Thiruvananthapuram (formerly, Trivandrum), the capital of the Indian state of Kerala, lies on the southwest coast of India. The place is well connected to most of the other major cities of India through rail, road, and air network. The city derives its name from Thiru Anantha Puram, which means the town of Anantha. In fact, Anantha is the deity at the Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswami Temple, a major landmark of the city believed to be several thousands years old. Legend has it that traders came to Thiruvananthapuram as far back as AD 190 for spices, sandalwood, and ivory. It was in the 18th century that Thiruvananthapuram shot into prominence when the erstwhile kings of the then Travancore state shifted their capital from Padmanabhapuram to Thiruvananthapuram. After India’s independence, the city was made the capital of Kerala. The city’s proximity to the sea gives it a pleasant climate throughout the year though the summers can turn a bit hot with the maximum temperature at times going up to 36.2°C. The monsoon here lasts from May to November.
Sri Padmanabhaswamy TempleSpread over an area of 2,400 sq. metres, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is believed to be over 260 years old. The temple with its gopuram (tower) towering majestically is believed to be among the 108 shrines sacred to the Vaishnav in India. The main entranceof the temple is through the eastern gopuram which towers to over 30 metres and is built in the Dravidian style. Padmanabha (an incarnation of Vishnu) the deity of the temple reclines on a sacred serpent in the inner sanctum. The main sanctum sanctorum inside the temple is well safeguarded with a number of massive doors and one can have the darshan (audience) through one the three-door openings into the sanctum sanctorum.
Napier MuseumDating back to 1880, the Napier Museum building combines the Mughal, Kerala, Chinese and Italian architectural styles. The building has a natural air-conditioning system. The museum offer glimpses of Kerala’s rich cultural heritage. The museum showcases an excellent collection of bronzes historic ornaments, ivory carvings and chariots, and life-size figurines of the Kathakali dancers in full costume.
The Sri Chitra Art GalleryThe Sri Chitra Art Gallery displays paintings from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art. Besides these, the gallery houses some rare collection of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, Svetoslav and Nicholas Roerich. An Oriental collection of paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali are a visual treat to the visitor.
Zoo at TrivendramThe spacious zoological garden at Trivandrum is set amidst the pleasant surroundings of woodlands and lakes. It provides delightful shaded walks for the visitors. The zoo also has wide variety of the animals and birds. The Reptile House has snakes worth seeing. The nearby botanical gardens offer a large number of trees which can be identified by their labels.
ObservatoryThe Government Observatory, located on a hill, is opposite to the the Kanakakunnu Palace. It is an interesting place worth a visit. The terrace offers you a fascinating view.
Science & Technology MuseumLocated in the centre of the city, the Science and Technology Museum showcase interactive displays and scores of other items highlighting the science, technology and electronics. Near the museum lies a planetarium. The planetarium offers a daily 40-minute show that provides a panoramic experience of the universe.
shanghumugham BeachHeadquarters of Southern Naval Command of India, Willingdon is manmade island having a seaport, railway terminus, airport, and a customs house. The regular ferry services on the lake around the island offers inexpensive backwater cruise. The island gets its name from Lord Willingdon, a British Viceroy to India. Some of the city’s best customs and trading centres and hotels are located here.