Places to Visit in Trivandrum
Trivandrum - Experience the royal grandeur of the capital city
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital of Kerala makes an ideal tourist place for both a weekend ramble and longer holiday. Well connected by air, rail and road, Trivandrum is famous for many tourist attractions. Set out in a Trivandrum city tour to explore some of the best landmarks and attractions of this city. Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple, one of the richest temples in the world, the Kanakakkunnu Palace and the Kowdiar Palace are some of the last remaining royal insignia of this city, which will remind you of the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum, located to the east of the Napier Museum, is one of the popular destinations of Thiruvananthapuram. The museum was built in the style of traditional Kerala Nair wooden houses called Nalukettu and has several galleries that display items related to the natural sciences. There are also galleries exhibiting animal skeletons, stuffed animals and birds, at this museum. Timing: 10 am – 5 pm
The Marine Aquarium of Thiruvananthapuram, known for its rich collection of marine life, is a frequented tourist destination. This aquarium is also famous for its image pearl production facility, in which pearls are made with the image of various deities in them. The pearl images of Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and various Hindu gods and goddesses are exhibited here.
Timing: 9 am – 8 pm
Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favourite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing.
devikripa The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising are some of them. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centres.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is the prime attraction of Thiruvananthapuram City. Situated in one of the seven Parasurama Kshetras, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is considered among 108 Divya Deshams or the holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. The idol of the presiding deity of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is seen in a reclining posture (Anananthasayanam), which symbolizes the eternal sleep of Yoga Nidra.
The temple is noted for its traditional Dravidian style of architecture and the ornamentation of the inner walls of the sanctum sanctorum using frescoes and murals. The temple is also famous for being the wealthiest shrine in the world.
Padmanabhapuram Palace, located within the Padmanabhapuram Fort of Padmanabhapuram Village in Thuckalay, is a major tourist attraction near Thiruvananthapuram. The palace is regarded among the top ten palaces of the world and is located at a distance of 64 km from Thiruvananthapuram. The erstwhile seat of the Travancore Empire, Padmanabhapuram is located at the foothills of Veli, the hilly extensions of the Western Ghats.
Padmanabhapuram Palace is a fine example of traditional Kerala style of architecture. Built in 1601 using a unique combination of egg whites, jaggery, lime, burnt coconuts, charcoal and river sand, Padmanabhapuram Palace is famous for its carved mahogany ceilings, coloured mica windows, secret underground passages, inner courtyards, museum, granite dance halls, etc. Timing: 9 am to 4:30 pm (Closed on Mondays and National Holidays)
Veli Tourist village
Veli Tourist village is one of the popular tourist spots located at the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram, at a distance of 8 km away. Veli Tourist village lies at the spot where Veli Lake is separated from the Arabian Sea by a sand bar. The clear water of Veli Lagoon offers water sports activities.
Timing: 8 am - 6 pm
Neyyar Wild Life Sanctuary
Neyyar Wild Life Sanctuary, established in the year 1958, is one of the well known natural attractions near Thiruvananthapuram. Situated on the south-eastern side of theWestern Ghats, Neyyar Wild Life Sanctuary is home to more than 39 species of mammals, 176 species of birds, 30 species of reptiles, 17 species of amphibians and 40 species of fishes. This sanctuary is also known for its crocodile farm which was set up in the year 2007.
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum is one of the popular destinations near the city of Thiruvananthapuram. Kuthiramalika Palace Museum was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma in the year 1800, to promote the traditional art forms of India.
devikripa The name 'Kuthiramalika' (Horse Bungalow) was derived from the wall painting of 122 wooden horses, which can be seen in the exterior walls of the palace. The most popular exhibits of the Palace Museum are the royal jewelry, the royal armory, metal idols and wooden sculptures. The palace is built in the traditional Kerala style of architecture and is adorned with royal portraits and paintings of the royal family.
Timing: 8;30 am – 12:30 pm
3:30 pm – 5;30 pm
Koyikkal Palace is one of the main tourist attractions of Thiruvananthapuram, located 18 km away, in Nedumangadu. Situated en route to Ponmudi and Courtalam, Koyikkal Palace is famous for its architectural style, the Folklore Museum and the Numismatics Museum. The Folklore Museum, established in 1992, exhibits traditional musical instruments, household utensils, occupational implements and models of folk arts. Some of the popular exhibits are the Nanthuni, brassware, copperware and wooden kitchenware.
The main attraction of the Numismatics Museum is its exhibit of coins from different countries which belongs to different periods of world history. Some of the popular exhibits are the Karsha, the Rasi and coins belonging to the Gwalior Royal Family, the Nizam of Hyderabad, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan, etc.
Timing: 9 am to 5 pm (Mondays Closed)
The Kanakakunnu Palace, situated near the Napier Museum in Thiruvananthapuram, was constructed during the reign of King Sree Moolam Thirunal. Chithira Tirunal, one of the most famous rulers of Travancore, modified the palace and constructed tennis courts in the premises. Used once as a summer retreat, this architectural marvel was used by the Travancore royal family to entertain their guests.
A major renovation project taken up by the State Government of Kerala has helped to restore the Kanakakunnu Palace. Under the control of the state's tourism department, the palace and its grounds have become popular venues for cultural meets, programmes and family outings.
The Nisagandhi Open-Air Auditorium, within the Kanakakunnu Palace compound, is one of the most sought-after venues for conducting stage shows. A week long festival of Indian classical dances is organised here annually. Leading artists of Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Odissi, Modern Ballet and other folk dances participate in this dance festival.
The Sooryakanthi Auditorium is also a popular venue for conducting exhibitions, trade fairs and cultural programmes. Apart from that, a week long international food festival is held at the Kanakakunnu Palace grounds in which renowned hotels from across Kerala take part.
The Kanakakunnu Palace being a storehouse of the history and culture of its region, the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has documented the palace as a heritage monument.
Aruvikkara is a popular picnic spot in the vicinity of Thiruvananthapuram, located at a distance of 16 km from the city center. Aruvikkara is situated on the banks of River Karamana and is famous for the Aruvikkara Dam and Aruvikkara Devi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga.
Shanghumukham Beach is a popular tourist attraction of Thiruvananthapuram, located at a distance of 8 km from the city. The beach, known for the clear views of the setting sun, is a frequented picnic spot. The beach is also famous for the huge Matsyakanyaka (mermaid) Sculpture, designed by Sri. Kanai Kunhiraman, built in concrete in the year 1990.