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Kovalam Beach Napier Museum Veli Tourist Village Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave varkala ponmudi Agasthyakoodam
Thiruvananthapuram

About Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram which was previously called Trivandrum is an ancient city with tradition dating back to 1000 BC. Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Raja of Travancore in 1750.

The city gets its name from the word, Thiru-anantha-puram, meaning the city of Anantha or the abode of the sacred Serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines.

Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. It is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland spreading over a total of 2,192sq.km.

Sightseeing at Thiruvananthapuram:-

Kovalam Beach

Around 16kms away from the city of Thiruvananthapuram, the palm fringed shores of Kovalam Beach is the ideal destination for sea lovers. One of the major tourist attractions of Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum in Kerala, the Kovalam Beach draws tourists from all over the world.

Padmanabha Swamy Temple

This is also a favorite tourist attraction in Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Exquisite carvings and age old murals adorn the walls of the temple

Napier Museum

This is a 19th century monument which comprises of a collection which is quite rare and unique. Considered to be an important destination amongst the tourist attractions of Thiruvananthapuram it reflects the features of Indo Sarcenic architecture.

The other major tourist attractions in Thiruvananthapuram are the zoo, Priyadarshini Planetarium, Observatory, Sankhumugham beach and the Connemara Market

Sree Chithra Art Gallery

Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays 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.

The Zoological Park

One of the first zoos in India, it is located in a well-planned botanical garden. With huge trees like frangipani and jacaranda dotting the sprawling lawns and wild fowl swimming in the lake, it is like a small jungle in the heart of the city. A reptile house with different species of snakes is also located in the premises.

Shankhumugham Beach

Just 8 km from the city, this is a favourite haunt of sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and Veli Tourist Village. An indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic, 35 m long sculpture of a mermaid) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the attractions here. Chacha Nehru Traffic Training Park here provides opportunity for children to learn the traffic rules.

Veli Tourist Village

This picnic spot, where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea, offers boating facilities. Pedalboats and paddleboats can be hired to explore the charms of the lagoon in a leisurely manner. For a quick ride over the waters, speedboats are available for hire. Children enjoy climbing over the huge sculptures which dot the landscape.

Akkulam Tourist Village

A picnic spot with boating facilities, Akkulam 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.

Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave

(17 km - 1/2 hour): There are rock cut sculptures of the 18th century in the cave temple at Vizhinjam. The granite cave here encloses a one-celled shrine with a loose sculpture of Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave depicts half complete reliefs of the Hindu God Shiva with Goddess Parvathi.

Neyyar Dam

(32 km - 1 hour): A popular picnic spot, Neyyar Dam has a watch tower, crocodile farm, lion safari park and deer park. Boating facilities are available at the reservoir.

Varkala

(40 km - 1 1/2 hours) Varkala is a seaside resort and spa. It is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final resting place of the great social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, is near Varkala, atop a hill called Sivagiri. 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 of the bark of a tree) 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 by the seashore. The place where they prayed for redemption, came to be known as the 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.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

(50 km 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, Peppara, dotted with hillocks, forests and eucalyptus plantations, is emerging as a great attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.

Ponmudi

(61 km - 2 1/2 hours) An idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi is located 915 metres above sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and the deer park nearby, this hill station also has excellent trekking trails.

Agasthyakoodam

Part of the Sahyadri range of mountains, Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala, at a height of 1890 metres 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, near Neyyar Dam, as also from Bonacaud. The season from December to April is advocated for trekking, for which a forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram.

How to reach there

Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram Central

Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport

Nearest bus station: KSRTC ply from East fort