It is called the ‘Evergreen city of India’, Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the state of Kerala. The city comprises beautiful beaches, long stretches of palm fringed shorelines, windy backwaters and historical structures. Along with its natural and historical significance, the city is also popular for its ancient temples that are renowned for its architecture and which makes Thiruvananthapuram as one of the most visited pilgrim centers of India.
In the late 17th century, the city was the capital of the Travancore kingdom that was ruled by the Varma dynasty. After forming the Travancore kingdom, Maharaja Marthanada Varma dedicated the kingdom to Lord Padmanabha, the presiding deity of Shree Padmanabhaswamy temple and named the city ‘Thiruvananthapuram’.
The word ‘Thiruvananthapuram’ is derived from the Malayalam word thiru- anantha-puram, which means ‘City of Lord Ananta’. Ananta is the serpent Shesha on whom Lord Padmanabha (another form of Lord Vishnu) reclines. During the British era, the name of the city was anglicized to Trivandrum and it was the official name of the city, until in 1991 the government renamed the city to Thiruvananthapuram.
The Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is one of the prominent attractions of the city. Devotees in large numbers visit the temple every year. It’s popular for its architectural splendour and historical and religious significance.
Thiruvananthapuram is also a paradise for beach lovers. Beaches situated outside the city like the Shankhumugham and Kovalam beaches are world famous.
Thiruvananthapuram has become an IT hub of Kerala. The city is also a major academic hub; it houses several educational and scientific institutions like Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST).
In and Around
Nestled at a distance of 15 km away from the city, Kovalam beach is one of the major Thiruvananthapuram attractions. Since a long time, the place has been listed in the top destinations of the country. The tranquil atmosphere of the city lures the attention of number of travelers from all around the world. It is also a perfect destination for those who love to enjoy water sports.
Stretched in the white sand, Shankumugham Beach is a perfect holiday spot where one will find a complimentary source of peace and tranquility. It is placed at a distance of 8 km away from the heart of Thiruvananthapuram. Tourists can witness the stunning view of sunset from this sensational beach.
Being the second highest peak of the state, the Agasthyarkoodam Peak is haven of rare herbs and medicinal plants. Situated at an altitude of 1890 m, the place shows various colors to the travelers who pay a visit here.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Nestled at a distance of 32 km, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary is another major attraction of the city. It is spread in an area of 128 square km and got the tag of wildlife sanctuary in 1958. You will find about 39 species of mammals including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, sambars and tigers as well as more than 170 species of birds, 40 species of fishes, 17 species of amphibians and 30 species of reptiles.
A small fishing village, Poovar Island has now become a popular destination and is close to the harbour at Vizhinjam. It provides a respite from the everyday hustle-bustle of Trivandrum. Although the island is 38 kilometres from the main city, you can reach here via boat ride only.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Placed inside the East Fort, Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple is a legacy of the city. It is a worth visiting place for the Hindus. The devotees have to wear Dhoti or Saree to get an entry into this temple. It was established in the year 1733 by the Maharaja of Travancore.
Kuthiramalika Palace Museum
Built in Puthen Malika Palace, Kuthiramalika Palace is one of the fine examples of architecture of Kerala. The museum hosts a rare collection of mannequins, paintings, mirrors, chandeliers, furniture and other items. The royal thrones in ivory and Bohemian Crystal makes for few of the most attractive pieces of art in the museum. One can also view the Gopuram of renowned Padmabhaswamy temple from here.
Named after a governor (Lord Francis Napier) of British India, Napier Museum has a marveling natural system to air condition bearing the testimony to the technological progress of that period. The museum also houses one of the oldest zoological gardens in the world.
This planetarium is amusing the visitors with its special shows on universe ever since 1994. The planetarium offers a view of night sky at any given time and of any desired place in past and in future within a time span of 12500 years. With a seating capacity of 184 people, the museum is an equal favorite of children, adults and scholars of cosmology.
Approximately 16 kilometres away from Trivandrum, Aruvikkara Dam is a popular picnic getaway for tourist and locals alike. Built on the banks of River Karamana, its scenic beauty has been untouched and unspoilt by regular city chores.
Perfect for an evening and morning stroll, this scenic place is often surrounded by a bunch of fishermen who collect fish from the backwaters here. However, during monsoon, the Arabian Sea has high waves and fishermen avoid fishing during that time. While you are here, stand atop the 214 metres and get beautiful views of the sea and the coast. Closely located near the Shanghumukham beach in Trivandrum, the pier can be a good resort where you can spend the day relaxing.
Meenmutty Water Falls
Approximately 45 kilometres away from the main city, the Meenmutty waterfall is located close to the Neyyar dam. While cars can only take you to a point, trekking is the only way to reach up till the waterfall area. En route the trek, there are dense forests making the journey quite adventurous. Make sure you take permit from the forest department before venturing out as it is mandatory to have a guide who would escort you to the falls. There is also a small rest house near the waterfall area.
The splendid palace is situated at Thuckalai, on the way to Kanyakumari which once the seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore. This is a well preserved wooden palace, a glorious testimony to the traditional Kerala School of architecture. The extraordinary murals, exquisite floral carvings and the black glossy granite floor have withstood the test of time.
Veli Tourist Village
This picnic spot, where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea , offers boating facilities. Pedal boats 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.
An idyllic hill station with winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi is located 915 metres above the sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and the deer park nearby, this hill station also has excellent trekking trails.
Vizhinjam RockCut Cave
There are rock cut sculptures of the 18th century in the cave temple at Vizhinjam. 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 reliefs of the Hindu God Shiva with Goddess Parvathi.
Zoological Gardens & Museums
The Zoological Gardens and museum is considered to be one of the oldest zoos in India. One can see almost a variety of 75 different species of animals. The very popular animals are the Nilgiri Tahr, Cape buffalo, Indian Rhino, Asiatic Lion; zebra are the common ones to be seen in this zoo. There is a library within the premises of the zoo and one can even find some unique and rare manuscripts and books. It takes about 2 to 3 hours to see the zoo. There is an entry fee of Rs 5 for adults and Rs 3 for children. The authorities have also made separate packages for students like for 35 students; there is an entry fee of Rs 100. The zoo is open from 9:00am to 6:00pm, on all days, except Mondays.
A superb tourist destination, Varkala Beach is situated in the heart of the city and is bounded by lush greenery and golden sands. This place is extensively famous for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is very popular for its small sea side shops and bug markets and thus enthralls its visitors.
The best time to visit Thiruvananthapuram is between the months of October and March.
How to Reach
Thiruvananthapuram airport is located about six km from the heart of the city. The airport is well connected by flights to Sri Lanka, Maldives, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. Direct flights are available to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and other Indian cities. One can get pre-paid taxi from the airport.
Thiruvananthapuram is one of the major rail junctions. Several train services originate from here. Thiruvananthapuram station is connected to Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
Thiruvananthapuram is well connected by road. Private and Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KRTC) buses do ply regularly from several cities of Kerala to Thiruvananthapuram. One can take private buses from cities like Bengaluru and Chennai.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Kowdiar, Trivandrum ,
Kerala, India 695003
Hycinth by Sparsa
Manorama Road, Thampanoor ,
Kerala, India 695001
Ginger Hotel Trivandrum,
Technopark, Kerala, India 695581
Where to Eat
Zam Zam Restaurant
Opp MLA Hostels, Palayam,
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695034
Near Police Training College, Thycaud,
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695014
Arttech Magnet Building,
Opp Womens college,
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695014