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Sightseeing Places of Trivandrum
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Kerala & South India Tours » Travel Guides of Kerala » Trivandrum Travel Guide

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 Mondays 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.

Hawah Beach 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 parts.

Lighthouse Beach 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.

Kanakakunnu Palace and its sprawling grounds are now used as the venue for many cultural meets and programs.

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.

Kowdiar Palace 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 Swamy Temple.

Lord Ganapathy Temple is one of the most popular shrines in the city near Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple at the East Fort.

Napier Museum (Museum Complex) Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays and Wednesday mornings 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.

Observatory 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 and Europe.

Rockholm Beach Another stretch of beach along the same axis as Lighthouse Beach, is accessible by walking southwards from Lighthouse Beach over the headland on which the lighthouse stands. Swimming is possible.

Samudra Beach 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 Technology Museum Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays. The exhibits here are related to science, technology and electronics.

Shankhumugham Beach Just 8 km from the city, this is a favourite haunt for sunset watchers and is located adjacent to the Trivandrum Airport and Veli Tourist Village. 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 Park here provides opportunity for children to learn traffic rules.

Sri Chithra Art Gallery or (Sri Chitra Art Gallery) 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, Japan, Tibet and Bali

Sri Padmanabha Swamy TempleSri 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 tow.

Zoological Park Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays One of 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.

Agasthyakoodam 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.

Courtallam Waterfalls are a great place to picnic and bathing in these waterfalls is considered good for both mind and body.

Crocodile Farm at the Neyyar Dam was established in 1977. Boats can be hired to explore the shores of the sanctuary.

Durga Temple 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.

Folklore Museum 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.

Janardhana Temple 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 Comorin 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 built on the rocky islands are tourist attractions in the area.

Kovalam about 16 km from the city This internationally 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 Beach, is the most popular. Besides swimming, there are opportunities for surfing and water skiing and an exhilarating catamaran ride on the sea.

Koyikkal Palace, Nedumangad 18km 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 Museum houses rare and historically valuable coins denoting the trade relations of the State.

Lion Safari Park 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 the jungle'.

Mitramandapuram Temple 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 park 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 School 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.

Papanasam Beach 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 Ponmudi is located 915m above sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and a nearby deer park, this hill area has excellent trekking trails worth exploring.

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 15th.

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 and the Nature Care Centre are the two main attractions here.

Vizhingim 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 Rock-cut sculptures 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 worth seeing.

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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 boats.

Sightseeing Tour of Trivandrum Catamaran cruises 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.

Ayurvedic Massage 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, Kalarippayattu.

Private Beaches 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

Places to Visit in TrivandrumExcursions Around 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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