Thivuvananthapuram Travel, Hotels, Beaches
Thiruvananthapuram India is Kerala's capital. It is situated in the southern tip of the State. The city is widely and more commonly known as Trivandrum.
It is a city that shies away from being a city. City is spread out over low seven hills. City has red-tiled houses in its winding streets. Trivandrum is surrounded with green paddy fields and coconut plantations, with blue of the Arabian Sea in the west.
Thiruvananthapuram, India is a tranquil, clean, planned and charming city. The city is all about lovely tree-lined avenues and crimson sunsets by the sea.
Information about Thiruvananthapuram India
Trivandrum is not exactly chockfull of tourist attractions. Thiruvananthapuram, India is an important city not simply because it happens to be the capital. The city's airport and railway station are among the Kerala's top gateways to the state.
Kovalam Beach, Varkala Beach, Ponmudi hillstation and Kanyakumari are the attractions near Trivandrum. These attractions make Trivandrum a must visit for travellers.
Kerala Tourism maintains information counters at the airport and KSRTC Thampanoor bus stand.
Things to See in Thiruvananthapuram India
Trivandrum does not have much historic monuments and must see attractions. But there is enough here to interest most travellers. The city has its fare share of parks and gardens, temples and a few museums. So the city holds enough of interest to fill a day.
Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple
The city's most defining feature is the Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is canopied by the hooded serpent Anantha.
It was at the altar of this temple that Marthanda Varma (1729-1758) dedicated his kingdom to the lord and ruled as a dasa or slave. Marthanda Varma is the ruler who made Travancore a powerful political entity.
The temple is built in the traditional Dravidian style of architecture. The Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple is open to only Hindus. Its home to a 6m long statue of the Lord Vishnu lie back on Anantha, the thousand headed serpent.
Putten Malika Palace
One of Trivandrum's main attractions also known as Kuthira Malika Palace.
The splendid Putten Malika is a treat for anyone keen on art and culture. It boasts of truly marvellous architecture. The palace holds an excellent collection of family heirlooms of the Travancore royalty.
Part of the palace is open to the public. Visitors can go on tour of the rooms. You can see the glossily polished plaster floors and carved wooden screens.
The museum section of the palace has many attractions. There you see weapons, murals and a large crystal throne originally gifted by the Dutch.
CVN Kalari Sangam
Kerala's most famous kalarippayat gymnasium stands around 500 metre southeast of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple.
Kalaripayattu is a traditional form of self-defence that combines elements of ayurveda with dance. The kalari is housed in a modest red-brick building.
It was founded in 1956 by C V Narayanan Nair, one of the legendry figures credited for the martial art's revival.
You can watch fighting exercises and you may attend the courses. Traditional kalari massage is also on offer. You have to consult the gym's expert ayurveda doctors.
The Margi School
Trivandrum has for centuries been a major centre of Kerala classical arts. The Margi Theatre School is region's oldest ritual theatre. The theatre is situated at the corner of the Fort area.
The reason most visitors venture out here is to watch one of the authentic kathakali or kudiyattam performances staged in a small theatre.
The Napier Museum
The museum is named after the then the British Governor of Madras, Lord Francis Napier. The Napier Museum is also called Government Art Museum.
Museum is a welcome refuge from the noise and heat of the city. Some visitors may find the exteriors of the museum more interesting.
Medieval Chola and Vijayanagar bronzes are the highlights of the exhibition. You can also see fifteenth-century Kerala woodcarving, ivory work and a temple chariot.
North of the Napier Museum, the spectacular rain trees of the former royal botanical garden shade the city's famous Zoo. Its collection of animals, covering 75 species from the Subcontinent and beyond.
Sri Chitra Art Gallery
Sri Chitra Art Gallery is housed in a traditional Kerala building, a fine example of authentic Travancore architecture.
The gallery has an excellent collection of art. The collection include works from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali. But majority of them are the Rajput, Tanjore, Bengal and Mughal school of art.
There are paintings of the Russian Artist Nicholas Roerich. The gallery has a special section devoted to the art of Raja Ravi Varma.
8km west of city centre, you can walk along the sands of Sahnkumukham beach and watch the sun set. Sunday evenings are crowded in the beach.
Shopping in Thiruvananthapuram India
The prime shopping district in Trivandrum is MG Road. There are a number of shopping complexes and smaller stores selling everything from local spices to handicrafts.
For a more unusual selection of handicrafts and antiques check out Soorya Kiran Handicrafts, Chandana Handicrafts and Handicrafts Centre on MG road.
Kairali Handicrafts near Statue Junction and Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan closer to Ayurveda College, sell straw bags and mats.
For handicrafts you can also try SMSM Handicraft Emporium on YWCA Road and Natesan's Antique Arts on MG Road.
DC Books, on Statue Road is the city's best bookstore.
Where to Stay (Hotels of Thirvananthapuram India)
The capital offers wide range of hotels. There are many luxury options to budget hotels. Homestays are also available in the city.
For those visiting the temples in and around the city, it is easiest to stay at any of the many reasonably priced hotels near the railway station and the Thampanoor bus stand.
Always book ahead and reconfirm the day before checking in.