Location: Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is located in the shothern part of Kerela. In the north it shares border with Kollam district, on the west it has Arabian sea, on the south it has Indian Ocean and in the east it shares border with Kanyakumari district and Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.
District Headquarter: Thiruvananthapuram
Distance: It is located 753 km from Bangalore, 1315 km from Hyderabad, 708 km from Chennai, 2814 km from Delhi, 1543 from Mumbai. To check distance of Thiruvananthapuram from various cities of India, click here.
Journey time: 12 hrs by Karnataka and Kerela state buses. Should take less by private vehicle.
How to reach there: By bus, train and flight.
Route: Bangalore – Hosur – Kathujuganapalli – Dharmapuri – Salem – karur – Dindigul – Thirumangalam – Seithur – Tenkasi – Thiruvananthapuram
Where to stay:
1. Classic avenue
Manjalikulam Road ,Thampanoor
Trivandrum – 695001
2. Muthoot Plaza
Punnen Road, Thiruvananthapuram-695039,
Tel: +91 471 2337733
Fax: +91 471 2337734
3. The South Park
Kerala Hotels Pvt. Ltd
M G Road, Trivandrum 695 034, Kerala, India
Tel +91 471 2333333 Fax +91 471 2331861
4. Palmleaves Beach Resort,
Puthenthoppu PO, Thiruvananthapuram
5. Taj Green Cove Resort is a 5 star hotel in Kovalam, overlooking the Arabian sea
6. Taj Residency
7. The Leela Kovolam
Average or Economic:
1. Ginger Hotel
Electronic Technology Park
Kerala – 695581
2. Hotel Horizon
Aristo Road, Trivandrum-700 020,
3. Hotel Silver Sand
4. Hotel Chaithram
5. Hotel Regency
Manjalikulam Cross Road, Thampanoor, Thiruvananthapuram – 695001
Phone: 91 – 471 – 2330377/2331541
Fax: 91 – 471 – 2331690, P.B.No: 65, Cable: Regency
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to eat:
1. Azad Restaurant/Hotel located at Statue Junction, Near overbridge and Vazhuthacaud.
2. Mubarak restaurant, Ruby nagar, Chalai
3. Kaithal Restaurant, Chalai
4. Balan’s Tattukada, Kaithamukku
5. Casa Bianca, Vazhuthacaud
6. KTDC floating restaurant, Veli
7. Hotel Geeth – at Statue, good Kerala food. Lunch Buffet at Rs. 190
Language spoken: Malayalam and English. Tamil and Hindi is understood and spoken at an extent.
Best time to visit – Between October and February
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the Indian state of Kerela and also the district headquarters of the Thiruvananthapuram district. Its history dates back to more than 1000 BC. The name Thiruvananthapuram derives from padmanabha swamy temple located in the heart of the city. In Sanskrit means “City of Lord Anantha” – the serpent on which Lord Padmanabha/Vishnu reclines. Legend is was a old trading port for spices etc from the time of king Solomon. After formation of Kerala state in 1957, it was decided to retain Thiruvananthapuram as the capital city.
What to See:
Sree padmanabha swamy temple: Thiruvanathapuram was built around the padmanabha swamy temple and the deity Lord Padmanadha (Vishnu) was crowned emperor by the erstwhile Travancore royal family and they used to rule the state in the name of Lord Padmanabha. The temple architecture is a mixture Tamil and local style. It includes golden mandaps, musical pillars, a geometrically located pond called Padmatheertham etc. The temple belongs to the royal family of Travancore and taken care by them. Only Hindu” />
East Fort: It is called East fort because only the eastern side of fort built in European style remains today. The gate of East lies in front of the Padmanabha temple. In evening the fort is illuminated.
The Kerala Government Secretariat: This building was built in 1860 as the Royal Durbar Hall of Travancore Kingdom: it was designed by British Royal Engineers Corps combining Roman-Dutch-English-Kerala architectures. There is a museum inside apart from government offices.
The Napier Museum: Located in museum compound, the Napier museum is named after a former Madras governor, General John Napier. It was designed by English architect Chrisholm by combining English-Saxon-Travancore architectural styles. This museum displays rare archaeological and historical artifacts including bronze idols and ivory carvings.(Open 10AM-5PM, closed on Mondays and before noon Wednesday.)
Sree Chithra Art Gallery: Located in the museum compound features paints of famous Indian painters like Ravi Raja Varma, Raja Raja Varma, Nicholas Roderich etc.
The Zoological Park: Opened in 1843, it was the first zoo in India, as a concept of Palace for wildlife. Situated in the Museum compound, this area is a rich botanical garden. There is a wide variety of animals, plants and birds. It has a separate reptile park and butterfly garden.
Timings: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm, Monday closed
Palace museum: East entrance of the the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. – Has a good collection of many antique items from the Travancore era Kings. Thrones, paintings and many belongings kept in a very good condition housed in an erstwhile royal building.
Kerala Legislature Assembly Complex: The new Legislature Assembly Complex called as Niyamasabha (Law House in Malayalam), is a super imposing modern structure located in heart of the city. Its famous for its classical Kerala architecture with ornate teak works, a unique Kerala styled dome, exquisitely designed interiors and a vast expanse of greenery around it. A photo shoot before this structure is a favorite activity among tourists.
Legislature Museum: Adjacent to Legislature assemble, there is a good museum that depicts history of South Asian Legislature assemblies. This building was once the headquarters of Travancore Royal Nair Brigade (Travancore Army). Today its one of the best galleries, that can give you a detailed look into history of South Asian legislature activities and process.
Kanaka Kunnu Palace: (Golden Hill Palace in malayalam) is a cultural hotspot of the town. The large palace and its sprawling gardens was once the banquet palace for visiting State guests of Travancore. Today its famous for its galleries and the grand lawns serve as open air auditoriums for regular concerts and evening dance programs.
Priyadarshini Space Planetarium: It is one of the largest planetariums of India rated as one of the best horizontal planetariums of the world, with a good collection of astronomical science objects from ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). It has 2 major shows regarding various secrets of universe. It has a good Sky Theater, a large conference hall and venue of regular space related programs.
Kerala Science and Technology Museum: Located near to Priyadarshini Planetarium, is one of the largest science museum, featuring a time-line of various technologies in area of electronics, technology etc. There are several galleries on Electrical Engineering, Biomedical, Mechanical Engineering, etc. It has a very good collection of many electronic equipments and a good 3D Theatre with regular shows.
Chachanehru Children’s: This Museum is a good children museum with a large collection of dolls, masks, paintings etc. A mini aquarium and water play area is set here. Located in Thycuad, in the heart of city, is a good evening spot for families.
Kuthiramalika Palace It is a unique palace designed by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal (a famous musical genius Maharaja of Travancore), this palace is famous for its horse shaped windows and decor. This palace, located near to Padmanabhaswamy temple has some good collections of antiques related to Maharaja Swati Thirunal’s times. This palace is venue of famous Swathi Thirunal Music Festival as well as many other musical concerts patronized by Royal family.
Kowidar Palace: A super-imposing structure, located in Kowidar. This is the current official residence of Travancore Maharajas and royal family and off-the-limits for public. However a friendly guard may let you inside to have a glimpse of this large architectural wonder built in mixture of Saxon-Travancore styles. The public however can enter into Panchavadi, the resting place of Late H.H Maharaja Chitra Thirunal- the last King of Travancore who was a very popular king.
Excursions from Thiruvananthapuram city:
The Padmanabhapuram Palace The old headquarters of Travancore Royal family, is one of the most attractive palaces, which no tourist can’t afford to miss. The palace is recorded as World’s largest Wooden Palace, by Guinness Books of Records. It is entirely made of teak and rosewood and have an exquisite flooring made of granite and a rare ayurvedic mixture with secret extracts to keep the floor cool in summer season and warm during rainy season. It has a grand Dubar Hall made out of rosewood and glass. The Palace houses a numerous rare antiques, including 600 year old spice bed, a rare bed made out of a special wood treated in various spices, to rejuvenate the kings as well as sandal pillars. The clock tower is one of the oldest in South Asia, that is still working. It is 65 km from Trivandrum City and is in the Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. However the palace and fort is still maintained by Kerala Government. The royal sword of Travancore Maharajas is preserved here, which is taken to Trivandrum as a grand procession during Arattu Festivals of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.
Kovalam beach: Kovalam is a very popular sea beach with foreign as well as India tourists. The pristine crescent shaped beaches provides an ideal location to swim or bask in the sun. There three beaches namely light house beach where a light housed is located is the largest one, hawa beach the second largest and samudra beach the third. In Hawa beach, topless bathing may be found. It is located around 17 km from Thiruvananthapuram city.
Where to stay:
1. Aardvah Hotel
2. Beach Kiss Resort
KOVALAM, TRIVANDRUM (District)
Phone: 0471 – 2480235
3. Green Valley Cottages
4. Hotel Samudra
5. Orion Beach Resort
Shanghumukham Beach This city beach is 8 km outside the city, adjacent to the airport. Local people flock there to watch the sunset. Its a good well maintained safe beach. There is an indoor recreation club nearby. Matsyakanyaka a gigantic sculpture of a mermaid by Kanai Kunjiraman arouses mixed reaction. A small garden and star-fish shaped restaurant operates there, attracts large crowds. There is also a peaceful temple nearby.
Veli Tourist Village: A lake blending into the beach, almost as if it were teasing the sea. Boating, Horse Riding on the beach, a floating bridge, a shallow pond where you can feed the fish, beautifully maintained gardens. Very famous among tourists, especially those interested in water adventure sports.
Some other places you may watch:
Kazhakuttom Mahadeva Temple
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
Vizhinjam – Head down to the harbor at sunset for some spectacular shots of the area with the seaside Mosque in the background. The atmosphere is quite lively with fisherman heading to and from the sea. Note: Once the sun is down, it is probably best to head back to Kovalam unless you are with a guide.
Varkala Beach: Varkala is a town in the Indian state of Kerala, about 50km north of Trivandrum and is home of the popular Papanasam Beach.
What to see:
1. Shree Janardhana Swamy temple
3. Nature Care Centre. Papanasam.
4. East West University of Brahmavidya. Established by Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, Disciple of Nataraja Guru.
5. Narayana Gurukula. Established by Nataraja Guru.
6. Varkala Tunnel. Built by the British in 1880.
7. Fishing Hamlets of Anjengo and its British Fort
8. Coir Processing Centres. In the Backwaters of Akathumuri, Kadakkavur
9. Edava Beach . Beautiful and serene beaches where you can bask in the sun and salubrious climate. In fact Edava beaches are yet to be explored by the tourists. If you go further towards Kappil you will find blue lagoon, where sea and backwaters running parallel divided by a more-than-one km of straight road. There is also an estuary that connect the sea with the backwaters here
Where to eat:
1. Respiro Heathy Food
2. Shiva Garden Kerala Restauran
3. The Funky Art Cafe
Where to stay:
1. Varkala Park Hotel
Ponmudi: Ponmudi in Malayalam means the golden peak is a small hill station located around 62 km from Thiruvananthapuram city at an altitude of 1100m.
What to see there:
* Freshwater Springs of the river Kallar.
* A deer park is there at the mountain top.
* Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
* Lion Safari and Deer Park
* Aranmula water carnival
* Golden Valley
* Agasthiya Biological Park
* Ponmudi Crest
* Meenmutti falls lies close to the place.
Mankayam is 45 kms from Thiruananthapuram. It is situated near Palode in Nedumangad taluk and is 500 mts above sea level. A beautiful hill area surrounded with varieties of ever green trees and beautiful water falls.
Arrippa is 52 km away from Thiruvananthapuram and accessible from Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkotta road. It is an enchanting place for those who love variety of beautiful birds and wild animals. Journey to the colony of tribes and a camp in the forest are interesting things to the adventurous people.
Thenmala, a centre for eco-tourism is 72 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram and is accessible from Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkkotta road. It is situated 500 mts above sea level. Thenmala is an interesting place to those who love adventurous journey and is prolific of beautiful birds and wild animals. There are lot of facilities to understand the nature close. Theatre of folk-lore, shops of handy crafts, hanging bridge, sculpture garden and specially arranged path for eco-system are the specialties of Thenmala.
Agasthyakoodam is a prominent peak in the Sahyadri ranges of the western Ghat next to Anamudi. It is about 1869 metres above sea level. It can be approached on foot from Bonacaud which is 61 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram. The forest Department issues special pass for the entry with some conditions. Tradition says that the great sage Agasthya had his ‘Tapas’ there. In the period of British rule, there was a friction between the rulers of Travancore and tamil Nadu over the right of ownership of the place. The case was later trailed in a court in England and the Court orders infavour of Travancore. Allen Brown, an English Scientist had built an observatory there. Later it was ruined for lack of proper guard. The remains of it can be seen there now. Beautiful orchids and variety of plants are also found here in large numbers. It being a home to certain birds and a seasonal dwelling to a huge set of certain migratory ones, this mountain attracts professional as well as occasional bird watchers. This legendary mountain can also be accessed on foot from Kotoor, Neyardam, and also from Bonacud. The ideal season for trucking is from December to April. This place is also noted for its abundant Ayurvedic herbs. The Government of Kerala has declared this area as biological park for the protection of bio-diversity.
If you want to rent a bicycle you may contact: Vacation India Ph: 2312028 Fax: 2314561
For more info you may also visit the Kerela government site for Thiruvananthapuram district at: http://trivandrum.gov.in