Place To See @ Trivandrum

Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple  
Thiruvananthapuram's most interesting temple i open to Hindus only, and even they must wear wear a 'dhoti' or 'sari'. Still , it's worth visiting -even if you are just passing through town-to see the temple's seven story carved gopuram  reflected in the nearby sacred tank.Constructed in the Dravidian style by a maharaja  of Travancore in 1733,  the temple is dedicated to Vishnu, who reclines on the sacred  serpent, Anantha, which gives Thiruvanathapuram its name.
 
     
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum  

The palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style of architecture has exquisite wood carvings. The museum has a wide range of exhibits representing the erstwhile state of travancore.

Entrance fee:  Adults: Rs. 10, Children: Rs. 3, Foreigners: Rs. 20, Camera permit (outside): Rs. 15, Video: Rs. 500.

 
     
Meshan Mani  
On the eastern side of Padmanabha Swamy Temple, installed in 1833 during the reign of Swathi Thirunal, is the Meshan Mani (clock). It has on its dial, a man's face with two goats on either side. Crafted from mahogany by an artisan called Kulathooran, every time the clock completes an hour, the man opens his mouth and the goats hit his cheeks.  
     
Attukal Bhagavathi Temple  
Experience the euphoria of religion, faith and beliefs during the Pongala festival celebrated at the renowned Attukal Bhagavathi temple in Kerala's capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. The festival entered the Guinness records for being the largest single gathering of women for a religious activity.

Pongala (literally means to boil over) is a ritualistic offering of a sweet dish consisting of rice porridge, sweet brown molasses, coconut gratings, nuts and raisins. Devotees offer pongala to appease the presiding deity of the temple - the Goddess - popularly known as Attukalamma.
 
Only women are allowed to participate in the Pongala ritual. Right from the night before the Pongala day, thousands of women, regardless of religious faith, assemble at the temple premises and on either side of the roads leading to the shrine, to make the Pongala offering. Devotees from across the country and even from abroad participate in the ritual.
     
Parasurama Temple, Thiruvallam  
(7 km from Thiruvananthapuram) This 2000-year-old temple on the banks of the River Karamana, is the only one in Kerala dedicated to Sree Parasurama, the mythological creator of the State. This temple is a venue for ancestor worship. As part of the bali ritual, devotees make offerings to the souls of the departed, after taking a dip in the holy water.
 
 
     
Thiruvallam Backwaters    
Thiruvallam is a green backwater getaway about 6 kilometers (3.75 miles) from Trivandrum, popular for canoe rides. At the confluence of Killi and Karamana rivers, Thiruvallam opens up a vista of sleepy fishing villages thick with exotic flowers fringing the serene backwaters.
     
Shangumugham Beach  

Shanghumugham Beach is located 8 km from Thiruvananthapuram and is adjacent to the Trivandrum International Airport and Veli Tourist Village. It is a favourite spot of sunset watchers.

It's a pleasant place to walk or watch the fishermen securing their catch. A large sculpture of a mermaid graces the roadside, an example of the work of the local artist Canai Kunuram. At dusk, during temple festivals, the beach is the site of the ritual bathing of the temple idols.

 
The beach located in a fishing village, ensures an interesting sight of fishermen having their daily catch. Facilities like an indoor recreation club, children's traffic training park etc... A gigantic, 35 m long sculpture of a mermaid called the 'matsya kanyaka' is the major attraction of the site.
     
Vettukad Church  

Its located on the north-west coast of Thiruvananthapuram. The Madre-de-Deus church is situated here. This church is popularly known as Vettucaud Palli. The annual feast of the church called 'Feast of Christ, the King', is attended by thousands of devotees. The feast is celebrated in the month of November. The last day of the feast is celebrated on the third Sunday of November every year. The grand feast is attended by thousands of devotees and is celebrated with a procession through the parish boundaries.

The Vettukad church is located 3 km North from Shanghumugham Beach and 5 km away from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

 
 
     
Veli tourist village    
This picnic spot, where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea, offers boating facilities. Pedalboats and paddleboats can be hired to explore the charms of the lagoon in a leisurely manner. For a quick ride over the waters, speedboats are available for hire. Children enjoy climbing over the huge sculptures which dot the landscape.
     
Kovalam    

Kovalam is just 12 kms away from Trivandrum. This unique internationally renowned wonderful beach will get pride of place amongst the loveliest beaches in the world  has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Today Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a ravishing look.

The palm-fringed bays in secluded coconut groves, promise a relaxed stay. The boundless blue waters of the Arabian Sea and miles of white sands washed away by the surf at the feet of the stalwart palms and the rocky promontories, makes this beach paradise. This marvellous beach is a tourist's dream come true.

 
A sheltered natural bay with cool soothing palms and gentle waves. Where when you are tired of aquatics, swimming or sunbathing, you can explore the handicrafts, jewellery and cloth shops spread along the waterfront. Not to speak of the delightful sea-food fare including lobsters available at the beachside restaurants.
     
Light House    
The 35 m lighthouse is perched atop the palm-covered kurumkal Hill jutting out on to the sea. Visitors can climb the spiraling staircase inside to the top of the red & white tower and enjoy a spectacular view of the surroundings.
     
Chowara    
This fishing hamlet near to Kovalam has many picturesque spots. The Chowara Ayyappa Temple atop a hill overlooks the beach and offers an amazing view of the beach below. Chowara is also home to the ancient Analothbhava Matha Church. The Azhimalathara Beach here is identified as the only place where the sea recedes from the coast and does not eat into the beach during the monsoon.
     
Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium    
Located near the Theatre Junction at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram, this aquarium houses a rich treasure of marine wealth which has perfected the Image Pearl production technique, by which a mould of any shape, made of shell cement is implanted into the pearl oyster. In two to three months, a pearl in the shape of the mould will be ready.
     
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave  
There are rock-cut sculptures dating from the 18th century in the cave temple at Vizhinjam located to the south of Kovalam junction. The granite cave here encloses a one-celled shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave depicts half-complete relics of the Hindu God Shiva with Goddess Parvathi.  
     
Beemapalli  
An important place of worship, the Beemapalli Dargah Shareef is dedicated to Bee Umma, a pious Muslim woman who was believed to possess great spiritual powers. The Chandanakudam Festival at Beemapalli, lasting for 10 days, is one of the most colourful events.
 
     

Kowdiar Palace

 
This place is the home of the late Maharaja Sree Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma and his family. The view of the grand old building from the gate is excellent, but unfortunately it is off limits to the public.
 
Palace Museum    

The recently opened Puthen Maliga Palace Museum, adjacent to the temple ,is housed in several wings of the palace of the maharajahs of Travancore.  It's open from 8.30 am to 12.30pm and from 3 to 5.30 pm; entry is Rs.5.

     
Museums , Gallery & Zoo  

The zoo and a collection of museums are in a park in the north of the city. The museums are open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4.45pm, but not until 1pm on Wednesday. A single Rs.5 entry ticket covers all the museums and is obtainable from the Natural History of Museum.

Housed in a whimsical, decaying, Keralan style  building dating from 1880, the Napier Museum displays an electric  assortment of bronzes , historical and contemporary ornaments , temple carts , ivory carvings and life size figures of Kathakali dancers in full costume.

 

The Natural History Museum has a rudimentary  ethnographic collection as well as an interesting replica of a Nayar wooden house built in the Keralan style.

The Zoological Gardens are among the best designed in Asia -set among woodland , lakes and well -maintained  lawns - but some of the animal enclosures  (and their inhabitants) are misreble. The zoo is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5.15pm.

Sri  Chitra Art Gallery

   
(Open 1000 - 1645 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday forenoons) Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery opened in 1935 by the then Maharaja of Travancore, Sree Chithira Thirunal, displays original paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich; exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India as well as paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali. The collection also includes unique copies of Indian mural paintings from pre-historic times down to the 18th century.
Sree Chitra Enclave    
Opened in 1993, this museum depicts the history of the Travancore Royal Family and displays their personal belongings and artefacts. Old newspaper footage and deeds describing events are also exhibited. Sree Chithra Enclave is located inside the Museum Complex in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Public Park    
The public park houses many importent institutions, like Zoo and the Botanical Garden. The observatory on the observatory hill is also located in the public park.
     
Kanakakunnu Palace  
The Kanakakunnu Palace was constructed during the time of the Travancore King, His Highness Sree Moolam Tirunal (1885-19240). The Palace stands on the crest of a small hill surrounded will meadows and groves. Situated 800 meter NE of the Napier Museum on top of a hill Kanakakunnu Palace is where the Travancore royal family once entertained their guests.
 
Now it belongs to the State Government. Today the palace and it's sprawling grounds are the venue for many cultural meets and programmes. An all India Dance Festival (October to March) is organised by the Department of Tourism every year. During this period the classical Indian Dance Performances are conducted every day.
 
     
Priyadarshini planetarium  
Opened in 1994 to the public, this is one of the most versatile planetariums in the country. The main GM-11 star field projector here can project almost all the constituents of the visible universe. It can also simulate the star-studded night sky over any location on the earth, on any day up to 12,500 years back or 12,500 years into the future. The Planetarium also arranges special shows for a group of more than 80 people.
 
The Science and Technology Museum    
Kerala Science and Technology Museum was established in the year 1984. Located in Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, the museum is run by an autonomous body, which was setup by the Government of Kerala.The Science and Technology Museum Complex houses galleries on electricity, electronics, power & motion, mechanics, popular science, mathematics, solar energy as well as automobile, computer and biomedical engineering.
     
Ponmudi  

Ponmudi hill resort is cool and quiet. As the hills come awake you can begin a pleasurable exploration of the wooded paths. Trekking is a passion with visitors to Ponmudi. Ponmudi has other surprises too for you.

Orchids, for instance, grow in abundance here. A charming deer park is only 3kms. from Ponmudi. Picnic hampers that the staff at the guest house would be happy to arrange, which you could take down the hill to a picturesque ruined dam site or golden valley which is another pretty scenic spot. Other attractions are Bird watching, Deer park and long, enjoyable walks.

 
     
Koyikkal Palace  
On the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the Courtallam Waterfalls, about 18 kilometers (11.25 miles) from Trivandrum at Nedumangad you will come across a lovely two-storied palace. Koyikkal is a quaint 17th century palace built for Umayamma Rani of the Venad royal family (1677 to 1684) in the traditional Nalukettu style with gabled roofs and a sprawling inner courtyard. Worth a stopover, the palace today is home to Asia’s biggest folklore museum and a numismatic (coin collection) museum set up by the Department of Archaeology.
 
     
Folklore Museum    
Set up in 1992, the museum is a treasure trove of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk art etc. Displayed in the Koyikkal Palace at Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram, they focus attention on the cultural background of Kerala State.
   
kappil Beach and Backwater  
(53 km from the city and 8 km north of Varkala) A confluence of the sea, river and the backwater, this secluded, picturesque spot is worth visiting. The Priyadarshini Boat Club here offers boating facilities.
 
KCS Panicker Gallery    
Nominated as one of the nine eminent artists of India, Kerala's renowned painter Panicker, was born in 1911. He was instrumental in setting up the Progressive Painters Association in Madras from 1944 to 1953. An artist who set a new trend, the gallery traces his works over a period.
     
Kombaikani and Meenmutty waterfalls  

Meenmutty Falls is located 45 km from Trivandrum city. This waterfall is near the Neyyar reservoir area. No transport is available to the falls. The visitor has to walk through dense forest to reach the falls. Kombaikani waterfalls is also near Meenmutti. It is 2 km from the Meenmutti falls. This waterfall is in way of Agastyakoodam. There is a forest rest house near the falls.

You can visit the falls with the permission of Forest Department. A guide should be sent along with you to the falls.

 
Akkulam Lake:  
Akkulam lake is situated 3 kms aways from Ulloor junction, in Thiruvananthapuram city and is only 10 kms away from the Central Railway Station. The spot is developed on the banks of Akkulam kayal (Lake), which is an extension of the veli kayal (lake). There is a tranquil picnic spot on the banks of the Akkulam lake. Akkulam is a place of great scenic beauty with a picturesque lake. There is a boat club with over dozens of boats, available for joy riders. The children’s park here is one of the biggest in Kerala.
 
     
Anchuthengu Fort  
Located 36 kms from trivandrum, the historic remains of the fort build by British East Indian Company in the 17 th century and ab adjoining cemetery are the noteworthy relics of this first major British trading station on the malabar coast. This colossal monument was once the trading station of the mighty British. The monument built in the 1800s stands as an excellent example of sturdy and lasting forts constructed in the English Style.
 
     
Aruvikkara Dam  
This pictuesque picnic spot is on the banks of the karamana ricer. Near the Durga Temple here is a stream full of fish that fearlessly come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors. Boatingfacilities are available at the reservoir.
 
Aruvi Waterfalls    
The beautiful Aruvi Waterfalls is 60 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram and 7 kms away from Bonecaud estate in the Peppara forest range. This four feet cascade is one of the most verdant and untouched spots in Kerala. Road accessibility is only up to Bonecaud, from there the Kanni tribesmen show the way to trekkers along the mountain path. Permission from the forest department is required for approaching the area.
     
Santhigiri Ashram  

It is located in Pothencode, Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala. The ashram was founded by Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru and is recognized as a Social and Scientific Research Organization by the Government of India.

The followers of Karunakara Guru have built a beautiful monument called Parnasala in the shape of a blooming lotus in white Makrana marble in the Ashram compound. This unique structure took 10 years for completion. It was inaugurated by the President of

 
India Pratibha Devi Patil on 13 August 2010 and was opened for prayers and worship on 12 September 2010. Apart from its spiritual sanctity, The LOTUS PARNASALA of the Ashram has become a landmark of Trivandrum and is attracting lots of tourists.
     
Agasthyakoodam  

Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala, at a height of 1890mts above sea level and is a part of the Sahyadri range of mountains. It is 60 Kms North East of Trivandrum.The mountain is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus, as it is believed to be the abode of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara as well as of the sage Agastya, a disciple of Shiva.

The forests of Agasthyakoodam are rich in rare medicinal herbs and plant, and hued orchids. In 1992, an area covering around 23 sq kms was established as Agasthya Vanam Biological Park.

 
The intention was to restore the degraded forests and to use it for educational purpose. The season from December to April is advocated for trekking and is a distance of 28 kms to the top. It takes approximately two days and trekking is permitted only between December and April.
     
Papanasam beach  
Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam beach is a beach in Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, along the Arabian Sea, part of the Indian Ocean. The word Papanasam means wash away sins. It is believed that a dip in the waters of Papanasam Beach washes away all the sins in one's life.
 
The Golden Island  

Ponnumthuruthu, also known as Golden Island is 20 km from Varkala and is known for its Shiva Parvathi temple. This 100 years old temple is situated amidst thick coconut groves, which has grown over the entire stretch. Boats are available from Nedunganda, taking through the backwaters for about 30 minutes to reach Ponnumthuruthu. Rich in flora and fauna, this island is also a perfect gateway for nature lovers and those seeking a break from the hustle & bustle of the urban life.

 
Sivagiri mutt  
(Open 0530 - 1200 hrs, 1630 - 1800 hrs) 200 acres of sanctified land, this is the final resting place of the most eminent leader, saint and social reformer of Kerala, Sree Narayana Guru. SNDP (Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam), the organization he founded for the upliftment of backward classes, is headquartered here. The Mahasamadhi of the revered guru is located on top of a hillock
 
     
Padmanabhapuram Palace    

Padmanabhapuram Palace was once the seat of the rulers of Travancore, a princely state for more than 400 years which included a large part of present day Kerala and the Western coast of Tamil Nadu.

Padmanabhapuram is just inside Tamilnadu , 65km south-east of Thiruvananthapuram. To get there , you can either catch a local bus from Thiruvananthapuram or Kovalam beach or take one of the Kanyakumari tours organised by the KTDC. The palace is closed on Monday.