectacle of the nature around, hire a yacht and move along the waves of the Backwater. A toy train is there inside the mesmerizing grove to entertain little kids. The fine looking grove is covering 18 acres of rambling area. The awe inspiring grove looks even more stunning and impressive due to the dotted sculptures which depict architectural excellence and flair. All these sculptures are the marvelous examples of Kanai Kunhiraman’s artistic creations.
Apart from the floating restaurant of KTDC, Sabala restaurant is also there for the amusement of the tourists. Youth Hostel, on the banks of the lake, amidst the beautiful grove is a noteworthy place where holiday makers can stay at. However, the other options for the tourists are Lake Side Heritage and Veli Star for accommodation.
The Science and Technology museum, located adjacent to the Mascot Hotel deserves a visit. The nearby Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum in Thycaud, showcases various colorful masks. Different kinds of Indian and western attires on the tiny dolls, kept and maintained in the museum compound, look really imposing and inspiring. City dwellers like to stay at Akkulam Tourist Village, located at a distance of 10 km from the city. Children would love the place as well. Boating on the surface of the lake would please everyone. Plethora of amusement items are there for the children in the adjoining Children’s museum. Take the pleasure in the fascinating Picnic spot and waterfall on the banks of Karmala River in Thiruvananthapuram. Interested people who love to witness the grandeur of the graceful dance forms can be a part of the All India Dance Festival, held between October-March in Nishagandhi Theatre.
Padmanabhapuram (Padma-lotus, Nabha- Navel, Puram-city), located at a distance of 51 km towards the south-eastern side of Thiruvananathapuram, on NH-47, is a Hindu pilgrimage spot. Kanyakumarika is just 45 km away from Padmanabhapuram. A Pagoda type palace, built with teak and rocks, is the prime attraction of the pilgrimage destination. The palace compound, covering 5-6 acres of area, houses 14 palaces which are dotted around the entire compound. Pumugham, the V I P meeting hall, houses 90 ceilings which are built with Mehogany wood and look like lotus. The splendor of the floors and windows are worthy of mention. The shiny floor of the palace is made up of egg white, jiggery lime, burnt coconut, and charcoal. Numerous pictures and murals are engraved on the walls. Onabhillu wall paintings, excellent architectures using Bronze and stones are eye catching. Holiday makers would enjoy the royal splendor of the main entrance of the palace, Pumugham, palace of Thaikottam, courtyard, the place for keeping dead bodies, Swimming bath, treasury, pictures of Sri Krishna on Belgium glass using water colors, dance hall of granite stones, councilor chambers, mother hall, banquette hall and dining hall. The king used to offer foods in the dining hall to 2000 Brahmins. Visitors are overwhelmed by the burnished China jars at the backend of the hall. Ramaswamy temple, located adjacent to the palace showcases the stories of Hindu epic Ramayana which are very systemically and artistically engraved on the 45 panels of the wall. The wall paintings of 18th century are impressive as well. The deity, Vishnu is residing in the room of worship which is well adorned with the pictorial representations of 90 different flowers. The bed of the deity is formed using teak wood. The king used to stay in the room which is situated just below the room of worship. The bed was specially designed for the king. The architectural style and flair of the bed is praiseworthy as well. 67 different medicinal vegetations were used while making the bed of the king. The archeological museum of the palace houses different collection of items of 8th to 18th centuries.
Interested tourists can hire a vehicle or avail a bus to Nagercoil (15 km) and Suchindram (8 km) from Thiruvananthapuram.
Besides the prime and foremost attractions of the city, city dwellers can amble in and around the city to watch the ancient fort, court, secretariat building, Rabindra auditorium and the University. Thumba, the village of fishermen, is now famous in the vicinity as the Rocket Launching Station of ISRO is built in the village in 1963. Vikram Sarabhai Space centre, built in 1971, is also situated in Thumba. To watch the neighboring places around you need maximum of 2 days. Stay in Thiruvananthapuram for 2 days and hire a vehicle to watch the adjoining places comfortably.
Nature lovers should not miss out the sight of the place, Thiruvallam, where the rivers Killi and Karamala congregate at. The astonishing destination is situated at a distance of 6 km from Thiruvananthapuram towards the beach city, Kovalam. This is the place where you can spend some time with your family and enjoy yachting on the surface of the backwater of Thiruvallam. Temple lovers can enjoy the divinity of Parasuram temple in Thiruvallam.
How to reach: Thiruvananthapuram is well connected to various parts of the country by railway network. Thiruvananthapuram can be accessed from Kochi, Mumbai, Howrah, Chennai, Bangalore and many more Indian cities. Indian Airlines flights connect Thiruvananthapuram to Mumbai and Kochi regularly as well. Check our transport links below.
Where to stay: Hotel Aristo, Green Land Lodging, Hotel Rohini Complex, Lal Tourist Home, Sri Devi Tourist Home, Vinayaka Tourist home, Hotel Thamburu International, Hotel Keerthi, Hotel Safa International and Hotel Coconut Bay Beach Resort.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.