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DESTINATIONS » SOUTH » KERALA » THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
 
  
 
Thiruvananthapuram located at the Southwestern tip of India. The wooded highlands on the Western Ghats in the Eastern and Northern Eastern borders give Thiruvananthapuram some of the most enchanting picnic spots. A long shoreline with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwaters, stretches and a rich cultural heritage make the district a much sought after tourist destination. Mahatma Gandhi has referred thiruvananthapuram as "Evergreen city of India".

The city is the state capital and houses many central and state government offices, organizations and companies. Apart from being the political nerve centre of Kerala, it is also a major academic hub and is home to several educational institutions including the University of Kerala, and too many science and technology institutions, namely Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Technopark and IIST.

The main shopping district in Thiruvananthapuram is MG Road, where there are a number of shopping complexes and shopping stores selling everything from local spices to handicrafts made out of wood, horn, metal, coir and handloom. Among the must buy souvenirs for shopaholics are rosewood and sandalwood carvings, brass and bell metal lamps, coir mats, spices, coffee, tea and cashewnuts. Other Kerala specialties include gold jewellery, traditional saris, Kathakali masks, bronzes and delightfully banana chips, which are so an integral part of Kerala''s cuisine.Food is usually inexpensive and prepared under reasonably hygienic conditions. While you are here you must try a ‘vegetarian thali’. Neatly arranged along the circumference in a large plate, little bowls of vegetables-dry and curried, ‘dal’, rice and payassam (the dessert) accompanied by crisp ‘papaddum’ and pickle make for a complete all-in-one package meal that’s a favourite with Indians anywhere. You might have to search a bit for Kerala cuisine because most restaurants serve Tamilian food. The Academy of Magical Sciences holds regular shows. A complete Kathakali show lasts hours but abridged performances may be on too. Kalaripayattu academies might oblige you with a demonstration if you are lucky. There are many movie theatres for this movie mad society but most films will be in a language other than English.One of the most popular festivals in Kerala is the Great Elephant Race in Trivandrum held in January every year. Besides Trivandrum this unique event also takes place in a few major cities of Kerala such as Thrichur and Alappuzha.
 
     
     
 
DESTINATIONS
 
     
 
  Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple   Padmanabhapuram Palace   Kuthiramalika Palace Museum  
             
  Museum Complex   Veli Tourist Village   Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave  
             
  Shankumugham Beach   Kovalam Beach   Koyikkal Palace  
             
  Thiruvallam   Aruvikkara Dam   Neyyar Dam  
             
  Ponmudi   Agasthyakoodam      
             
     
     
 
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
 
 
Destination Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities Heritage sight seeing,Pilgrimage/Place of worship
This temple is the historical landmark of Trivandrum and locatedinside the East Fort. This temple is an illustration of Dravidian as well as South Indian architecture. This temple has an idol 18 feet long. Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is adorned with gold and precious stones. This temple always has thronging visitors and devotees. The idol of Lord Vishnu on the Serpent Anantha in a reclining posture is made of Kudusarkara blended with expensive things. This idol also includes herbs and Salagramam, which is usually not used in Kudusarkara idols. The detection of gold jewels on the idol developed great interest in the temple and made a significant record in the history.
 
 
 
     
 
Padmanabhapuram Palace
 
 
Destination Padmanabhapuram Palace
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage sight seeing,Visit Museums/ Libraries
Located about 54 km from the city, was once the seat of the rulers of Travancore, a princely state for more than 400-years-old that included a large part of present day Kerala and western coast of Tamil Nadu. The palace is superbly constructed of local teak and granite with rosewood carved ceilings, inlaid windows and 18th century murals. Chinese legacy is also evident throughout the palace. With its banqueting halls, audience chamber, women's quarters and galleries, the palace is a must see.
 
 
 
     
 
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum
 
 
Destination
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum
Location
Thiruvananthapuram
State
Kerala
Destination Type
Heritage Site
Activities
Heritage sight seeing,Classic music concert,Visit Museums/ Libraries
Kuthira Malika also known as Puthen Malika Palace is a palace built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, on the south-eastern side of Padmanabhaswamy temple. The palace gets its name from the 122 horses that are carved into the wooden wall brackets that support the southern roof.
 
 
 
     
 
Museum Complex
 
 
Destination Museum Complex
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage sight seeing,Visit Museums/ Libraries
An 80-acre beautifully landscaped park in the north of the City houses a collection of museums and a zoo. The Napier Museum is housed in a building with pure Kerala architecture dating from 1880 and has an eclectic display of bronzes, temple carts, ivory carvings ancient musical instruments and life size figures of Kathakali dancers. The Natural History Museum has a rudimentary ethnographic collection as well as an interesting replica of a tharawad, the traditional wooden residence of the Nair family. The Sri Chitra Art Gallery, located within the museum complex has a good collection of paintings of the Rajput, Mughal, Bengal and Tanjore schools along with works by Ravi Varma, Svetoslav and Nicholas Roerich.

The Zoological Garden, set among woodlands and lakes is one of the best laid-out zoos in Asia. Its animals and birds and the snake collection in the nearby Reptile House attracts scores of delighted visitors.

 
 
 
     
 
Veli Tourist Village
 
 
Destination Veli Tourist Village
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type  
Activities Para Sailing,Water scooter
Located about 11km from the city, this is a well-developed tourist spot where a lake merges with the sea. Its gardens have been landscaped by the famous Kerala sculptor Canai Kunuram and his exuberant sculptures are scattered among the greenery. It is an ideal setting for picnics and day trips. There is a pontoon bridge to the beach, a wading pool for kids, a floating restaurant, and facilities for water sports like riding a sea scooter.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave
 
 
Destination Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage Sight Seeing
Located 17km from the city, these are rock cut sculptures of the 18th century located in the cave temple at Vizhinjam. The granite cave here encloses a one-celled shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave depicts half-complete reliefs of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Shankumugham Beach
 
 
Destination Shankumugham Beach
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Beaches
Activities  
Just 8 Km from the city located adjacent to the airport, this is a favorite haunt of sunset watchers. An indoor recreation club, a roller skating rink, children's traffic training park, a starfish-shaped restaurant, and an aquarium.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Kovalam Beach
 
 
Destination Kovalam Beach
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Beaches
Activities Sun Bathing,Swimming/Bathing
Situated 16km south of Trivandrum, is a sheltered bay endowed with unusual beauty. This internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. This natural bay is a safe sea-pool, free from high waves and surge. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular. The small palm fringed bays separated by rocky headlands, pale sands, gentle surf and lush green lawns compel the visitor to overstay in Kovalam. The surf here is ideal for surf riding and the water invites the visitors to ride the "Catamaran" or log with the fisherman or to take a cool swim. There are many Ayurvedic treatment centres and resorts in Kovalam. There is also the Beach Centre of Aquatic sport.
 
 
 
     
 
Koyikkal Palace
 
 
 Destination
Koyikkal Palace
 Location
Thiruvananthapuram
  State
Kerala
 Destination Type
Heritage Site
 Activities
Visit Museums/ Libraries
Located at Nedumangad, 18km away is an ancient palace that dates back to the 15th century. It is a double storeyed traditional Nalukettu building with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and museums of folklore and numismatics set up by the Department of Archeology.
 
 
 
     
 
Thiruvallam
 
 
Destination Thiruvallam
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Backwaters
Activities Boating/canoeing,Houseboat Backwater / River cruise
Located just 6 kms from Thiruvananthapuram and 10km away, is a serene backwater stretch, en route to Kovalam. This serene backwater stretch is also very popular for its canoe rides. Killi and Karamana are the two rivers that come together at Thiruvallam to offers its spectators a breathtaking view. A temple dedicated to Parashurama, the legendary founder of Kerala, is also located here, where tourists in large numbers come every year to offer prayers.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Aruvikkara Dam
 
 
Destination Aruvikkara Dam
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Boating/canoeing
It is situated 16kms north of Thiruvananthapuram. It is gifted with lavish scenic beauty and this picturesque picnic spot is on the banks of the river, an ancient temple is situated which is dedicated to Durga. Here is a stream full of fish that fearlessly come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors. Boating facilities are available at the reservoir.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Neyyar Dam
 
 
Destination Neyyar Dam
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Boating/canoeing
It is situated at 30km east of Thiruvananthapuram, at the foot of Western Ghats. It was established in 1958. It is occupying the basin of the rivers Neyyar, Mullayar and Kallar. This popular picnic spot has a watch tower, crocodile farm, lion safari park and deer park. The 128sqkm Neyyar sanctuary occupies a beautiful wooded and hilly landscape, dominated by the peak of Agasthya malai. Wild life includes gaur, sloth bear, Nilgiri Tahr, jungle cat and Nilgiri langur but most commonly seen animals are wild elephants and sambar deer. Boating facilities are available at the reservoir.
 
 
 
     
 
Ponmudi
 
 
Destination Ponmudi
Location Thiruvananthanpuram
State Kerala
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Wildlife Safari/Bird Watching
It is located 61 km north-east of Trivandrum city at an altitude of 1100 m. It is a part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea. Ponmudi is connected to Trivandrum by a narrow winding road which offers a scenic view on the way to Ponmudi. The climate is always pleasant and it serves as a base for trekking and hiking. The tea-gardens here are also famous.
 
 
 
     
   
 
Destination Agasthyakoodam
Location Thiruvananthapuram
State Kerala
Destination Type Wildlife
Activities  
Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala. Teeming with wildlife, the forests of Agasthyakoodam abound in rare medicinal herbs and plants, and brilliantly hues orchids.It is 60 Kms North East of Trivandrum.The mountain is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus, as it is believed to be the abode of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara as well as of the sage Agastya, a disciple of Shiva.

In 1992, an area covering around 23 sq kms was established as Agasthya Vanam Biological Park. The intention was to restore the degraded forests and to use it for educational purpose. The season from December to April is advocated for trekking and is a distance of 28 kms to the top. It takes approximately two days and trekking is permitted only between December and April.