- Literally the ‘Holy City of Anantha’ – the thousand headed mythological serpent on whom Lord Vishnu reclines.
- Clean and beautiful capital city of Kerala sprawls elegantly over seven low coastal hills.
- Its tree lined avenues, massive buildings, ancestral homes, ancient temples; long sea coast and acres of palm trees and parks have a charm of their own.
- Ancient city was the spiritual centre of Travancore kings since 11th century.
- It became their capital in 1750, when the Raja of Travancore shifted here from Padmanabhapuram (in Tamil Nadu).
- Today, it is a fine blend of traditions and modernity – an important seat of ‘Ayurveda’, an ancient healing system as well as the ‘Space Research’, the final frontier of mankind.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Trivandrum International Airport, Thiruvananthapuram (TRV), 4.5 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- Rail: Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station, Thiruvananthapuram, 1 km away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- Road: Well connected with NH7, NH17, NH45 and NH47.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
Govt. Observatory Veli Tourist Village Neyyar Dam & Sanctuary Ponmudi
Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple Aruvikara Varkala Sree Janardhana Swami Temple Sivagiri Mutt
MUSEUM & AUDITORIUM
Kuthiramalika (Puthen Malika) Palace Museum Govt. Art or Napier Museum
Shankhumugham Beach Kovalam Varkala Papanasham Beach Kappil Beach
Neyyar Dam & Sanctuary
PARK & GARDENS
CVN Kalari Sangham
ATTRACTIONS OF THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
- Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple:
- 16th century shrine of Lord Vishnu as Sri Padmanabhaswami or the ‘lotus navel’ is considered to be one of the most sacred 108 Vaishnavite shrines.
- It enshrines an 18 feet long image of Lord Vishnu reclining on the coil of Sri Anantha, the sacred snake.
- A lotus grows from the navel of Lord Vishnu, upon which resides Lord Brahma.
- Its seven storeyed Gopuram and fine pavilions lined with splendid stone carvings and mural are noteworthy.
- Sacred Padma Theertham tank nearby was rebuilt by Raja Marthanda Varma in 1733.
- Temple is open only to Hindus and strict dress code is enforced.
- “Vetta” and “Arattu” processions are taken out twice a year from here.
- Kuthiramalika (Puthen Malika) Palace Museum:
- Housed in a palace built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma in traditional Travancore style.
- Rare and priceless collections of the Travancore royalty are displayed here.
- CVN Kalari Sangham:
- Premier institute is engaged in the preservation of Kalarippayattu, an ancient martial tradition of Kerala.
- Spectacular training sessions are worth seeing.
- It also provides Kerala’s famous Ayurvedic treatments.
- Government Art or Napier Museum:
- Located on a large lush ground sprawling over an area 80 acres in the heart of the city.
- The Museum building is built in traditional Kerala architecture with influences of Chinese and Mughal styles.
- Exhibits a fine collection of bronzes, ornaments, costumes, masks, ivory carving and musical instruments etc.
- Sri Chitra Art Gallery and Zoological Park are located nearby.
- Zoological Gardens:
- Zoo set in a forest like landscape is one of the oldest and best zoos in India.
- It is a part of an impressive Botanical Garden.
- Govt. Observatory:
- Set atop the highest point of the city and is one of the oldest observatories in the country.
- Panoramic view of the surroundings can be enjoyed from here.
- Shankhumugham Beach:
- Palm fringed beach adjacent to the airport is about 8 kms from the city centre.
- There is also a recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a 35 metres long sculpture of a mermaid), children traffic Training Park and a restaurant.
- Veli Tourist Village:
- Ideal picnic spot on the outskirts of the city is set along a sheltered lagoon, near the airport.
- It has an excellent waterfront park.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
- 10 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- Small historical town is set amidst Anjengo Kayal.
- British East India Company established a factory here in 1673 and also built a fort with the permission of Queen of Attingal in 1695.
- Beach, relics of the fort and flagstaff, tombs of Dutch and British are some places of interest.
- 16 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- Famous for the ancient Bhagavathi temple.
- Stream in front of the temple has large fishes, which are fed by the devotees.
- Just 12 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- Sheltered natural bay of Kovalam, flanked by two natural headlands is regarded as one of the finest beach resorts of the world.
- Four famous beaches – Samudra, Ashok, Eve’s or Hawa and Lighthouse of Kovalam are located in close proximity.
- Attract a large number of tourists from all over the world.
- Beautiful beaches are considered for to be ideal for surfing and water-skiing.
- Kovalam is also famous health and yoga centre.
- Neyyar Dam & Sanctuary:
- 32 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- Dam-site enroute to Ponmudi is noted for its scenic beauty.
- Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 128 sq. kms in the Western Ghats.
- There is also a Lion Safari Park and a Crocodile Protection Centre.
- 61 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- An idyllic hill resort is known for its bracing climate, tea plantations and scenic splendour.
- Deep forest trails are ideal for hiking and trekking.
- 46 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram city centre.
- Charming sea-side resort and pilgrim centre is popularly referred as ‘Southern Varanasi’.
- There are a number of sacred shrines and beautiful beaches at Varkala.
- It is also an important nature care centre.
- Sree Janardhana Swami Temple:
- Ancient shrine believed to be over 2,000 years old.
- One of the holiest temples of Lord Vishnu.
- Papanasham Beach:
- Crescent shaped beach is considered to be very sacred, as it is believed that one is absolved of his sin by taking a dip in the sea water here.
- Sivagiri Mutt:
- It is the final resting place of Sree Narayana Guru, one of the most illustrious spiritual leader and social reformer of Kerala.
- Kappil Beach:
- Idyllic site at the confluence of the beach and backwaters is noted for its scenic charm and tranquillity.
- Boating facilities at the backwaters.