With the Arabian Sea straddling it in the west, the Western
Ghats (500-700 m) swathing it in the east, and networked by forty-four
rivers, Kerala is a geographical wonder and a much sought-after tourism
destination in Asia. An equable climate, a long shoreline with serene
beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations
and exotic wildlife, waterfalls, sprawling plantations and paddy fields,
ayurvedic health holidays, enchanting art forms, magical festivals,
historic and cultural monuments, and exotic cuisines. Welcome to Kerala.
Enjoy its divine experience.
Thiruvananthapuram is well connected to other major cities of India
by air, rail and road. The Iernational Airport (6 kms from the city)
has over 30 airlinks with convenient connections to Colombo, Maldives
and the Middle East. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate domestic
flights to different destinations in the country.
What to see
Thiruvananthapuram city is among the loveliest cities in India. Built
on seven low coastal hills, the city has an interesting mixture of tree-lined
avenues. Massive buildings, ancestral homes, and a long seacoast washed
by the waves of the Arabian Sea. The city is an excellent base to explore
the interior of Kerala.
The city boasts of many tourist
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The temple, located near the bus stand at East Fort, is one among the
18 sacred Vishnu temples in India, It is the city's most impressive
landmark. Its seven-storeyed gopuram built in the 16th century is one
of the finest specimens of traditional South Indian temple architecture
reflecting Kerala's influence. The temple corridors are lined with 368
sculpted stone pillars. Beautiful murals and ornamentation adorn the
walls. The temple was renovated by the Maharaja of Thiruvithamcur in
1733. Only Hindus can enter the temple, wearing dhoti in a certain style.
The Palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirumal Balarama Varma, the
King of Travancore. He was a great poet, musician, social reformer and
statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore
style of architecture also has exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum
displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family,
and is located near the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple.
Built in the 19th century, the Indo-saracenic structure boasts of a
“natural” air conditioning system and houses a rare collection
of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments,
a temple chariot and ivory carvings.
Sree Chithra Art Gallery
Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays among others,
select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich,
and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art
in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan,
Tibet and Bali.
Just 8 km from the city, this is a favorite haunt of sunset watchers.
The beach is adjacent to the airport and Veli Tourist Village. It has
an indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic, 35 m-long
sculpture of a mermaid), a restaurant shaped like a starfish and a traffic
training park for children.
Places of interest around Thiruvananathapuram
Kovalam beach (16 km; a beautiful, curving, palm-fringed beach of golden
sand; an international holiday destination)
Varkala (40 km; seaside resort and spa; century-old tunnel and a nature
Ponmudi (61 km; idyllic hill resort 915 m above sea level with narrow,
winding pathways and cool, green and wooded environs; beautiful mountain
flowers, exotic butterflies, rivulets, deer park, trekking trails)
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary (50 km; spread over 53 sq. km on the western
Padmanabhapuram Palace (52 km; seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore;
wooden palace with extraordinary murals)
Thenmala (66 km; India's first planned eco-tourism project)
Palaruvi Waterfalls (75 km; 300-foot waterfalls; beautiful picnic spot
in the woods
Kanyakumari (a.k.a. Cape Comorin; 100 km; a tri-sea shore lining the
Indian Ocean, the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal)