General Information & Accomdation info on Thiruvananthapuram city of Kerala - India   Encyclopedia of Tours and Travel to Kerala, featuring information on Fairs & Festivals, Wildlife, Excursion, Adventure And Weather of Kerala.
 
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Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram

Excursion | Museum Complex | Short Tours | Getting There | Weather
Thiruvananthapuram

Thiruvananthapuram, formerly known as Trivandrum is gateway to one of the most beautiful Indian states, Kerala.

Stretching along the southern coast of the country, with the Backwaters reaching deep into the verdant countryside, Kerala affords a fascinating experience. The city of the Thousand - headed Anatha, the holy serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines.

Thiruvananthapuram is one of the most beautiful cities of India. Perched on undulating terrain of low coastal hills near the southern edge of the Indian mainland, clean and green Thiruvananthapuram, which was previously called Trivandrum, is an ancient city with trading tradition dateing back to 1000 BC.

The city once formed a part of the capital of Travancore, which had its capital at Padmanabhapuram, now in Tamilnadu.The city is also a welcome departure from other large cities of India in its spacious layout and regulated life.

It is also an excellent base to explore the interiors of Kerala, the southernmost region of India, and from Kochi, the Lakshadweep Islands. The city offers all modern facilities needed by a visitor and is a centre for cultural activities.

Excursion
Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple
The ancient temple is the most dominating feature of Thiruvananthapuram. Overlooking the Padma Theertham Tank. The temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu who is depicted reclining on Sri Anantha, the hooded snake from which the city derives its name.

Exquisite stone carvings and pavilions are worth admiring. The temple is open only to Hindus and dress regulations are strictly enforced.

Vettukad Church (7 kms from Thiruvananthapuram)
The 'Madre De Deus' Church popularly known as the Vettukad Church attracts thousands of devotees from all religions. The annual celebration here is called the 'Feast Of Christ, The King'.

Sankhumugham Beach
The long stretch of clean sand is located near the airport. The water there, however, is suitable for bathing.

Kovalam Beach
Kovalam beach is only 16 km. away from the city. This unique and uncluttered beach of silvery sands fringed with rows of tall palms, a sheltered bay provides a wide choice of water sports.

Veli Tourist Village
A large recreational centre located near the airport along a sheltered lagoon offers landscaped gardens and water-sports facilities. It is a popular picnic spot. Accommodation facilities are available in the youth hostel.

AruvikkaraAruvikkara
16 km. It is both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot, with a waterfall nearby. On the banks of the Karamana River, the spot houses a temple, where a rock cut shrine is dedicated to Goddess Bhagvathy, the divine embodiment of female power. A stream with fishes, which come up to be fed by visitors, is another attraction.

Beema Palli (5 kms south of Thiruvananthapuram)
An important Muslim pilgrim centre, it is dedicated to Beema Beevi, a pious Muslim lady believed to have possessed divine powers. Devotees of all faiths visit the mosque.

Vizhinjam
Near Kovalam, it's a fishing port, which is also important for an ongoing pioneer project to generate electricity from wave energy.

Public Park
Truly a representative of the clean and verdant aspect of the city, the Public Park houses many important institutions, like the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. The observatory on the Observatory hill is also located in the Public Park.

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Museum Complex
The Napier MuseumThe Napier Museum
(Open 1000 - 1645 hrs. Closed on Mondays, Wednesday forenoons, Jaunary 26th, August 15th, Thimvonam and Mahanavami) Built in the 19th centum this Indo - Saracenic structure boasts a natural air conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The use of plastic is banned in the museum premises. Ph: 2318294

Sree Chithra Art Gallery
(Open 1000 - 1645 hrs. Closed on Mondays dr Wednesday forenoons) Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays select paintings ofRaja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Raiput, Mughal andTanjore schools of art in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Ball.
Entrance fee (Museum and Art Gallery):
Adults: Rs. 5
Children: Rs. 3

The Zoological Park:
(Open 0900 - 1815hrs. Closed on Mondays) One of the first zoos in India, it is located in a well-planned botanical garden. With huge trees like frangipani and jacaranda dotting the sprawling lawns and wild fowl swimming in the lake, it is like a small jungle in the heart of the city. A reptile house with different species of snakes is also located in the premises.
Entrance fee:
Adults: Rs. 5
Children: Rs. 3 Camera permit: Rs. 15

The Kanakakunnu Palace
The palace and its sprawling grounds are today the venue for many cultural meets and programmes. Ph: 2314613

Science and Technology Museum Complex
(Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays)
The exhibits here are related to science, technology and electronics. Ph: 2306976
Entrance fee:
Adults: Rs. 10
Children: Rs. 5

Priyadarshini Planetarium
{Show time: 1030, 1200, 1500 and 1700 hrs)
Entrance fee:
Adults: Rs. 15
Children between 3 to 10 years: Rs. 10

Biotechnology Museum
Entrance fee:
Adults: Rs. 10
Children: Rs. 5

Chacha Nehru Children's Museum
(Open 1030 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays):
Children of all age groups will enjoy the vast collection of nearly 2000 dolls, stamps and masks displayed here. Ph: 2324939 Observatory: Located at the highest point in the city, near the Museum complex 60 metres above sea level, one can have a bird's eye view of the city from here.

Secretariat
Built in the Roman architectural style, this is the centre of government administration in Kerala and houses the offices of ministers and the bureaucracy.

Kerala Legislature Complex
Located at Palayam, this is the new building where the Legislative Assembly of Kerala meets. With its towering dome, exquisitely carved galleries, ornate teak panelling and ceiling, combined with the most modern acoustic treatment and state-of-the-art sound systems, the hall is a beautiful blend of classical grandeur and modernity.

Shankhumugham BeachShankhumugham Beach
Just 8 km from the city, this is a favourite Raunt of sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and Veli Tourist Village. An indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic, 35 rn long sculpture of a mermaid) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish are some of the attractions here. Chacha Nehru Traffic Training Park here provides opportunity for children to learn the traffic rules.

Veli Tourist Village
(Open 0800 - 1800 hrs)
This picnic spot, where the Veli Lake meets the Arabian Sea, offers boating facilities. Pedalboats and paddleboats can be hired to explore the charms of the lagoon in a leisurely manner. For a quick ride over the waters, speedboats are available for hire. Children enjoy climbing over the huge sculptures which dot the landscape. Ph:2500783. Veliyouthhostel Ph:1501230 Boatretals(1000-1730 hrs):
Safari boat: Rs. 15 per head
Speedboat: Rs. 130
Pedalboat: 4 seater - Rs. 30 for half an hour; 2 seater - Rs. 40 for half an hour.

Akkulam Tourist Village
(Open 1000 - 1900 hrs)
A picnic spot with boating facilities, Akkulam is a place children flock to. It has a well equipped children's park and a paddle pool. There is a swimming pool for adults too. Ph: 2443043 Boat rentals: (Open 1000 -1830 hrs)
Safari boat: Rs. 250 for 21 people
Pedal boat: Rs. 60 for four persons Rowboat Rs.40

Entrance Fee :
Children's park (Open 1000- 1930hrs): Adults: Rs. 5; Children: Rs. 3
Swimming pool (Open 0600- 1830 hrs): Adults: Rs. 20; Children: Rs. 10 Swimming suit compulsory.

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Short Tours From Thiruvananthapuram City

Kovalam Beach (16 km -1/2 hour)'.
This internationally renowned beach has been a
favourite haunt of tourists since the 1930s. Kovalam consists of three adjacent crescent beaches. The southernmost, known as the Lighthouse Beach, is the most popular. Kovalam offers accommodation options to suit all budgets.

ThiruvallamThiruvallam (10 km)'.
This serene backwater stretch, enroute to Kovalafn, is famous for its canoe rides. For details contact:
Tour India, Thiruvananthapuram - Ph: 2331507'
Karuvayal Tours Ph: 2380974'
Golden Tours Ph: 2381151

Parasurama Temple, Thiruvallam (7 km):
This 2000 year old temple on the bank of river
Karamana, is the only one in Kerala dedicated to Sree Parasurama, the mythological creator of Kerala. This temple is a venue for ancestor worship. As part of the Ball ritual, devotees make offerings to the souls of the dear departed, after taking a dip in the holy water.

Anivikkara Dam (16km - 1/2 hour):
This picturesque picnic spot is on the banks of the Karamana River. Near the Durga Temple here is a stream full offish that fearlessly come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors.

The Great Kovalam Poets:
Ancient Kovalam Poets Ayyippilla Assan and Ayyanappilla Assan were the authors of the Great Epics, Janakeeya Maha Kaviangal RamakntlSnn Pattn and Bhamthampattu respectively. They lived in Kovalam, near the Light House Beach, Avaduthura in 1400 A.D. The monument is protected by the Kerala Govt. Archaeological Department.

Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave Temple (17 km - 1/2 hour):
There are rock cut sculptures of the 18th century in the cave temple at Vizhinjam. The granite cave here encloses a one-celled shrine with a loose sculpture ofVinandhara Dakshinamurthi. The outer wall of the cave depicts half complete reliefs of the Hindu God Shiva with Goddess Parvathi.

Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium (Open 0900 - 1730 hrs):
Fees adult 6/- and children 4/- Ph: 2480224

Koyikkal PalaceKoyikkal Palace, Nedumangad (18 km - V hour):
Located on the way to the Ponmudi Hill Station and the Courtallam waterfalls, this ancient palace dates back to the 13th century. Here you can see a double storeyed traditional Nalukettu building with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and museums of folklore and numismatics set up by the Department of Archaeology.

The Folklore Museum set up in 1992 is a treasure house of quaint musical instruments, occupational implements, household utensils, models of folk arts etc. Displayed in th Koyikkal Palace, they focus attention on the cultural background of the State.

The Numismatics Museum houses rare and historically valuable coins denoting the trade relations of the State.

Sree Mahadeva Temple:
Situated in Kazhakuttom, this ancient temple is believed t date back to the 14th century. Another old temple in the district is the Mitranandapuram Temple on the outskirts of the city.

Neyyar Dam (32 km - 1 hour):
A popular picnic spot, Neyyar Dam has a watch tower, crocodile farm, lion safari park and deer park. Boating facilities are available at the reservoir.

Varkala (40 km- 1/2 hours):
Varkala is a seaside resort and spa. It is also an important Hindu centre of pilgrimage. The final resting place of the great social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru, is near Varkala, atop a hill called Sivagiri. High cliffs with mineral springs rise majestically from the coastline. According to a myth, sage Narada was approached by a group of mendicants who confessed to having sinned. Narada threw his valkkalam (cloth made of the bark of a tree) into the air, and the place where it landed was subsequently named Varkala. The mendicants were directed by Narada to offer their prayers in the newly created place by the seashore. The place where they prayed for redemption, came to be known as the Papanasham Beach {Papanasham means redemption from sins). The 2000 year old SreeJanardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Cure Centre are the two main attractions here. A century old tunnel is another attraction.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary (50 km from Thiruvananthapuram):
This sanctuary spread over 33 sq. km on the Western Ghats, is accessible from Vithurai, which is on the way to Ponmudi. With its rich flora and fauna, Peppara, dotted with hillocks, forests and eucalyptus plantations, is emerging as a great attraction for wildlife enthusiasts.

PonmudiPonmudi (61 km- 2 1/2 hours):
An idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding
pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi is located 913 met~s above sea level. Along with a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, exotic butterflies, small rivulets, springs and the deer park nearby, this hill station also has excellent trekking trails. Food: KTDC restauran.
Accommodation: Govt. Guesthouse: Cottages and rooms Rs. 230 - 600 Dormitory: Rs. 800
For reservations contact: The Secretary, General Administration Department (Political), Govt. Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram.

Padmanabhapuram Palace (52 km-2'/ hours. Open 0900 - 1300 hrs; 1400 - 1600 hrs. Closed on Mondays):
The seat of the erstwhile rulers ofTravancore, this splendid palace is situated at Thuckalai, on the way to Kanyakumari. This is a well preserved wooden palace, a glorious testimony to the traditional Kerala school of architecture. The extraordinary murals, exquisite floral carvings and the black glossy granite floor have withstood the test of time.
Entrance fee:
Adults: Rs. 10
Children below 10: Rs. 2
Camera Rs. 25
Video Rs. 1200. Ph: 04631-230255

Agasthyakoodam:
Part of the Sahyadri range of mountains, Agasthyakoodam is the second highest peak in Kerala, at a height of 1890 metres above sea level. Teeming with wildlife, the forests of Agasthyakoodam abound in rare medicinal herbs and plants and brilliantly hued orchids. A bird watcher's paradise, this legendary mountain is accessible by foot from Kotoor, near Neyyar Dam, as also from Bonacaud. The season from December to April is advocated for trekking, for which a forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, PTP Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram.

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Getting There

By Air
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (6 km from the city) has over 30 air links with convenient connections to Colombo, Maldives and the Middle East. Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate domestic flights to different parts of the country.

Airline offices:

  • Airport Authority of India Ph: 2501424
  • Indian Airlines, Mascot Jn. Ph: 2316870 2301537
  • Jet Airways, Sasthamangalam Ph: 2721018
  • Jet Airways (airport) Ph: 2500860
  • Air India, Palayam Ph: 2310310 2501426
  • Srilankan Airlines Ph:2471810
  • Gulf Air, Vellayambalam Ph: 2728003 2501206
  • British Airways, Vella;vambaam Ph: 2726604
  • Oman Airways, Sasthamangalam Ph: 2728950
  • Kuwait Airways, Vellayambalam Ph: 2721668
  • KLM, MG Road Ph: 2462237 2463531
  • Aeroflot Ph: 2720091
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Ph: 2721321
  • Alitalia Ph: 2571501
  • Silk Air Ph: 2314142 2314l4l
  • Qatar Airlines Ph: 2337847

By Rail
There are direct trains from Thiruvananthapuram to all the main towns in Kerala as well as the major cities in India. Railway enquiry Ph: 131

By Road
Long distance buses operate from the Central Bus Station atThampanoor, opposite the Railway Station (KSRTC Ph: 2323886; Thiruvalluvar Ph: 2327756).

Short distance buses operate from the City Bus Station, East Fort (Ph: 2463029).
Taxi charge: Rs. 6.00 per running km (Non A/c) and Rs. 7.50 per running km (A/c),
while Autorickshaw fare: Rs. 7 per running km.

The minimum charge for taxis is Rs. 100 (Non A/c) and
Rs. 130 (A/c) and Rs. 7 for autorickshaws.

Tourist information offices:

  • Tourist Facilitation Centre, Department of Tourism, Park View Ph: 2321132
  • Tourist Information Centre, Railway Station, Thampanoor Ph: 2334470
  • Tourist Information Centre, KSRTC Central Bus Station, Thampanoor Ph: 2327224
  • Tourist Information Centre, Domestic Airport Ph: 2501085
  • Tourist Information Centre, International Airport
    Ph: 2502298
  • Tourist Facilitation Centre, Kovalam
    Ph: 2480083
  • Tourist Reception Centre (KTDC), Thampanoor
    Ph: 2330031
  • Central Reservations (KTDC ), Hotel Mascot
    Ph: 2316736
  • District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Vellayambalam Ph: 2313397 Fax: 2313606

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Weather
The climate of Thiruvananthapuram like the rest of Kerala can be classified as in equatorial type of climate. It is hot and humid but in comparison to other inland cities, the ocean makes the climate quite pleasant i.e. not so hot and humid. From June to Sept. it experiences torrential rains brought by the monsoon clouds. However from October to February, the climate remains relatively dry and cool and it is the best period to visit the city.

Rainfall 170 cms. (May to November)

Tourist Season : Auguest to May

Clothing
It is advisable to wear natural fibres as synthetic fibres as the climates of Thiruvananthapuram do not quite agree with each other.

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General Information & Accomdation info on Thiruvananthapuram city of Kerala - India

 
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