Air: The Trivandrum International Airport services flights of Air India, Indian Airlines,Air Lanka, East-West Airlines and private charters like Goa Way. Flights are operated to Cochin, Mumbi, Chennai, Coimbatore, Goa Delhi and Bangalore. There are also international flights to Colombo in Sri Lanka, Male in the Maldives and destinations of the Gulf countries in the Middle East.
Rail: Trivandrum Central Railway Station is connected to most important Indian cities and towns, including the southernmost tip of the subcontinent, Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin).
Motor able roads link Trivandrum ti several important tourist and business centers in India. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) as well as corporations belonging to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu operate bus services of various classes.
Though these are the major operators, there are also private bus and other feeder services to destinations within and outside the state
Taxis (ordinary yellow-top cabs superior ‘tourist taxis’ and chauffeur-driven cards on heir from craniates), buses and auto rickshaws. For the adventurous, cycles are also easily available on hire. Tourist coaches can be hires from the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). For further information, contact: Trivandrum District Truism Promotion Council Tel: 2435397. The KSRTC operates bus services to point within the city and its suburbs.
Laid- backs the capital
The former name for Kerala’s capital city,
Trivandrum, may be more easily pronounceable but the present
official name, Thiruvanathapuram, is closer to its mythological, origins. The word ‘Thri Ananthapuram’ means the city of Anatha or
the abode of the sacred thousand-headed serpent Anantha, who forms
the couch on which reclines Lord vishnu, the preserver in the
Trinity of Hindu gods.The name also reflects the city’s best-known
temple and a famous landmark, Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, dedicated
to Padmanabha or Lord Vishnu and – so goes legend– built in stages
to house an idol discovered in a forest by a devotee. The historical
importance of the city and this temple can be gauged from the fact
that in 1750 when it was the capital of the Venad chieftains of the
erstwhile state of Travancore, its renowned ruler Maharajah
Marthanda Varma dedicated the entire state to the deity of the
temple. It was only as servants of the deity that the King and his
successors held possessions as well as the right to rule. Built on
seven hills, and liberally covered with the green of low-lying paddy
fields and coconut palms, Trivandrum has not lost this holy glory,
having accepted diverse and religious traditions in its warm and
The city has recently grown as a tourist and
commercial center, with the Trivandrum International Airport
becoming the main gateway into Kerala for a substantial number of
visitors and tourists.Nonetheless, it still retains a leisurely and
laid-back ambience, helped along by the great diversity of quaint
colonial and traditional Kerala buildings.The visitor who allows himself to slowly amble
through he various by -lanes that snake off the main M.G. Road can
discover the city’s visages– from shops, restaurants and hotels to
bus-stops, banks and post offices.Being the state capital, Trivandrum throbs with
political activity. This, fortunately, is not at the cost of the
city’s long tradition of being a generous host to culture and the
arts. That is why travelers are always advised not to miss the
Government Art Museum, formerly called the Napier Museum, the Sri
Chitra Art Gallery and the CVN Kalari (a centre for traditional
martial arts) among the other cultural institutions, universities
and libraries located in Trivandrum.
Trivandrum is also the ideal stop-over en route to
nearby destinations like the famed Kovalam beach, a half-hour 16 km,
drive away, the Neyyar Dam and minor wildlife sanctuary (32 km), the
Ponmudi hill resort (61 km), Varkala mineral springs (55 km) and
popular local tourist sports like the Veli Tourist Village and the
Aukulam Lakeside complex.Located in a beautifully landscaped 80-acre plot,
the Government Art Museum forms part of a park-like complex in the
heart of the city, which also houses the Sri Chitra Art Gallery and
the Zoologcal Gardens. The building is an architectural delight,
combining styles of traditional Kerala architecture with Chinese and
Mughal touches. Its 19th Century British architect, Chisholm, is
said to have stirred in a dash of Brighton as well. The intriguing
blend of colors– pink and blue, banana yellow and cherry red– merge
with red and white lattice work and mock friezes to create a unique
spectacle, best viewed on weekends when the entire building is
majestically spot lit. Inside the museum are varied period
collections of bronze statues, treasures, costumes, masks, ancient
jewelers, musical instruments and models, including one of the Nair
joint-family residence, the ‘tharavad’.The Sri Chitra Art Gallery, also in a traditional
building, houses a rich collection of paintings of the erstwhile
Travancore ruling family, including portraits of maharajas and British residents by Raja RaviVarma. Also included are
representative pieces of medieval and modern art of the Rajput,
Mughal, Tanjore and Bengal schools and selection of the work of the
Russian painter Svetosku Roerich.The Zoological Garden, called ‘‘one of the best
laid-out zoos in Asia’’, is set in pleasant surroundings, amidst
lawns and lakes. Its animals and birds and the snake collection in
the nearby Reptile House attract scores of delighted
visitors.Located on a hill opposite the Kanakakunnu Palace,
another attraction worth a visit, is the Government Observatory
which offers a lovely view from its roof terrace.
SITE SEEING TRIPS
Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
conduct coach tours from Trivandrum. Four Details and Reservation
contact: Tourist Receptions Centre, KTDC Thampanoor Trivandrum -1 Ph
Adjacent to the airport, the Shanghumugham Beach
is popular with local people and features an indoor recreation club,
a roller skating rink, a children’s traffic training park, a
starfish-shaped restaurant and an aquarium.About 11 km from the city is the Veli Tourist
village, a well-developed tourist spot where the lake merges with
the sea. Kerala’s famous sculptor Kanai Kunhiraman whose exuberant
sculptures dot the greenery has landscaped its gardens. They combine
to offer an ideal setting for picnics and day trips. There is a
pontoon bridge to the beach, a wading pool for kids, pony rides, a
floating restaurant and facilities for minor aqua sports from 10 am
to 5 pm. Limited accommodation, mainly of the dormitory type, is
available at the Veli Youth Hostel. The Office / KTDC restaurant can
be contacted at telephone number: 2475385Located at PMG Junction, near the Mascot Hotel,
Science and Technology Museum is an interactive educative experience
for students and youth as well as as other inquisitive minds. Closed
on Mondays, on other days it is open from 10 am to 5 pm and the
entrance fee is Rs. 1
Situated at Thycaud in the city, the Chacha Nehru
Children’s Museum displays dolls, maks and paintings and is open 10
am to 5 pm.The SMSM Institute is the handicrafts emporium of
the Handicrafts Development Corporation of Kerala, situated behind
the government secretariat and near the British Library. It sells a
wide variety of handicrafts, carvings and curios. Open 9 am to 8 pm
with no lunch break. The samadhi of the saint Sri Narayana Guru is at
Varkala, 55 km from Trivandrum. It is also the site of the
Janardanasaway (Vishnu) Temple. The other attrition is the mineral
springs believed to be able to restore health.
The ancient seat of the Travancore rulers, the
16th century Padmanabhapuram Palace of elaborate woodwork is 55 km
from Trivandrum in the state of Tamil Nadu en route to Kanyakumari.
It contains historical relics including ancient swords and pistols,
original rosewood furnishings and wall paintings. The floors are
made of a mixture of eggshell, coconut shell and charcoal and
beneath can be found underground hiding spots and narrow escape
tunnels used buy ancient kings to flee from enemies. The palace is
closed on Mondays.
Places to visit :
16 kms away this Internationally renowned Beach Resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The Southernmost, known as the Lighthouse beach, is the most popular Kovalam offers accommodation options to suit all budgets.Kovalam, the world - renowned beach endowed with a sheltered bay safe for swimming, during the off-monsoon months . It takes about half an hour to reach Kovalam from Trivandrum. Apart from the five-star Ashok Radission Hotel, there are several hotels of various standards to suit every budget. Seaside restaurant stalls serve a variety of cuisine
Padmanabha Swamy Temple
The temple is located inside the East Fort.Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, & a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is known for its Mural Paintings and Stone Carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu Temples in India, the presiding deity in here is Lord Vishnu reclining on anantha the serpent.The imposing seven storied tower makes it the most impressive landmark in the city. There are innumerable pillars, intricate carvings and, mural paintings. The temple is an excellent example of the Dravidian style of architecture.Only Hindus are allowed entry inside and the dress regulations are strictly followed.
The Government Art Museum
Open from 10 AM to 5 PM on all days except Monday. Located in a park like complex with the Sree Chitra Art Gallery and the Zoological Gardens it was formerly known as the `Napier Museum` named after a former Madras Governor General, John Napier. It is a gem of architectural exuberance, combining traditional Kerala styles with good doses of Chinese and Mughal Influences. It has an excellent collection of bronze images, historical ornaments, ivory carvings and temple chariots
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum -
The palace was built by Maharaja Swathi
Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, who was a great poet,musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional travancore style of architecture also has exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family.
.The Napier Museum - Built in the 19th century, the indo - saracenic structure boasts a "natural" Airconditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The use of plaxtic is banned in the museum premises.An architectural splendour, the Napier Museum combines traditional Kerala style with the Chinese and Mughal influences much evident in its architecture.The 19th century
English architect, Chisholm, designed the building, which houses a rare collection of archaoelogical and historical artifacts
Sree Chitbra Art Gallery - Located near the Napier Museum. This are gallery displays select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of Art In India. Other places of interest 1.. The zoological park , priyadarshini planetarium , observatory, shankhumugham beach & connemera market.
Akkulam Boat Club The Akkulam Lakeside Boat Club is another popular local destination for city dwellers who wish to get away from it all. About 13 km from the city, it has a large children’s park, a small snack bar and facilities for boating between 10 am and 5 pm. The Boat Club telephone numbers is 443043.. Ponmudi
An ideal hill resort situated just 54 kms from Thiruvananthapuram is an enchanting one for tourists. Best accomodation and restaurant facilities are available here.Ponmudi is a small little hill resort (altitude:
325 meters) within easy driving distance (61 km) from Trivandrum.
Mountains and tea plantations provide the setting for some beautiful
hiking trails. Accommodation is available in a guesthouse with 24
rooms and ten stone cottages perched on the hillside. Bookings can
be made at KTDC, Trivandrum. Close to Kanyakumari (74 km from
Trivandrum), the Suchindram Temple has an impressive gopuram and a
statue of Hanuman, apart from beautiful carvings and
sculptures.The salubrious hill station of Ponmudi is at a distance of 61 kms from Thiruvananthapuram. The enchanting bounty of nature can be witnessed here in the quiet surroundings.Perched at an altitude of over 100 m above sea level on the Western Ghats, the shimmering green waters of the winding streams and verdant woods of Ponmudi do not spare anybody. Trekking is a passion with the visitors to Ponmudi, lying within easy driving distance from Thiruvananthapuram.One will find oneself compulsively pausing every now and then to drink in deep the spectacular sweep of the hill ranges, tea-estates and the mist-covered valleys, peppered with little toy-like stone cottages painted a pretty violet, pink, or white with pointed and peaked roofs.There are a good number of shops on the beach. Shops sell Blankets, Goods, Jewellery and ornaments mainly from Kashmir, Rajasthan or Nepal. Spices, the specialty of Kerala, are also available here.It takes 2 hours by road, driving 65 kms northeast from Thiruvananthapuram, to get to Ponmudi. Bus services are frequent.
It is a Pretty picnic spot, endowed with natural springs, a little further down the hill. Golden Valley is a little, scenic viewpoint
16 km north of Thiruvananthapuram and gifted with lavish scenic beauty is Aruvikkara, with an ancient temple dedicated to Durga on the banks of the river.
Science and Technology Museum
Located near Mascot Hotel, the Museum is of high educative value for students of science and technology.
This is a prominent peak in the Sahyadri ranges and can be approached on foot from Bonacadu which is 61 km away from Thiruvananthapuram.Agastyarkoodam Peak is a spectacular peak in the Western Ghats that rises to a majestic height of about 1868 m in the form of a sharp cone.
Varkala is a sea side resort, as well as an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. The 2000 year old Janardana Swamy Temple and the Nature Centre are the two main attractions here. High cliffs border the excellent beach. It's a beautiful beautiful beach that has a more than 2000 years old shrine of Lord Vishnu. Varkala beach is rich in mineral water springs that are known for their medicinal value. A dip in the holy waters of Varkala beach is believed to purge the body and the soul of all the sins hence the name 'Papanashini' for this shore. At the break of dawn following the new moon in the Malayalam month of 'Karkidakam', thousands offer 'Vavu Bali', a ritual believed to help the souls of ancestors rest in peace.
An important Muslim pilgrim centre, it is dedicated to Beema Beevi, a pious Muslim lady believed to have possessed divine powers. Devotees of all faiths visit the mosque.This is situated on the coast, nearly 5 kms south of Trivandrum city.
The 'Madre De Deus' Church popularly known as the Vettukad Church attracts thousands of devotees from all religions. The annual celebration here is called the 'Feast Of Christ, The King'.
Flavour Food Festival
Flavour, the exotic food festival provides a rare opportunity to the gourmets to taste the traditional, authentic Cuisine of Kerala and India. The national food festival is held in Thiruvananthapuram from 5th to the 11th of April, every year.
Renowned hotels from across Kerala participate in this weeklong international festival of the various cuisines of the world held at the Thiruvananthapuram.
Flavour, the exotic food festival provides a rare opportunity to the gourmets to taste the traditional, authentic Cuisine of Kerala and India.
The speciality of the Arattu at the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) is that the head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore still provides escort to the procession of idols.
Aruvippuram is a pilgrim centre located in a picturesque location, 24 kms from Trivandrum. It is also a small but lovely picnic spot. The place derives its name from a stream. Paripally Gajamela
Paripally, 48 kms north of Trivandrum is noted for its Gajamela or Elephant pageant. Over 50 elephants are taken out on a ritual procession on the tenth day of the festival (February- March)
Another favourite local destination is Neyyar Dam, a dam site with the lake providing a picnic spot as well as opportunities for boating and hiking. The famed Sivanada Yoga Vedanta Ashram is located here.29 km from Thiruvananthapuram is Neyyar Dam a picnic spot and dam site. There are facilities for boating at the reservoir. There is a lion safari park and a crocodile farm
Priyadarshini Planetorium is one of the most sophisticated and versatile planetaria in India
Swathi festival is a gala event of music organised by the Government of Kerala every year in the last week of January. The venue is the famous Kuthiramalika Palace. Kowdiyar Palace
The home of the late Maharaja Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma and his family is off limits to visitors but you can have a glimpse from the main gate. If a friendly guard is on duty, he will let you walk a bit inside the grounds where you can get a view of the grand old building at the end of its long drive.
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Caves
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave basically constitutes the rock cut sculptures of the 18th century in the cave temple at Vizhinjam.
The Aattukal Bhagavathi Temple dedicated to the Goddess Bhagavathi is situated in Trivandrum city. Pongala, an exclusive festival for women, falling in February/ March, is the speciality of this temple.
Peppara wildlife sanctuary
Peppara wildlife sanctuary is a 'gene pool' sanctuary, with a rich variety of flora and fauna over a rugged terrain with running rivulets, rolling hillocks and green meadows. A boat ride on the site is a fulfilling experience.
Truly a representative of the clean and verdant aspect of the city, the Public Park houses many important institutions, like the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. The observatory on the Observatory hill is also located in the Public Park.
Veli Tourist Village
A large recreational centre located near the airport along a sheltered lagoon offers landscaped gardens and water-sports facilities. It is a popular picnic spot. Accommodation facilities are available in the youth hostel.