|The city of the thousand-headed Anantha, the
holy serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines, Thiruvananthapuram
is one of the most beautiful cities of India. Perched on undulating
terrain of low coastal hills near the southern edge of the Indian
mainland, clean and green, Thiruvananthapuram, which was previously
called Trivandrum, is an ancient city with trading tradition.
Area 2,192 sq km
Best time to Visit Auguest to May
STD Code 0471
Thiruvananthapuram , the southern most district of Kerala
state is situated between north latitudes 8º 17' and
8º 54' and east longitudes 76º 41' and 77º
17'. The southern most extremity, 'Parasala' is 56 kms away
from Kanyakumari, the "land's end of India". The
district stretches along the shores of the Arabian sea for
a distance of 78 kms.
Air: Indian air lines is on Museum Rd, next to the Mascot
Hotel; the office is open from 10am to 5.35pm daily, with
a lunch break from 1 to 1.45pm.
Rail: The booking office is open Monday to Saturday from 8am
to 2pm and from 2.15 to 8pm; Sunday from 8am to 2pm.
Road: The KSRTC Bus terminal ,opposite the railway station.
Thiruvananthapuram was the capital of the princely state of
Travancore from 1745 to 1949. In 1949 it became the capital
of Thiru-Kochi formed by the integration of Travancore with
its northern neighbour Kochi. When the state of Kerala was
formed on November 1, 1956, Thiruvanathapuram was chosen as
the capital of the new state.
Thiruvananthapuram literally translates to the city of Ananthan.
The name derives from the main deity of a Hindu temple at
the centre of the city. Ananthan is the serpent from Hindu
mythology on whom Padmanabhan or Vishnu is shown reclining.
The climate of Thiruvananthapuram like the rest of Kerala
can be classified as in equatorial type of climate. It is
hot and humid but in comparison to other inland cities, the
ocean makes the climate quite pleasant i.e. not so hot and
humid. From June to Sept. it experiences torrential rains
brought by the monsoon clouds. However from October to February,
the climate remains relatively dry and cool and it is the
best period to visit the city.
Wildlife Sancturies :
Neyyar Dam, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary : 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 animal are wild
elephants and sambar deer. Boating facilities are available
at the reservoir.
Pilgrimage Centres :
Varkala is a pilgrim centre for the devotees of Sree Narayana
Guru, one of the patron saints of Kerala, whose motto was
"One God, One Religion, One Caste". It is only 51kms
from Trivandrum by road and also boasts of one of the best
beaches in the State.
Churches There are many churches in Thiruvananthapuram.
Ganapathy Temple Also in East fort is the Ganapathy Temple,
dedicated to Ganesh.
Napier Museum : It is situated north of the city, at Museum
road and 400m east of Indian airlines. It displays an eclectic
assortment of historical and contemporary ornaments, temple
carts, ivory carvings and life-size figures of kathakali dances
in full costume. It has a famous collection of 8th-18th century
south Indian bronze. The visiting time is from 10am to 5pm,
closed on Monday and forenoon of Wednesday.
Natural History Museum : It is situated to the east of Napier
museum. Ticket covers entry to all museum and galleries in
the complex. It has a rudimentary ethnographic collection
as well as an interesting replica of a Nayar wooden house
built in the Keralian style.
Sri Chittira Art Gallery : It is situated to the North of
Napier museum and has an excellent collection of Indian art
with examples from early to modern schools. Paintings by Raja
Ravi Varma and works from Mughal and Rajput miniature paintings
and Tanjore paintings embellished with semi- precious stones
are displayed. There is a Zoo and Aquarium nearby. It will
be open from 10am to 5pm and closed on Monday and Wednesday
Museum of Science and Technology : It is situated near the
mascot hotel. It highlight the science, technology and electronics.
Open from 10am to 5pm, closed on Monday. There is a small
Botanical Gardens and Zoo : Open from 9am to 4.45pm, closed
on Monday. It is situated 400m east of Indian Airlines. It
has a wide collection of animals. There are other parks and
gardens in the city around the secretariat, Gandhi park, waterworks
gardens and at veli tourist village.
Chacha Nehru Children's Musuem : This museum is established
in 1980 and is named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who is
remembered for his great love towards children. The museum
displays a vast range of objects like traditional and proclaim
dolls from all over the world, a mini aquarium and the first
issue of children's literature in Malayalam. It will be open
from 10am-5pm and closed on Monday.
Fairs and Festivals :
Great Elephant march (Jan-17-20) :This is a four day tourism
fair with a colourful march of Decorated elephant.
Chandanakuda At Beema palli (March) :Beema Palli is a shrine
on Beach Road, 5 km south west of the Railway station. The
Shrine is dedicated to Beema Beevi, a Muslim women believed
to have divine powers and the festival is held in her memory.
The 10 day festival begins on the 1st of the Hijra month of
Jamadul -Akbar (March -April) and comes to a climax on the
Arattu (March -April and October November) :It is a closing
festival of the 10 day celebration of the Padmanaba Swamy
Temple. The Vetta and Arattu processions are held twice a
year from the Padmanabhaswamy temple to Shangumugham beach.
Navaratri : The celebration of Navaratri conduct at a special
Mandapam in Padmanabha Swamy temple.
Nishangandhi Dance Festival :This festival is conducted at
Nishagandhi open air auditorium in kanakakunnu Palace.The
main events performed here are Bharathanatyam, Kathak, kathkali,
kuchipudi, manipuri, mohiniyattom and oddissi.
Soorya Dance festival (Oct 1-10 ) :This dance festival is
conducted from October 1 to 10.
Attukal Pongala : Attukal Bhagavati temple is one of the ancient
temple dedicated to goddess bagavati and is about 2km from
Thiruvananthapuram. The 10 day pongala utsavam is celebrated
here. Men are not allowed in the vicinity of the temple during
Gramam at Kovalm (Kerala village fair) : It is a 10day long
festival which will start from 14th Jan. It is held in a traditional
Nallukettu which is the quadrangular upper class house with
a central open courtyard. The culture, arts and crafts of
Kerala are the main attractions here.
Flavour food festival : This is an Indian food festival. This
week long international festival of the various cuisines of
the world is held at the Kanakakunnu palace ground.
Places to visit :
Sri. Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple : The ancient temple is
the most dominating feature of Thiruvananthapuram. Overlooking
the Padma Theertham Tank, the temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu
who is depicted reclining on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake
from which the city derives its name. Exquisite stone carvings
and pavilions are worth admiring. The temple is open only
to Hindus and dress regulations are strictly enforced.
Public Park : Truly a representative of the clean and verdant
aspect of the city, the Public Park houses many important
institutions, like Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. The Zoo
is open from 09.00 hrs. to 17.00 hrs. 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 watersports facilities. It is a popular picnic
spot. Accommodation facilities are available in the youth
Aruvikkara : Aruvikkara 16 km. It is both a pilgrim centre
and a picnic spot. On the banks of the Karamana river, this
spot houses a Bhagavathy temple with a water fall nearby.
A Stream with fishes which come up to be fed by visitors is
Ponmudi : 61 km. A beautiful hill station away from the city.
The natural scenery, salubrious climate and the scope of hiking
in high trails make the visit an exhilarating experience.
Kanyakumari : Kanyakumari, the land's end of India is only
87kms from Trivandrum. Also known as Cape Comorin, this beautiful
spot is in the neighbouring Tamilnadu state.
Thiruvallam (10km), Aruvikkara Dam (16 km), Kovalam Beach
(16 km), Varkala (40 km).
The Kovalam Beach: (16 km from Thiruvananthapuram city): 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.
The Varkala Beach: (41 km from Thiruvananthapuram city):
Varkala is a seaside resort an spa, as well as an important
Hindu cente of pilgrimage. High cliffs with rich mineral springs
rise majestically from the coastline.The 2000 years old Sree
Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Care Centre are the
two main attraction here.
The Shanghumukham Beach: (8 km from Thiruvanathapuram city):
This is a favourite haunt of sunset watchers. The beach is
adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram airport and Veli Tourist
An indoor recreation clum, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic,
35 m loing sculpture of a mermaid ) and a restaurant shaped
like a starfish are the major attractions here.