Thiruvananthapuram, the charming capital city of God’s Own Country is the best place to start Kerala tour. It is a must visit place in Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram is the centre of political activities of the state. Thiruvananthapuram is also called as the ‘Abode of Lord Anantha’.
Thiruvananthapuram also called as Trivandrum is flanked by the Arabian Sea in the West and Tamil Nadu in the East. Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala is the best place to start the visit.
Trivandrum is the perfect gateway to backwaters and beaches. Start your journey from a place where all the attractions are there and they are not far apart. You will be amused by the wonderful beaches and the serene backwaters of Trivandrum.
Trivandrum, most important historical city is a feast for the eyes. There are so many museums and palaces in Trivandrum. Trivandrum offers everything for everyone. You can't resist the charm of this wonderful city.
There is a collection of museums in Thiruvananthapuram. These museums are in a park in the North of the city. The entry charge to this museums is very less but its very entertaining and informative.
This temple city has so many magnificent sights to offer. The most defining feature of the city is the Padmanabhaswamy temple of Lord Vishnu. The panoramic view of stunning landscapes, sun kissed beaches, serene backwaters, architectural beauty of old temples and royal palaces will definitely be a wonderful experience for you all.
Thiruvananthapuram: Places to Visit & Things to Do
1. Kovalam Beach
Kovalam, an internationally renowned beach is situated just 16 km away from Thiruvananthapuram. This lovely beach is one of the most popular hangouts in the country. Kovalam is a shallow beach with three adjacent beaches.
Unlike other beaches Kovalam is unique with so many specialities. This stunning beach is surrounded by tall coconut trees. Kovalam offers you so many leisure activities. You can involve in beach sport activities like swimming or can sit back and relax the laid back attitude of this beach. Take a walk through the pillow soft sand and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the stunning sunset.
Apart from these there are so many entertainment options in Kovalam. Along the shore there are many shops and food joints. You can buy some of the beautiful handicrafts or enjoy the local delicacies in here. Kovalam has so many resorts, spas and Ayurvedic centres. Visiting Kovalam will be a pleasant experience for you.
2. Padmanabhaswamy Temple
You must have heard about this temple. This beautiful temple has created a buzz in the country with its million worth treasure. Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple situated at the heart of the city is one of the most popular attractions in Thiruvananthapuram. Constructed in Dravidian style this temple worth a visit. The temple has a seven story carved gopuram which is reflected in the sacred tank.
3. Palace Museum
Palace Museum or Puthe Maliga Palace Museum situated adjacent to the temple opened recently. This palace museum housed several wings of Travancore Maharajas palace. Thiruvananthapuram is a place famous for palace and museums.
From ancient times Thiruvananthapuram is the centre of rulers. This rulers of Travancore have made so many wonderful palaces. These palaces have an attractive collection of art and paintings.
4. Padmanabhapuram Palace
This palace has a glorious past. This palace was once the seat of Travancore rulers. This architectural beauty is 65 km away from Thiruvananthapuram. This palace complex situated inside the old granite fortress around four kilometers long have several attractive structures like Manthrasala, Thai Kottaram, Natakasala and Four storied central building etc.
The 300 year old clock in the clock tower, room filled with Chinese jars and gifts from Chinese merchants, weapons, swords, daggers, a painting gallery, brass lamps, woods, stone sculptures and many more interesting things in the palace will definitely be a different experience for all.
5. Napier Museum
Napier Museum a typical Kerala style architectural beauty has a precious collection of things. The museum houses an electric assortment of Bronzes, historical and contemporary ornaments, temple carts, Ivory carvings and figures of Kathakali dancers. This life size figures of Kathakali dancers are amazing with full costume.
6. Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum with ethnographic collection and a wooden house built in Kerala style is another wonderful museum in Thiruvananthapuram.
7. Sri Chitra Art Gallery
For those who are interested in Art and Paintings Sri Chitra Art Gallery is the perfect spot. This Art Gallery hold works of many great painters from different places.
They include paintings of Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools along with works from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali. There are many interesting modern Indian paintings. Works of Ravi Varma, Svetoslav and Nicholas Roerich made this gallery popular.
8. The Science & Technology Museum and Planetarium
The Science & Technology Museum and Planetarium is specially for school children. Children can learn about all the science inventions by an interesting method. Visiting this museum will be an informative and fun filled experience.
9. Zoological Gardens
The Zoological Gardens set among woodland, lakes, and lawns is a stunning place which worth a visit. This is one of the best designed and well maintained Zoological Park in Asia.
10. Shanmugham Beach
Shanmugam beach situated along Western side of Thiruvananthapuram city is a popular city beach near. It is near to Thiruvananthapuram airport. This beach is a refreshing destination for city people. Beach offers plenty of recreation facilities.
This is a favorite spot for sunset watchers.This beach provides excellent view of Sunset. Shanmugham beach is well known for the large sculpture of ‘Nymph’ or Jalakanyaka.
Apart from this Nymph there is other attractions too. Indoor recreation club, and a star fish shaped restaurant are favorite hang outs here. With white sandy beaches and the serene ambiance this beach is a perfect place to relax.
11. Veli Tourist Village
This beautiful tourist destination is close to Thiruvananthapuram Airport. Veli tourist village separates Veli Lagoons from Arabian Sea. There is a beautiful waterfront park in this village with floating bridge. You can enjoy various water sports in this village.
The main attraction that draws tourists to this village is the lake separated from the ocean by narrow sandbar. During Sunset you can see the mesmerising colour change of water from bluish green to orange.
Take a cruise to Veli during Sunset and enjoy this amazing sight. This will be an unforgettable experience for you. This beautiful place is famous for boating also. With stunning beauty and charm Veli tourist village stands amidst the Arabian Sea like a jewel.
If you want to relax in a cool and calm place Ponmudi is there for you with all its beauty and charm. Ponmudi, the beautiful hill station situated at a distance of 61 km from Thiruvananthapuram is a wonderful hill station with wooded paths.
Ponmudi is at an altitude of about 1000m from the sea level. The golden valleys, tea estates, and cottages in these serene hill station will be an unforgettable experience.
Ponmudi is a perfect place for for trekking and long walks. The golden valleys in here are covered with the orchids. There is a deer park in Ponmudi.
13. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
Peppara wildlife sanctuary in Thiruvananthapuram is a popular attraction among wildlife enthusiasts. This sanctuary situated at a distance of 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram spreads in an area of 53 square kilometer on Western Ghats.
The journey to this sanctuary is wonderful with the sight of hills and dense green forests. The mesmerising journey through this forests and eucalyptus plantations will be an amazing experience for all.
There is a large variety of fauna in here. This is a paradise for bird watchers with colourful attractive birds. This sanctuary offers you the sight of animals like Elephants, Sambar, Leopard and Lion tailed Macaque.
14. Thiruvananthapuram Observatory
The observatory in Thiruvananthapuram is one of the interesting thing about this city. This observatory situated on a hill near the Museum is one of the oldest of this kind in the country. The garden in front of the hill is an amazing sight with beautiful roses. Don’t miss this wonderful spot in Thiruvananthapuram.
15. Akkulam Boat Club
Akkulam boat club situated close to the city is a popular hangout among the city people. This boat club is situated just 9 km away from the city. This is a perfect place for recreation. You can enjoy boating or just laze around the natural beauty of the place. The largest children’s park in kerala is situated in here. Visiting this place will be a wonderful experience.
16. Neyyar Dam
Neyyar Dam situated just 29 km away from Trivandrum is one of the popular spot in the capital city. The natural beauty of the dam and surroundings attracts so many tourists to this place. The greenery of forests, coconut trees and the cool climate in here made this a perfect place to relax.
Neyyar Dam is a famous picnic spot and dam site. The reservoir offers you boating facilities. Enjoy boating in the serene ambiance of this dam. There is more exciting options like lion safari park and crocodile farm. Experience the beauty and closeness of nature in Neyyar Dam and make your journey a memorable experience.
Popular Places Around Thiruvananthapuram
There are so many attractive places scattered around Thiruvananthapuram. Some of the places which worth a visit are Neyyattinkara with the famous Sree Krishna Temple, Aruvikkara Vaishnav Devi Temple, Kanyakumari etc.
Shopping in Trivandrum
Shopping in Thiruvananthapuram is an unavoidable indulgence. There are so many places for shopping. The main shopping centre is the Connemara market which is famous for local spices and clothes in a cheaper rate.
For variety of pooja items, books, conches, brass lamps, rosewood and handicrafts made of sandalwood shop outside the east gate of the temple.
For handicrafts you can also shop in Soorya Kiran Handicrafts, Chandra Handicrafts, Kairali Handicrafts and Karalkada. For coffee and fragrant tea leaves and varieties of nuts, Sankers Coffee and Tea on MG Road is the perfect place.
Where To Stay in Thiruvananthapuram
The capital has many options ranging from budget to luxury. Some of the best staying options in Thiruvananthapuram are The South Park, The Muthoot Plaza, Hotel Residency Tower, Hotel Saj Lucia Continental, Hotel Mascot, Comfort Inn Grand, Hotel Pankaj and Hotel Highland Park.
Also check Hotel Blue Nest, Arya Nivas, Oasis Hotel, YWCA International Guesthouse, Jas Hotel, Hotel Regency, Hotel Chaithram, Hotel Thamburu International, Graceful Homestay, Ambadi Guest House, Gouri Home Stay etc.
Places to Eat in Thiruvananthapuram
The capital has a wide range of vegetarian and multi cuisine hotels. Some of the best restaurants to dine in Thiruvananthapuram are Indian Coffee House, Hotel Aryas, Mamma Mia, Sree Padmanabha Hotel, Bhadra Hotel and Hotel Annapoorna.
Others best hotels include Arya Nivas, Swagath Vegetarian Restaurant, Buddha’s Delight, Dragon Court in Jas Hotel with both Veg and Non veg Chinese food, The Regency, Amritha Hotel, etc.