Thiruvananthapuram Tourism


Language Malayalam and English
Best time to visit September-May
STD Code 0471


Location:

Tour to Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram (official name Thiruvananthapuram), lying on the southwest coast of India, is the capital to the state of Kerala. The city extends from latitude 8°29' N to longitude 76°59' E. The place is well connected to most of the other major cities of India through rail, road, and air network.

Since it is close to the sea, the climate of Thiruvananthapuram is tropical. This also gives Thiruvananthapuram a very pleasant weather round the year. The average maximum temperature can go up to 36.2°C in summer months and to a minimum of 18.0°C in the winters. Monsoon comes to Thiruvananthapuram in the month of May and remains there until November.

History:

Trivendrum, according to the legends, boasts of being associated with King Solomon whose ships landed at a port called Ophir. Traders have been coming to these parts as far back as 190 AD for spices, sandalwood, and ivory.

The city derives its name from the deity at the Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswami Temple, one of the major landmarks of the place. The name of the city is derived from the words Thiru-Anantha-Puram, meaning the town of Anantha. Although no records of the antiquity of the temple really exists, the temple nevertheless is believed to be several thousands years old.

Thiruvananthapuram shot into prominence in the 18th century when the capital was shifted here form Padmanabhapuram, a little down south. The erstwhile kings of the then Travancore State, taking on the title of Padmanabhadas (servant of Lord), had dedicated themselves completely to the service of the Lord residing in the temple here. By the terms of this dedication, the deity owns the kingdom while the king is the mere executor of the trust. After independence, Trivendrum was designated as the capital of Kerala.

Tourist Attractions:



A must on every Trivendrum tourist itinerary, the Padmanabhaswami temple with its gopuram (tower) soaring majestically upwards, is believed to be one of the 108 shrines sacred to the Vaishnavites in India. Within its hallowed precincts, the main pavilion impresses with its 400 beautifully carved pillars of granite. The 100-feet-high gopuram comprises seven stories with each center. The stone basement of the tower is covered with elaborate sculptures and the masonry above is replete with ornamental works of figures from the Puranas and other ancient scriptures. Tapering towards the top, it bears the statue of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Inside the temple, the main shrine is well guarded with a number of massive doors, and darshan (audience) can be had through the three-door openings into the sanctum sanctorum.

Besides this magnificent temple, Thiruvananthapuram offers a great deal more. There is the Observatory to start with, established over a hundred years ago. Several kings have also built their palaces in and around the city, each more impressive than the other. Despite a few attempts at modernity, the city retains its discreet, old-world charm.

One can visit the Museum with its profusion of gables and turrets. A repository of fine works of art, the chief attraction here is the 250-year-old temple car made for Lord Vishnu, artistically designed and ornamented. Besides this, objects carved out of wood, models of temple, antique jewelry, etc., make the museum worth a visit.

Lying within the museum compound, Sri Chitra Art Gallery proves to be an ideal place for art lovers. The piece de resistance is the large section devoted to the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, an Indian painter of distinction in the history of the country's modern art. Besides him, the Indian section also contains works of Rabindranath Tagore, Jamimi Roy, K. K. Hebar, miniatures from the Rajput and Mughal schools of painting and the famous Tanjore paintings encrusted with semi-precious stones. The gallery's collection also includes paintings from Indonesia, China, and Japan.

Then, of course, a trip to Thiruvananthapuram is incomplete without a boat-ride on its enchanting backwaters. These waterways teem with life. It is not surprising, since there are more miles of waterways in the state-approximately 1,900 km to the 1,000 km of rail. The landscape is dotted with picturesque palms and thatched huts. One can be seduced by the panorama of beautiful landscapes, beaches and waterways, coconut palms and, of course, beautiful, friendly people.

Places Around Thiruvananthapuram

Two nearby places worth visiting while in Thiruvananthapuram are Veli and Shankhumuggam; the former has been converted into a superb tourist village while the latter boasts of lovely temples and a huge statue of a mermaid presently being worked upon by a famous sculptor.

An absolute must is Kovalam that lies barely 18 km away. The beach is considered one of the finest in the world and provides ingredients for an ideal holiday. Besides swimming, there are opportunities for surfing and water skiing-even an exhilarating catamaran ride into the sea.

Fairs and Festivals:

Onam is the main festival of Kerala, which is celebrated in the month of August or September. This is the harvest festival of Kerala and signifies association of the people with agriculture. Christmas is the other festival of this part of the country and the city wears a colorful look during this time of the year. Classical Music Festival is celebrated from January 27 to February 3 every year and is a great time to enjoy for the lovers of pure classical music forms such as Carnatic and Hindustani music.

Where to Stay:

Accommodation is not a problem in Thiruvananthapuram. As the city is always bustling with tourists, many hotels catering to different income groups have opened up. The city has a very good number of resorts specializing in nature therapy.

How to Reach:

BY AIR - Being the capital of Kerala state, Thiruvananthapuram is well connected to other major cities of India and the neighboring countries. There are direct flights to Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi. Cities in the neighboring countries such as Colombo, Malé, Singapore, and cities of Arabian Gulf are connected by the international airlines.

BY RAIL - Thiruvananthapuram is connected to other important cities of India and Kerala by trains. Regular trains are available for the states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu. For the tourists heading towards North India and Delhi, Himsagar Express is the perfect choice.

BY ROAD - Thiruvananthapuram is connected with Kollam (1½ hours), Alappuzha (3¼ hours), Ernakulam (5 hours), Trichur (6¾ hours), Chennai (17 hours), Madurai (10 hours), and Pondicherry (16 hours) by road. We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and also for the intercity drives too.