Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is synonymous with images of age-old palaces and majestic temples. Being the hub of state politics and academic this capital city of Kerala attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world due to its heritage sites, and temples. It can be called a tourist’s paradise due to affluence of beaches, museums and art galleries.
Being the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram houses the State Assembly and other administrative buildings of Kerala. The name Thiruvananthapuram’has its origin from the words--Thiru-Anantha-Puram; the city of Lord Anantha (serpent), the sit of Lord Vishnu.
Season Timing :
Thiruvananthapuram is embraced by the Arabian Sea. In the monsoons from June August this city gets heavy rainfall. It also receives rains in the second season monsoon from October to November. The best time to visit Thiruvananthapuram is from November to February as the climate is cool and pleasant during this period. Summer is hot here.
How to Reach :
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has both domestic and international operation of flights.
Thiruvananthapuram is well-linked to major cities of kerala as well some southern cities
The Central Railway station is the easy way to reach this capital city of Kerala.
Arts and Music :
While touring Thiruvananthapuram tourists can explore its rich arts and music. Being home to the renowned painter Raja Ravi Verma, the city has some finest collections of the painter at the Sri Chitra Art Gallery. The art gallery has also some of the finest collections of other Indian painters and paintings from Japan, China and Indonesia. The reputed sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman belongs of Thiruvananthapuram and his sculptures are preserved in the Shankumugham beach.
The legacy of music of the city is seen in its annual Classical Music Festival which is held every year during the month of January and February. Reputed singers of the country perform classical as well carnatic music at this festival. Music and other various dances are the part of their cultural life.
Thiruvananthapuram Fairs & Festivals :
The people of Thiruvananthapuram celebrate some fairs and festivals, tourist visiting the city in the festive time can have a look of the cultural life. The most renowned festivals are :
Attukal Pongala :
The Attukal Pongala, a festival of the Attukal Bhagavathi Temple is a main festival held during the month of February or March. It is ten days long festival which starts at the Bharani day of the month. On the 9th day of the festival the Attukal Pongala Mahotsavam is held which is the main festival of the women. Pongala food is offered to the deity in that day. The priest blesses the women sprinkling holy water on them.
Tourism Week :
Tourism Week is a part of the popular Onam festival which is organized by the State Government. Cultural programs are held in Kanakakkunnu palace. Folk and music performance are the main features of this festival.
Tourist can enjoy plenty of activities while in Thiruvananthapuram.
Trekking and hiking :
Trekkers can trek to the Ponmudi hill station. Especially around Agastyakoodam trekking opportunities are available. The best time to Ponmudi trekking is between December and April. Bird lovers can also spot various birds in the areas of Ponmudi. Hiking paths are dotted with green landscapes. The Meenmutti Waterfalls is a worth seeing sight here.
One can set out excursion tour to the Veli Tourist Village which is situated at a point of meeting with the Arabian Sea. Lots of entertainment facilities are here. One can enjoy speed boats, paddle boats and pedal boats ride here.
Beach Fun :
For sunbathing and swimming Kovalam and Varkala beaches are ideal in Thiruvananthapuram. One can also enjoy beach sports like beach volleyball, surfing, sailing, parasailing and scuba diving. There is a mineral spring at Varkala believed to have medicinal properties and people come here to drink and bathe.
Shopping is sure to be a great fun in Thiruvananthapuram city. The main shopping centers of the city are located along the Power House Road, Attukal Shopping Complex, Narmada Shopping Complex, Saphalya, etc. One will get curios, souvenirs and handicraft items in the centers along M.G road. One can pick the Nilavilakku (brass lamp) artifacts prepared of wood, spices, cashew, etc. One can also shop for designable sculptures made of rosewood, sandalwood and ivory as well as toys and various decorative items of coir, cane, bamboo, coconut and straw. Tourists also purchase here colorful Kathakali masks made of wood or plaster-of-paris as a souvenir.
Kathakali Dance :
One should not miss a Kathakali performance while in Thiruvananthapuram. This is the most popular classical dance of Kerala in which the performers wear mask to enact the dance drama.
Ayurvedic Massage :
Most of the hotels and spas of the city offers Ayurvedic massage and treatments. One can experience an Ayurvedic massage in this city to feel its holistic healing power.
Speciality in Gastronomy :
One must try the local delicacies in the city. The popular dishes are Fish Moilee and various seafood dishes.
Tourist Places in Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala tour to Thiruvananthapuram includes sightseeing of the places of travel attractions like.
1Shree Padhmanabhaswamy temple :
Being a landmark of Thiruvananthapuram, Shree Padhmanabhaswamy temple attracts a large number of tourists. The seat of Lord Vishnu is in a sayana position on the serpent Anantha. The idol of the temple is so huge that it is difficult to have a full view of it at a single glance. One has to look separately its face, navel and feet. The statue is decorated with gold and precious stones. While visiting this temple one must explore its murals and stone carvings.
2Ponmudi Hill Station :
Ponmudi, the scenic hill station of 610 m altitude is connected to Thiruvananthapuram by winding roads. The climate is cool throughout the year. Driving past the scenic tea gardens one can explore the natural bounties of the hill station and the rare species like Red southern trongon, Malabar hornbill, the blue-black Malabar, the long-tailed paradise flycatcher, etc. The highest peak of the station is Agasthyakoodam peak, and its adjacent area houses rare medicinal plants and herbs.
3Padmanabhapuram Palace :
The Padmanabhapuram Palace is just 55 km from the city and is widely visited by tourists on a tour to Thiruvananthapuram although though it is sited in Tamil Nadu state. The palace is a worth visiting site built of teak and granite. The attraction of the palace is its sloping roofs, ceilings covered with carvings and gleaming floors. A cot in the king’s chamber made of 64 types of medicinal woods is a rare treasure of the palace.
The Trivandrum Technopark is a worth visiting site which covers an area of area of 300 acres and houses more than 120 IT and ITES companies. This is the largest IT park of India and it has some recreation facilities like swimming pool, badminton and tennis courts, gymnasium, massage parlour, multi-cuisine restaurant, etc. Food festivals, discos, DJ nights etc are conducted at this park. Visiting this park one can explore its IT giant buildings and its entertainment zones.
Kovalam, a beach fishing village in Thiruvananthapuram is a must visited tourist destination for is resplendent beaches, beach funs on the shallow waters. It is a scenic spot decked with vast natural bounties.
6Zoological Park :
The Zoological Park located amidst of a well-designed botanical garden covers an area of 55 acres and it houses animals like Lion-tailed Macaque, the Nilgiri Tahr, the Indian Rhino, the Asiatic Lion, the Royal Bengal Tiger, etc. The zoo also has a snake park which houses different rare varieties of snakes. The snake park is designed in a natural way to stimulate natural habitat.
Pilgrim Centre in Thiruvananthapuram
Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala is visited by a large number of tourists. It has mainly two pilgrimage centers Padmanabha Swamy Temple and Varkala.
5Padmanabha Swamy Temple
Padmanabha Swamy Temple is the landmark of the city signified by a seven-storied tower built by Raja Marthanda Varma in 1733 A.D. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the deity reclines on the serpent Anantha, the seat of Vishnu. Only Hindu can enter the temple and one has to maintain dress codes. There is a pool behind it for ritual bathing. The main attractions of the temple are innumerable pillars, intricate carving and mural paintings, inside the temple. The temple architecture symbolizes the Dravidian style of architecture.
5Varkala Pilgrim Centre
Varkala is a beach located to the north of Thiruvananthapuram. The main pilgrim attraction is the Samadhi of Sree Narayana Guru, the great social reformer and philosopher. Devotees also visit here the mineral water springs at the Papanasam Beach which said to have curable power. It is said to have cure impurities of soul. The Janardhana Swamy Temple is located at Varkala.
5Aruvikkara (Ancient Temple)
Aruvikkara is 16 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram and gifted with scenic beauty of nature. It has ancient temple on the bank of the River Aruvikkara dedicated to Goddess Durga, on the banks of Aruvikkara River. The other renowned religious centers in Thiruvananthapuram are Aruvikkara (Ancient Temple), Sarkara (Temple) and Thiruvallam (Temple).
More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.
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