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Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala and its largest city. It is the city of Sri Vishnu, the god of preservation, who lies on the multi headed Anatha Naag as Padmanabha Swamy. The city is founded on seven hills and is the hub of politics with the state secretariat lying in the centre. The verdant and sylvan landscapes of the area had motivated Mahatma Gandhi to name it ‘The Evergreen City of India’.


There is no dearth of interesting places in Trivandrum. The rich history of the area coupled with the unwavering faith of royal Travancore family members in Swami Padmanabha has made it the ultimate destination for devout Hindus. Scientific advances are also visible from the numerous temples of science that have been set up since independence.


Scientific footprints

In the early 1960s, Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station was set up to capitalize on the strategic location of the area which was conducive to propel rockets in space. This generated tremendous interest for rocket science in local youths and space researchers took to the local shores to explore more. Soon, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and offshoots of ISRO or Indian Space Research Organization became operative. Techno Park dedicated to IT is the first of its kind in India. About 35,000 skilled people are employed here and taking innovation to the next level.


Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The temple made its way to the national and international headlines after a sea of wealth was discovered here. Experts believe that if all the treasures, unearthed and untouched in sealed chambers, are counted, the same would exceed the collective GDP of many nations. Travancore kings considered themselves as Dasas or servants of Sri Vishnu. Beneath the temple, hordes of gold, silver and precious jewels were found in vaults. The architectural brilliance and splendour of the temple defies the imagination of even ace designers. The ornate Gopuram or monumental tower on the east is an example of Dravida architecture from Pandya period. The seven stories of the tower have seven golden domes atop them. The eighty feet teak wood flag post is mantled with golden leaves. The corridor was constructed in six months by a fleet of 10000 people. The monolith granite pillars have been intricately carved. Inside the sanctum sanctorum is the reclining statue of Sri Padmanabha Swami. Thiruvambadi Sree Krishnaswamy Temple is located inside the main campus. Kovalam Beach

Kerala’s most famous beach endears itself to the tourists with long coastline fringed with swaying palms, aquamarine water, lighthouse of the yore and the picturesque views of the horizon where the water seems to merge with the sky. A plethora of water sports like catamaran rides, beach cycling and snorkelling can be enjoyed. The beach is truly a paradise for sunbathers. The sight of the mesmerizing hues of the sky beckoning the sea waters below is unparalleled.

Agasthyakoodam

Agastya, the great sage and one of the Saptarishis as per the sacred scriptures, is the eponym for this place. The hill station is also known as Agastya Mala. On the hill slopes, a number of rare herbs with high medicinal value are reared or found. Bird enthusiasts can watch diverse array of birds from here. The place is rich in exotic flora and fauna. The hill peak is the second highest in the state. River Karamana emanates from here and is the source of Trivandrum’s water needs.

Poovar Island

The picturesque Poovar village is located on Trivandrum’s southern tip. The village was formed centuries ago to serve as a vital trading centre. Presently, the irresistible beauty of the place attributable to the backwaters is the major source of attraction for tourists. The island is far away from the hustle and bustle of the fast paced city and serves as the perfect retreat for people who wish to spend a few moments of peace communing with nature.

Ponmudi

The hill station is located in close proximity to Trivandrum city. The scenic beauty of the place bolstered by rich flora and fauna makes it’s an ideal getaway. The trails carved along the slope are any bushwalker’s delight. The slope of Ponmudi vibrates with its own energy and entices tourists with verdant landscaping. The beautiful blossoms, captivating butterflies and meandering rivulets will leave you awe-struck. The deer park in close vicinity is worth visiting.

Shanghumukham Beach

The idyllic beach resplendent with the shine emitted by the golden beach sand is situated to the west of Trivandrum. The serenity of the beach is heightened by silky soft silvery sand, tranquil waters and the vibrant hues of the sky. Visitors can awe at the 35 meters long beautiful sculpture of mermaid or jalakanya sculpted at the sea shore. Delicious, lip-smacking marine dishes are available on the eateries along the beach

Neyyer Dam

The dam is constructed across the Neyyer river. The river emanates from Agasthyakoodam and falls in Arabian Sea after crossing Poovar. The dam is located in the picturesque locale of Western Ghats. The lake where the dam water is stored is a famous picnic spot. You can trek along the bushwalker’s trail marked along the slopes of Western Ghats or enjoy boating over the lake’s tranquil waters.

Napier Museum

Lord Francis Napier, erstwhile British Governor, is the eponym for this museum. It must feature on the list of must-visits in Trivandrum. Inside the museum, you will come across an astonishing collection of rare artefacts like vintage musical instruments, beautiful carvings in ivory, bronze items and other valuables. The architectural design of the museum itself will leave you wonder struck. The Zoological Gardens within the museum is the house to a number of exotic animals. It also has earned the distinction of being one of the well-organized zoos across Asia. A number of tropical trees can be seen from close quarters in the adjoining Botanical Garden.

Varkala Beach

The beach is popular among tourists. However, the beach does not experience heavy tourist inflow as its counterpart Kovalam beach. From the beach, you can catch glimpses of the spellbinding views of the Arabian Sea. The beach is located under a promontory. There is a temple in close proximity to the beach and people with a bent for spiritualism will derive defining pleasure over here. Another beach in the vicinity of the main beach is Black Beach which derives its name from the black sands scattered along the coastline. It is a quite beach.

Veli Village

This is a tourist village developed for visitors who wish to have a firsthand experience of the captivating views of the Arabian Sea’s confluence with the Veli Lake. The village experiences heavy rush of tourists during the weekend. A floating wooden bridge serves as the connecting link between the Veli beach and Veli village. The bridge has to be traversed on foot only. You can savour the panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding areas by availing the boating facilities. Trivandrum offers a plethora of attractions for tourists tempted by the tagline of Kerala being ‘God’s own country’. The climate is balmy all through the year. There is no dearth of lodging facilities across the district for tourists.

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