Trivandrum

Thiruvananthapuram, which includes Thiruvananthapuram city – the capital of Kerala, is the southernmost district of Kerala. Named after its presiding deity, the Lord Padmanabha in his form that reclines on the coils of the celestial serpent Ananta, the city – constructed on seven hills – historically housed the administrative centre of the erstwhile Travancore state and was declared the state capital after the formation of the unified state of Kerala.

Destinations in Trivandrum

Kanakakkunnu Palace

Situated near the historic Napier Museum in Thiruvananthapuram, Kanakakunnu “palace” was used by the Travancore royal family to entertain their guests. This charming building sits atop a small hill that is splendidly appointed with lawns, trees and public art. The beautiful hall and the two amphi-theatres in the vicinity are the venues of lot of cultural events throughout the year. The hillock is especially pretty when it hosts the annual flower show of the city.

Kovalam beach

From the sleepy fishing hamlet to hippie destination of the 70s to the traveller’s paradise it is now, Kovalam has come a long way. This beautiful strip of coast has had a major role in the elevation of Kerala to God’s own country status.
Some 10-odd kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam has three beaches spread along a 17 km coastline and a large number of heritage hotels and resorts. The beaches are perfect for curling up with a book and soaking the sun, or for a refreshing swim. Ayurveda centres and handicraft shops can be found all along the coast and restaurants come alive in the evening with a great variety of freshly caught sea-food.

Kilimanoor Palace

Kilimanoor Palace, in the village of Kilimanoor, some 40 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram, was the official residence of the rulers of the small princely state Kilimanoor. Spread over 15 acres, the palace and its compound are true examples of Kerala architecture with low buildings, expansive courtyards, exquisite woodwork, traditional tanks and sacred groves.

The palace has become a sort of pilgrimage destination for art lovers owing to the fact that the “prince among painters”, the unparallelled Raja Ravi Varma was born here. His early studion can still be seen near the palace.

Peppara wild life sanctuary

Lying on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram city, the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 53 square kilometres on the Western Ghats and was established in 1938.

The sanctuary protects a wide variety of flora and fauna, and has been attracting a lot of positive attention from ornithologists and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world.

Poovar

A spectacular isolated beach, quite near backwaters and the Neyyar estuary, Poovar used to be trading port in the past. It has a great reputation among travellers looking for a peaceful, quite time near the beach and has become an important tourist location

Ponmudi

Located within a short driving distance of Thiruvananthapuram, Ponmudi is an enchanting hill resort with narrow winding pathways and cool, green environs. Along with a beautiful array of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and small rivulets, Ponmudi offers excellent opportunities for trekking. With its tea estates and mist covered valleys Ponmudi is a fast developing hill resort with cottages and dormitory accommodation facilities.

Neyyar Dam

Neyyar Dam, located 30 kilometres from Thiruvananthapuram city, is an extrememly popular destination for short picnics. Constructed in 1958, the dam and the surrounding area has since been developed as a tourist spot.

Besides the scenic reservoir, the dam complex houses deer and lion safari parks, an alligator rehabilitation and research centre, and a children’s playground. There is boating facility available in the reservoir and treks can be organised to the nearby Agasthyakoodam hills known for its wildlife and an abundance of medicinal herbs.

Sree Chitra Art Gallery

Named in honour of the last Maharaja of Travancore and housed in the sylvan Museum compound, Thiruvananthapuram, the Sree Chitra Art Gallery displays many gems of Indian art.

The chief attraction of the gallery is its large collection of works by the “prince among artists”, Raja Ravi Varma. Many of his priceless works including mythologicals, portraits and secular works can be seen here along with the original easel of the master painter.

Sree Padmanabha swami temple.

Abode of Thiruvanathapuram’s presiding deity, Padmanabhaswamy temple is one of South India’s oldest temples and is situated in the historic fort region of the city. Constructed in a mix of Dravidian and Kerala style, the temple houses a large idol of Lord Vishnu reclining on the coils of the serpent Ananta.

The temple is central to the history of the erstwhile state of Travancore as the kings ruled as Padmanabhadasas (Servants of Lord Padmananbha), a legacy entwined with the rituals and festivals of this majestic temple. The mystique of the temple only grew with the a series of sensational discoveries including the gilded frame of the main idol and one of the greatest treasure hoards ever discovered.