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Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram)

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Government Secretariat in TrivandrumThiruvananthapuram also known as Trivandrum, was the former capital of Travancore and is the State Capital today. This sprawling beautiful city is built on seven hills, and it is known better for its famous beach resort - at Kovalam (11km away) that is recognised to be amongst the ten best in the world. Thiruvananthapuram, 'the place of the sacred serpent', takes its name from the idol of Lord Vishnu in the magnificent Padmanabhaswamy temple as he reclines on the world - supporting serpent, 'Anantha' or 'Adisesha'.

Today, its splendid past is to be seen in its old buildings, most of them built in wood in the Kerala style, with tiled roofs and carved gables, in its botanical garden and Zoo with its quaint museum; in its wide roads and public buildings; and in its lively intellectual life. Some of Kerala's leading film makers, poets and writers live here. Trivandrum has an international airport, good shopping areas and a variety of comfortable and reasonably priced hotels.

Thiruvananthapuram is situated near to the sea, which makes its climate as tropical. This also gives Trivandrum a very pleasant weather round the year. Monsoon comes to Trivandrum in the month of May and remains there until November.

Air : Being the capital of Kerala state, Trivandrum is well connected to other major cities of India and the neighboring countries.
Rail : The city is connected to other important cities of India and Kerala by trains.
Road : Regular buses are available for the other important cities of Kerala and neighboring states.

Places of interest - Trivandrum
Vizhinjam Mosque Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple : Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is an awe-inspiring structure that has a 100 ft high 'gopuram', built in Dravidian style.

City's historical landmark, the structure of the main building is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture.

The temple, known for the Mural paintings and stone carvings is one among the 108 temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in India. A magnificent array of gods, goddesses, nymphs, sprites and demons adorn the seven-storey 'gopuram' that forms the temple tower. Lord Vishnu, the presiding deity, reclines in the posture of 'Ananthashayanam' on the coiled serpent 'Anantha'.

In the October/November months of every year, there is held the Navarathri Festival of musical concerts at the Navarathri Mandapam, adjacent to the main building of the temple. Only Hindus are allowed inside and dress regulations are strictly followed.

Shankhumugham Beach : Just 8 km from the city, this is a favourite place of sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Trivandrum 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

Napier MuseumNapier Museum : The Napier Museum is an absolute gem of architectural exuberance, combining traditional Kerala styles with Chinese and Mughal influences. The 19th century English architect, Chisholm, gave in a few touches and ended up with a building that is guaranteed to leave an impression on your mind. The museum houses a rare collection of archeological & historic artifacts.

The interior is every bit as intriguing as the exterior with pink and bobby blue stripes alternating with stripes of yellow and cherry red, scalloped arches of a banana yellow, elaborately carved balconies, the whole, linked together with red and white lattice work and mock friezes. The collections are as varied and electric as the building and you will spend a pleasant few hours browsing through them. The museum has a unique natural air-conditioning system.

Kuthiramalika Palace Museum : This palace was built by efficient sculptors from Tanjore. Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balaram Varma, the king of Travancore who was also a great poet, musician, socialist & statesman, built this magnificent Palace.

The palace looks attractive due to its single stone carved pillars and beautifully designed roofs. On the southern portion of the palace there is a beautiful monument of 122 horses which is in position of ready to jump towards the south. Thus the palace got the name Kuthiramalika. Swords, guns etc. of olden ages are also exhibited here. 'Dantasimhasana' is the most prominent sight in this palace.Kovalam Beach

Veli Tourist Village : This picnic spot, where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea, offers boating facilities. Pedal boats 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. The place open from 0800 - 1800 hrs.

Kovalam Beach : This internationally renowned beach resort has been a favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular. Kovalam beach is at a distance of 16 km that is 1/2 hour from Trivandrum.
Read more about Kovalam Beach

Vettukad Church : The 'Madre De Deus' Church popularly known as the Vettukad Church attracts thousands of devotees from all religions. The annual celebration here is called the 'Feast Of Christ, The King'. Situated at a distance of 7 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary Anchuthengu Fort : Located 36 km. from Trivandrum. The historic remains of the fort built by the British East India Company in the 17th century and an adjoining cemetery are the noteworthy relics of this first major British trading station on the Malabar Coast.

Koyikkal Palace : Located 18 km from Trivandrum on the way to the Ponmudi hillstation and the Kuttalam waterfalls, this ancient palace that dates back to the 15th century, is famous in the history of Kerala as the official residence of Perakom Thavazhi, especially of Umayamma Rani of the Venad royal family. Here you can see a double storeyed traditional Nalukettu building with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and two museums of folklore and numismatics set up by the Department of Archaeology.

Aruvikkara : Aruvikkara is an important pilgrim centre located at a distance of 16 km. from Thiruvananthapuram. Flowing by is the Karamana River, on the banks of which, is the rock-shrine dedicated to 'Bhagvathi', the divine embodiment of Female power.

There is a waterfall nearby. The place is of a lot of tourist interest and the site of a mini dam, which supplies water to the state capital, is worth seeing. It is both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot.

AgasthyakoodamPeppara Wildlife Sanctuary : Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is 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. Peppara is a great attraction for wildlife lovers as it is rich in flora and fauna, also it is solid with hillocks, forests and eucalyptus plantations,

Agasthyakoodam : Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala, and is part of the Sahyadri range of mountains, at a height of 1890 mt above sea level. Abundance of wildlife can be seen, 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.

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