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Trivandrum Travel Guide
SIGHTSEEING PLACES OF TRIVANDRUM
Akkulam Tourist Village Open 1000 - 1700 hrs
This picnic spot with
boating facilities, is a place children flock to. It has a well-equipped children's
park and a paddle pool. There is a swimming pool for adults too.
Chacha Nehru Children's Museum Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on
Children of all age groups will enjoy the vast collection of nearly
2000 dolls, stamps and masks displayed here.
CVN Kalari Sangham
near the East Forti was established
in 1956 for the revival of Klarippayatt, the traditional martial art form of
Kerala. Training sessions and exercises in Kalarippayatt, Ayurvedic diagnosis
and treatment etc. are available at the centre.
The middle beach at Kovalam the Hawah beach, is north of the Lighthouse. Surrounded
by a bay of tall swaying palms and silvery sand it's picturesque. Tip:
If you go swimming here, exercise caution as the sea is a little rough in these
A blue and white lighthouse at the southern end of Kovalam Beach gives the beach
its name. The most crowded of all the local beaches, but worth a visit to explore
the lighthouse open daily between 2 - 4 pm
offers a picture-perfect view
of high waves lashing the seashore.
and its sprawling grounds are now used as the venue for many cultural meets
Kerala Legislature Complex
Located at Palayam, this is the new
building where the Legislative Assembly of Kerala meets. With its towering dome,
exquisitely carved galleries, ornate teak panelling and ceiling, combined with
the most modern acoustic treatment and state-of-the-art sound systems, the hall
is a beautiful blend of classical grandeur and modernity.
At the time of writing little information is available on this other than
the fact that it exists. If you know anything about it and would like to share
the information with other travellers, please write to us with said details.
Kuthirarnalika (Puthenmalika) Palace
Museum Open 0830 -
1230 hrs and 1530 - 1730 hrs. Closed on Mondays.
The Palace was built by
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 also has exquisite woodcarvings and displays paintings and various
priceless collections of the royal family. It is located near the Sri Padmanabha
Lord Ganapathy Temple
is one of the most popular shrines in the city
near Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple at the East Fort.
(Museum Complex) Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays and
Built in the 19th century, the Indo - Saracenic structure
boasts a "natural" air conditioning system and houses a rare collection
of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a
temple chariot and ivory carvings. Interestingly the use of plastic is banned
in the museum premises.
This was established over a hundred years ago and is a great
place to visit especially if travelling with children. Located at the highest
point in the city, near the Museum Complex 60 meters above sea level, one can
get a good bird's eye view of the city from here.
Puthe Maliga Palace Museum
is housed in wings of the 200-year-old
palace of the Maharaja of Travancore. Notable for its Keralan architecture,
the palace took 5000 workers four years to complete. Many of the exhibits reflect
the spice trade with China
Another stretch of beach along the same axis as Lighthouse Beach, is accessible
by walking southwards from Lighthouse
over the headland on which
the lighthouse stands. Swimming is possible.
The secluded Samudra beach is to the north of Kovalam has clear waters and a
wonderful view of distant fishing boats. The awesome waves here can rise more
than 20 ft high and are a pleasure to watch in the evenings or you can try your
hand (or is it feet?)
at surfing them, if brave enough. Science and
Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays.
The exhibits here are related
to science, technology and electronics.
Just 8 km from the city
, this is a favourite haunt for sunset watchers
and is located adjacent to the Trivandrum
The area boasts lovely temples
and the beach itself has an indoor
recreation club, the 'matsya kanyaka' (a gigantic, 35m long sculpture
of a mermaid
) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the
attractions here. For kids, the Chacha Nehru Traffic Training
here provides opportunity for children to learn traffic rules.
Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday mornings
is located near the Napier Museum, and displays select paintings of Raja Ravi
Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from Rajput, Mughal
and Tanjore schools of art in India
The collection also includes paintings from China
Padmanabha Swamy Temple
or the Padmanabha Swamy
or (Padmanabhaswai) Temple Open: 0415 - 0515 hrs, 0645 - 0730
hrs, 0830 - 1030 hrs, 1130 - 1145 hrs, 1715 - 1930 hrs
is located inside
the east fort and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is a blend of the Kerala and
Dravidan styles of architecture and is known for its mural paintings and stone
carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India
the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha the Serpent. Note:
Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple and there is a dress code; where a
man is supposed to wear dhoti and a women must wear sari and blouse.
Veli Tourist Village Open 0800 - 1800 hrs
This picnic spot,
where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea, offers boating facilities such as
pedal and paddle boats which can be hired to explore the lagoon in a leisurely
manner. For a quick ride over the waters, speedboats are available too. There
are also some wonderful sculptures dotting the landscape here which children
enjoy climbing over so it's a good spot to visit if travelling with kids in
Zoological Park Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays
the first zoos in India
, it is located
in a well-planned botanical garden. With huge trees such as frangipani and jacaranda
dotting the sprawling lawns and wild fowl swimming in the lake, just like a
small jungle in the heart of the city. A reptile house with different species
of snakes is also located in the premises worth viewing.
Part of the Sahyadri range of mountains, Agasthyakoodam
is the second highest peak in Kerala, at a height of 1890m above sea level.
Teeming with wildlife, the forests of Agasthyakoodam abound in rare medicinal
herbs and plants and brilliantly hued orchids. A bird watcher's paradise, this
legendary mountain is accessible by foot from Kotoor, the nearby Neyyar Dam,
and also from Bonacaud. Trekking is popular here from December to April. Note:
A forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department,
PTP Nagar, Trivandrum before any venturing
into the bush can be done here.
Aruvikkara Dam 16 km from the ciy
This picturesque picnic
spot is on the banks of the Karamana river and the Durga Temple has a stream
full of fish that come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors.
are a great place to picnic and bathing
in these waterfalls is considered good for both mind and body.
at the Neyyar Dam was established in 1977. Boats can be
hired to explore the shores of the sanctuary.
At the time of writing little information is available on this other than the
fact that it exists. If you know anything about it and would like to share the
information with other travellers, please write to us with said details.
set up in 1992 is a treasure house of quaint musical instruments, occupational
implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc. Displayed in the Koyikkal
Palace, they focus attention on the cultural background of the State.
Jagannath Swamy (Vishnu)
At the time of writing little information
is available on this other than the fact that it exists. If you know anything
about it and would like to share the information with other travellers, please
write to us with said details.
is near one of the earliest British East India Company trading posts whuich
was established at nearby Angenogo in 1684.
Kanya Kumari (Kanyakumari)
also known as Cape
lies about 90km south of Thiruvananhapuram
is the southernmost tip of the Indian sub-continent where the Indian
Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian
Sea meet. Once it was part of the erstwhile Travancore state however
after the re-organization of the states in India
in 1956, it became part of the Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu. It is also
a famous tourist and pilgrim centre. The famous shrine of the goddess Devi Kanya,
the Gandhi Memorial
and Vivekananda Memorial
on the rocky islands are tourist attractions in the area.
about 16 km from the city
renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930's.
Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known
as the Lighthouse
, is the
most popular. Besides swimming, there are opportunities for surfing and water
skiing and an exhilarating catamaran ride on the sea.
Located on the way to the Ponmudi hill
station and the Courtallam Waterfalls, this ancient palace dates back to the
15th century. Here you can see a double storied traditional Nalukettu building
with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and museums of folklore and numismatics
set up by the Department of Archaeology. The Numismatics
houses rare and historically
valuable coins denoting the trade relations of the State.
spanning an area of four hectares can be
found at the Neyyar Dam which offers a close up look at the local 'king's of
situated in Kazhakuttom
, this ancient temple on the outskirts of
the city is another worth visiting if in this area.
Neyyar Dam 32km from the city
is a popular picnic spot
housing a watch tower, crocodile farm, lion safari park and deer
as well a having boating facilities on the dam itself.
Tip: The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation organizes (KTDC) tours to Neyyar
Dam and its surrounds.
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary 30km from Thiruvananthapuram
covers an area of about 128 sq. km and has a rugged topography of meadows and
slopes, altitudes ranging from 90 to 1800m above sea level, There are over 1000
species of flowering plants, including orchids. The endangered primates, the
lion-tailed macaque and the Nilgiri languor share the ever green forest and
other animals like bonnet macaque and giant squirrels, elephants, sambhar deer,
gaur, barking deer, mouse deer and wild boar are also seen here.
Padmanabhapuram Palace 63km from the city
(Closed on Mondays)
The seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore, and splendid palace is situated
at Thuckalai, on the way to Kanyakumari is a well-preserved wooden structure,
a glorious testimony to the traditional Kerala
of architecture. The extraordinary
murals, exquisite floral carvings and the black glossy granite floor have withstood
the test of time and are definitely worth seeing.
is a holy beach which means 'Destroyer of the sins'. Mineral water springs
come gushing out from the cliffs bordering the beach and are known for their
medicinal qualities. The narrow road leading to the beach from Varkala is flanked
by paddy fields and tall palm trees, on both sides. A Nature Cure Centre and
a Jagannath Swamy (Vishnu) Temple are situated near the beach. Visitors can
pay homage to Kerala's saint and reformer Sree Narayana Guru here.
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and Dam 50km from Thiruvananthapuram
This sanctuary spread over 53 sq. km on the Western Ghats,
is accessible from Vithurai, which is on the way to Ponmudi. With its rich flora
and fauna dotted with hillocks, forests and eucalyptus plantations, Peppara
is emerging as a great attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.
Ponmudi 61km from Thiruvananthapuram
located 915m above sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers,
exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and a nearby deer
, this hill area has excellent trekking trails worth
Sree Mahadeva Temple Situated in Kazhakuttom
, this ancient
temple is believed to date back to the 14th century. Another old temple in the
district is the Mitramandapuram Temple on the outskirts of the city.
Temple at Suchindram 13km north-west on the rail /road route from
Kanyakumari to Thiruvananthapuram
, is an important place of worship. The
temple with its large entrance Gopuram is quite magnificent. There are pillared
halls all around the inner sanctum where there is the triple image of the Lords
Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. The 10-day annual chariot festival held here is famous.
Thiruvallam 10km from the city
This serene backwater stretch,
en-route to Kovalam, is famous for its canoe rides.
Thumba Equatorial Launching Station
located 16km from Thiruvananthapuram
as the first Indian Space Research Organisation established in 1969 on August
Varkala 40km from the city
is also an important Hindu centre
of pilgrimage. The final resting place of the great social reformer, Sree Narayana
Guru, is near here, atop a hill called Sivagiri and high cliffs with mineral
springs rise majestically from the coastline. According to a myth, sage Narada
was approached by a group of mendicants who confessed to having sinned. Narada
threw his valkkalam (cloth made from tree bark)
into the air, and the
place where it landed was subsequently named Varkala. The mendicants were directed
by Narada to offer their prayers in the newly created place for redemption and
this spot later became known Papanasham Beach (Papanasham means redemption from
sins). The 2000-year-old Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple
Nature Care Centre
are the two main attractions here.
1km south of Kovalam Beach Vizhingim was the capital of 7th
to 11th century Ay Kingdom, the Rulers of Southern Kerala. The granite cave
here encloses a single- celled shine with a sculpture of Dakshina Murthy. The
outer walls of the cave depicts half complete, reliefs of Lord Shiva and his
consort Parvathy. A number of other rock-out temples have been found around
the village worth discovering. The place also serves as a fishing centre and
a branch of the Central Fishery Research Centre is located here. The first electricity
generating project in India
from sea waves is also located at Vizhingim
Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave 17km from the city
of the 18th century are located in the cave temple here which 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
Kovalam Travel Guide
Sight seeing places in Kovalam
Apart from the usual sunbath and surfing, many marine activities are possible
at Kovalam. The local fishermen provide sunrise and sun set cruises in fishing
The Catamaran cruises, on the country raft is very popular here.
Very recently an innovative tour operating company of Trivandrum has introduced
a new package for marine Angling for deep-sea fishing. This new project is concentrated
near Vizhinjam fishing harbor, just 4 km away east of Kovalam beach. Surfboards
and boogie boards can also be hired on the beach.
At Kovalam many hotels and resorts offers the Ayurvedic massage and treatment.
Yoga (Indian way of meditation) centers are also plenty in Kovalam. Some theatres
perform the traditional Kerala art form, Kathakali and ethnic martial art,
Among innumerable beach holiday resorts Kovalam Ashok Beach Resort, Surya
Samudra Beach Garden, Somatheeram, Niki's Nest, Cocunut Bay Beach Resort,
Uday Samudra Beach Resort, Hotel Samudra etc own private beaches famous for
their cleanliness and secluded location. Most of these private beaches are
located near Vizhinjam at least 8 km far from Kovalam
The holy city of Anantha, Thiruvananthapuram City is located
just sixteen kilometers north of Kovalam. Sri Padmnabhaswamy Temple is the major
landmark of the city. Though non-Hindus are not entitled to enter inside the
temple one can visit the premises, which is an architectural marvel. Puthan
malika or Horse Palace is a wooden palace, situated very near to the Temple.
The belongings of the Royal Family and the very construction of the palace make
the visitors amazing. The Chalai Market is a big market just meters away to
the temple is a fine example of the typical market of Kerala. The Napier Museum
is a building in Indo-Saracenic Style, situated just 3 km away is yet another
site to be visited.
The hill resort, Ponmudi is located 60 km away from Thiruvananthapurm city.
The resort is famous for its tea plantations and jungle streams.
Another important site to be visited is Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin), the Southern
most tip of Indian subcontinent. Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu state is 90 km East
of Kovalam is the place where three oceans meet together. A visit to Vivekananda
Rock located exactly on the sea is worth full. Kanyakumari is famous for sunrise
and sun set watching. Padmnabhapuram palace, the second largest wooden palace
in Asia is on the way to Kanyakumari, which is a major center of tourist attraction.
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