Thiruvananthapuram Tourist Guide, Hotels, Road Maps & Climate
Thiruvananthapuram, also known as Trivandrum, is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala and is located on the west coast of India near the extreme south of the mainland. Often referred to as the "Evergreen city of India", the city is famous for its terrain of low coastal hills and busy commercial alleys. Thiruvananthapuram means "City of Lord Anantha" in Sanskrit and Malayalam. The name derives from the deity of the Hindu temple at the centre of the city. Anantha is the serpent Shesha on whom Padmanabhan or Vishnu reclines. The temple of Vishnu reclining on Anantha, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple remains the iconic landmark of the city.
Thiruvananthapuram is ranked first in the number of foreign tourists visiting Kerala. It is also a major destination for chartered flights to India for Medical tourism, as there are more than fifty recognised Ayurveda centres in and around the city. This is primarily due to Ayurveda's immense popularity in the West. Medical tourism is further promoted by the recuperation facilities available at the beach resorts and hill stations nearby.
Apart from being the political nerve centre of Kerala, it is also a major academic hub and is home to several educational institutions including the University of Kerala, and to many science and technology institutions, the most prominent being the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Technopark and IIST. Trivandrum remains one of india's most literate and socially developed cities. (Under wikipedia GNU)
Tourist Spots in Thiruvananthapuram:
* Agastyakoodam: About 1869 meters above sea level, Agastyakoodam is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. The place is also noted for its abundant ayurvedic herbs.
* Akkulam: a beautiful picnic spots, in Trivandrum city, the spot is developed on the banks of Akulam Lake, which is an extension of the Veli Lake. The calm and serene atmosphere and its unique natural beauty are a fascination for tourists. The Boat Club, which started functioning in 1989, now operates speed, safari, pedal and row boats from Akkulam to Veli Tourist Village. A traditional style Kettuvallom is also available for overnight stay. The swimming pool at Akkulam is equipped with glider and other playing facilities. The Children’s Park is a unique amusement spot and has several new rides that have ben included recently. The newly commissioned musical fountain is an added attraction.
* Anchuthengu: Situated 40 km north of Trivandrum city, along the sea coast, Anchuthengu is a place of historic importance as the first settlement of the British East India Company was established here in 1864 A.D.. There is an ancient christian church in Mampally in the name of Holy Spirit and it was built in 15th century by St. Francis Xavier.
* Aruvikkara: Sixteen km north of Trivandrum city, gifted with lavish scenic beauty is the Aruvikkara. Trivandrum city gets its water supply from the Aruvikkara reservoir. There is an ancient temple dedicated to Durga, on the banks of the river.
* Aruvippuram: The place is about seven km from Neyyattinkara and There is a small waterfall here. A Siva temple founded by Sree Narayana Guru attracts a large number of worshippers during the Sivarathri festival. It is a beautiful spot for holiday seekers.
* Meenmutti and Kombaikani Waterfalls: two magnificent waterfalls on the upper reaches of the Neyyar reservoir. A trek of two kilometers, through dense forests, would take one to Meenmutty Falls, Thiruvananthapuram and a further two km, to the Kombaikani waterfalls.
* Neyyar Dam: located across the Neyyar river flowing south of Trivandrum, this catchment area offers facilities for boating and mountaineering. A three-hour climb over the hills across the reservoir affords the thrill of hiking. There are two beautiful waterfalls on the way. A Lion Safari Park and a Crocodile Rearing Centre have also been set up in the reservoir. Also on the lake is the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram.
* Neyyattinkara: an ancient town, situated about 20 km south-east of Trivandrum city, The Sree Krishna Swami temple, is of historical importance.
* Peppara: The sanctuary here, with its rich mammalian fauna and avis is emerging as a big attraction to wild life enthusiasts and ornithologists. Elephants, sambars, leopards, lion-tailed macaques and cormorants are commonly seen here.
* Ponmudi: A pleasant resort with an elevation of 912 m above sea level, Ponmudi is reached by road from Thiruvananthapuram. There are several tea and rubber estates around the hills. Ponmudi is fast developing as a hill resort with room and dormitory accommodation facilities, hill-trails for hiking, a collection of flowering trees and a deer park. Ponmudi is 61 km from Trivandrum city.
* Sarkara: It has a famous temple which is dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi. A grand festival, Sarkara Bharani, is conducted in this temple during March-April.
* Sarkaradevi Temple is one of the most important temples in South India. Its main deity is Bhadrakali and the very famous Kaliyoot festival is organised here.
* Varkala: Forty one km north of Trivandrum city by rail and 51 km by road, Varkala is a pilgrim centre. The cliffs and mineral water springs at the Papanasam beach are worth a visit. The Janardhana Swamy Temple here attracts many devotees.
* Kanyakumari, the end point of India via land routes, is only 87 km from Thiruvananthapuram.
Tourist Spots in Trivandrum City:
* Kovalam Beach: This international beach, 12 km south of Trivandrum city, is one of the finest and magnificient beaches in India. The views are just amazing and a high rocky promontory jutting into the sea has created a beautiful bay of calm waters for sea bathing. Kovalam has been developed as an integrated seaside resort which includes a string of cottages, the Halcyon castle, a shopping area, swimming pools, yoga centre, facilities for medicinal oil bath and massage and a Convention Centre with 1000 delegate capacity.
* Museum and Zoo: The Napier Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Reptile House and the Shri Chitra Art Gallery are all within the Zoo complex amidst a well laid-out garden and park. There is a lake and a boat club jointly operated by the Department of Museums and Zoos and the District Tourism Promotion Council. The zoo offers a rare opportunity for the visitors to experience an unparalleled, picturesque and panoramic sylvan landscape with a wide range of animal collections. The Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Manipur deer, Indian Rhino, Asiatic Lion and the Royal Bengal Tiger are prominent among the indigenous endangered fauna, while Giraffe, Hippo, Zebra and Cape buffalo are guests from the African region.
* Shanghumugham Beach: noted for its cleanliness, this beach is very near to the International Airport and is easily accessible from the Kovalam Beach, Veli Tourist Village and Akkulam Tourist Village. The vast stretch of white sand and the serene atmosphere, away from the crowd in the city, provides all the ingredients for relaxation.
* Thiruvallam: There is an ancient temple here on the banks of the Karamana River, which is dedicated to the Trimurthis of the Hindu pantheon. A shrine of Parasurama, built entirely of granite is found in this temple.
* Veli Lagoon: On the outskirts of Kerala’s capital city, by the side of the placid waters of Veli lake, the Tourist Village and Boat Club attracts the city people and tourists. Veli, developed as a major tourist spot by providing facilities for pedal-boating, row boating, swimming, get together, etc. is just the right place for an exciting outing. The Youth Hostel at Veli which is hardly three km, from the international airport, provides inexpensive dormitory type accommodation.
Within the city, city buses, taxis and autorickshaws provide means of transportation. The intra-city public transport is dominated by the state-owned KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation). There are also private bus services, but are limited in number. The city services of KSRTC operate from six depots namely, the City depot, Vikas Bhavan, Peroorkada, Pappanamcode, Kaniyapuram and Vellanad.
The Central railway station is also located at Thampanoor in the heart of the city, 8 km from the airport. It is a very important terminus which handles over 50 trains daily. The city is well connected by rail to almost all major cities in India. Thiruvananthapuram is the first major city from south along the second longest train route in the world, Kanyakumari to Jammu.
Thiruvananthapuram's International Airport, with direct flights from the Middle East, Singapore, Maldives and Sri Lanka is the gateway to the tourism-rich state of Kerala. Apart from regular scheduled flights, many chartered flights from Europe land here during the peak tourist season (around December).
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