The capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is an appealing blend of a strongly rooted heritage and a nostalgic colonial legacy. Built upon seven hills, this city has long since left the days when it was only used by seafaring explorers behind – today, Trivandrum is a swanky metropolis with quaint urban charm and plenty of scenic places to visit. Proudly retaining its age-old cultural charm, Trivandrum offers a huge variety of sights including incredible museums, beautifully designed palaces, sacred temples and mesmerizing beaches, making the city one of the best tourist spots in South India.
The Padmanabhaswamy temple (also known as Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple), is a must-visit temple of India. Located in the heart of the city, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and stands out for its striking mix of Keralan and Dravidian style architecture, showcasing a sublime artistic temperament. The 18-feet high idol of Lord Vishnu is awe-inspiring, and tourists throng this temple all year round to seek the blessings of and pay their respects to Lord Vishnu. Other famous temples in Trivandrum include the Attukal Bhagawati temple, the Aazhimala Siva Temple, the Karikkakom Chamundi Devi Temple, and the Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple.
If ancient history and culture fascinate you, then Trivandrum is just the place for you to visit. The city is home to a few museums such as the Kuthiramalika Palace Museum and the Napier Museum. The Kuthiramalika Palace Museum is situated close-by to the Padmanabhaswamy temple, and it gets its name from the 122 intricately carved wooden horses that greet all visitors. Renowned for its Travancore styled architectural features and its structural elegance, this museum houses priceless paintings, traditional furniture, and other collections of the royal family. The Napier Museum, located in the heart of the city, is a beautiful example of Indo-Saracenic architecture and is one of the most visited places in the city. The museum has on display a rare collection of archaeological and historical artefacts, as well as other ancient ornaments, and ivory and wooden carvings. Both these museums serve to provide valuable insights into Kerala’s rich legacy of culture and history.
Trivandrum is home to many idyllic beaches, the most famous of them being the Kovalam beach. With a long shoreline creating a spellbinding bay of calm water, breathtaking views of sunrises and sunsets, and eye-catching options for leisure, this beach attracts tourists for all the right reasons. Other beaches in the vicinity include the Hawa beach and the Shanghumukham Beach.
As with any other coastal city in Kerala, Trivandrum’s cuisine is dominated by seafood and local South Indian dishes with an abundance of coconut. Traditional meals are generally served on clean, green banana leaves, making the entire experience of eating a meal in Trivandrum a truly authentic one.
Places to Visit
Neyyar Dam & Wildlife Sanctuary
Famous for its Lion and Deer Safari, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a treat for nature enthusiasts. The park houses a crocodile farm and elephant rehabilitation centre. Ask for a guided tour of the sanctuary which is quite informative.
One of the 108 Divya Desams, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Embellished in gold-plated covering, the temple is opened only to Hindu followers. Dedicated to Lord Padmanabha; one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple is one of the principal centres of Vaishnava worship in the dharma of Vaishnavism.
Built as a replica of the Adikesavaperumal Temple in Thiruvattar, the Padmanabhaswamy temple is well-preserved antiquity. Although the origin of this temple still remains a mystery, devotees believe it to have existed since the first day of the Kali Yuga, which was 5000 years ago. The Padmanabhaswamy temple also has a mention in the Bhagwad Gita. The scripture states that Balarama, the older brother of Lord Krishna frequented the temple, bathed in the Padmatheertham and also made several offerings to the deity here.
The most beguiling Poovar Island, located just 30 km away from Trivandrum, Kerala or the God’s own country, is the abode of natural beauty. Known for its pristine charm, the island is flocked by peace-lovers. Also known as the fishing village, the tranquil island lies between the Arabian Sea and the Neyyar River. The point where the sea, river and the land meets is a rare find in Kerala and a natural wonder. Poovar Island is truly a window into paradise. A visit to this heaven makes one feel that the clock has stopped ticking. The sheer beauty of this place goes well with the crashing sound of waves and chirping of birds.
Flanked by the Arabian Sea, Neyyar River and Kerala backwaters, you will find swaying coconut trees and banana vegetation lined up. The variety of flora and fauna will blow away your mind. The island has golden coloured sand and the bewitching sunset gives a perfect background for a romantic date. Since the water is not suitable for swimming and there are no beach activities, there can be no place as quiet as this. An evening walk under the stars is soul-soothing. Amidst the verdant surroundings and palm-fringed shores, as you sail through the serene waters in a boat, it feels like nirvana. The deep blue sea, emerald green waters, crimson sunset and golden sands make this island a colourful paradise. The nearby Poovar Island Resort makes your stay even more magical by providing lots of activities.
If you really want a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, head out to Poovar Island which is the best place to reinvent the finest moments of your life. You can come to have your ‘me-time’ or bring that special person on a romantic getaway, Poovar Island bets to make your vacation a happening one!
Close to the Napier Museum, the Kanakakunnu Palace was built under the rule of Travancore King. Today, the palace is host to plethora of cultural programs that are held on its premises.
Situated on a hill at an elevation of about 60 metres above sea level (the highest point in the city), this astronomical observatory offers exquisite views of the surroundings and the city as a whole. Beautiful roses can be found in the garden in front. It was built in 1837 and is part of the Department of Physics, University of Kerala today. It is fast developing as one of India’s most important astronomical centres with modern facilities like an 11-inch telescope, CCD camera, sun workstations, image processing facility and partnership with national programs.
The observatory was a brainchild of Sri Swathi Tirunal, the Maharaja of Travancore who was an ardent follower of astronomy. He took a particular interest in equipping it with the best instruments available in Europe at that time. Along with astronomical equipment, meteorological observations were also paid attention.
The instruments initially procured for the Observatory include a transit telescope with five feet focal length and four inches aperture, a transit clock, an altitude and azimuth instrument having 18 and 15-inch circles and powerful telescopes. Today, computational facilities, a library and audio-video facilities are available for students of the University. Sky-watching programs for students, teachers and the general public are organised in the evenings.
Agastyakoodam, also known as Agastya Mala Peak is the second highest peak in Kerala with an extensive height of 1868 metre. Located within the premises of Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Agastyakoodam is part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve and boasts of surreal natural beauty. Nestled in Sahyadris of Western Ghats, the slopes of the peak are carpeted in purple hues of orchids. Home to diverse species of fauna and rare species of medicinal herbs, the region is a hotspot for avifauna and exotic birds. The spot is considered a haven for birdwatchers. Besides, since it is a protected zone, you can spot nature at its best, without any commercial interference. The colossal peak is also a major Hindu pilgrimage spot for the devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, on whose name the peak has been named. There is also a statue of him at the top where the Hindus can offer puja and prayers.
Hailed as the oldest zoo in India, this The Zoological Park is famous for its various bird species brought from Ethiopia & Australia. Visitors can also take a boat ride in the lake while exploring the nature”s beauty.
Happy Land Water Theme Park
Happy Land Water Theme Park is quite popular among children as well as adults for its various kinds of adventurous water rides.
Renowned for its fine collection of sculptures, paintings and musical instruments, the Napier Museum serves as a prime attraction of the city. Located right in the heart of the city, it is also an architectural marvel which was established around 150 years ago. In the best possible words, the Napier Museum is a delight for adults and children alike. The museum houses one of the oldest zoological gardens in India in its premises. The museum itself, based on the Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture is one of the most visited art and natural history museums in India. With works of famous artists, such as Raja Ravi Varma, and the celebrated Russian theosophist, Nicholas Roerich, and specimens of Tanjore and Mughal art forms, history was never more fun for those willing to delve into it.
Chalai Bazaar is a typical old Indian market spread on a small stretch of 2 km connecting Killippalam and East Fort. It is famous for its collections of fruits and vegetables to gold and silver jewellery, electronics, furniture, paint and, hardware etc.
Must Try Food in Trivandrum
1. Fine Dining Restaurant Vila Maya
2. Mothers Vegetarian Plaza
3. Italian Restaurant Supreme Upper Crust
4. Chinese Restaurant Oriental Spice
5. Cafe Mojo
6. Paragon Restaurant
7. Zam Zam Restaurant
8. The Imperial Kitchen
9. The Yellow Chilli
10. All Spice
How To Get Here
The city has its own airport and railway station. Trivandrum International Airport is linked to all the major cities in India. The Trivandrum railway station is the third largest in South India. If you wish to travel by road, buses from all the major towns and villages ply to Trivandrum.i
Trivandrum has its own airport, both domestic and international. This airport is well linked to all the other main domestic as well as international airports. You can hire a taxi from the airport to reach your destination in Trivandrum.
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport (TRV)
Trivandrum is well connected to all the major towns and cities by regular bus services. The bus station is located right next to the Trivandrum railway station. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates 6 class of services connecting Trivandrum to southern Tamil Nadu and all the parts of Kerala. It is also well-connected to all the major towns like Kozhikode, Madurai, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore and Coimbatore by roads.
The biggest and the main railway station in Trivandrum is the Trivandrum Central railway station. Many trains connecting other important stations are available during all the hours of the day. The Trivandrum railways station is the third largest in South India.