Facts About Trivandrum
74 sq km
(May - Nov.): 170 cm
Season: Sept. - May
Capital of kerala
to get there:
The Trivandrum International Airport services flights of Air India,
Indian Airlines, Air Lanka, East-West Airlines and private charters
like Goa Way. Flights are operated to Cochin, Mumbi, Chennai, Coimbatore,
Goa Delhi and Bangalore. There are also international flights to
Colombo in Sri Lanka, Male in the Maldives and destinations of the
Gulf countries in the Middle East.
Trivandrum Central Railway Station is connected to most important
Indian cities and towns, including the southernmost tip of the subcontinent,
Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin).
Motorable roads link Trivandrum ti several important tourist and
business centres in India. Bus services of various classes are operated
by the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) as well as
corporations belonging to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
Though these are the major operators, there are also private bus
and other feeder services to destinations within and outside the
Transport: Taxis (ordinary yellow-top cabs superior 'tourist
taxis' and chauffeur-driven cards on heir from carinates), buses
and autorickshaws. For the adventurous, cycles are also easily available
on hire. Tourist coaches can be hires from the Kerala Tourism Development
Corporation (KTDC). For further information, contact : Trivandrum
District Truism Promotion Council Tel : 435397. TheKSRTC operates
bus services to pointed within the city and its suburbs.
Laid- back The capital
The former name for Kerala's capital city, Trivandrum, may
be more easily pronounceable but the present official name, Thiruvanathapuram,
is closer to its mythological, origins. The word 'Thri Ananthapuram',
means the city of Anatha or the abode of the sacred thousand-headed
serpent Anantha, who forms the couch on which reclines Lord vishnu,
the preserver in the Trinity of Hindu gods.
name also reflects the city's best-known temple and a famous landmark,
Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, dedicated to Padmanabha or Lord Vishnu
and - so goes legend- built in stages to house an idol discovered
in a forest by a devotee. The historical importance of the city
and this temple can be gauged from the fact that in 1750 when it
was the capital of the Venad chieftains of the erstwhile state of
Travancore, its renowned ruler Maharajah Marthanda Varma dedicated
the entire state to the deity of the temple. It was only as servants
of the deity that the King and his successors held possessions as
well as the right to rule. Built on seven hills, and liberally covered
with the green of low-lying paddy fields and coconut palms, Trivandrum
has not lost this holy glory, having accepted diverse and religious
traditions in its warm and hospitable embrace.
city has recently grown as a tourist and commercial centre, with
the Trivandrum International Airport becoming the main gateway into
Kerala for a substantial number of visitors and tourists.
it still retains a leisurely and laid-back ambience, helped along
by the great diversity of quaint colonial and traditional Kerala
visitor who allows himself to slowly amble through the various by
-lanes that snake off the main M.G. Road can discover the city's
visages- from shops, restaurants and hotels to bus-stops, banks
and post offices.
Being the state capital, Trivandrum throbs with
political activity. This, fortunately, is not at the cost of the
city's long tradition of being a generous host to culture and the
arts. That is why travellers are always advised not to miss the
Government Art Museum,
formerly called the Napier Museum, the Sri
Chitra Art Gallery and the CVN
Kalari (a centre for traditional
martial arts) among the other cultural institutions, universities
and libraries located in Trivandrum.
is also the ideal stop-over en route to nearby destinations like
the famed Kovalam beach, a half-hour 16 km, drive away, the Neyyar
Dam and minor wildlife sanctuary (32 km), the Ponmudi hill resort
(61 km), Varkala mineral springs (55 km) and popular local tourist
sports like the Veli Tourist Village and the Aukulam Lakeside complex.
in a beautifully landscaped 80-acre plot, the Government Art Museum forms part of a park-like
complex in the heart of the city which also houses the Sri Chitra
Art Gallery and the Zoologcal Gardens. The building is an architectural
delight, combining styles of traditional Kerala architecture with
Chinese and Mughal touches. Its 19th Century British architect,
Chisholm, is said to have stirred in a dash of Brighton as well.
The intriguing blend of colours- pink and blue, banana yellow and
cherry red- merge with red and white lattice work and mock friezes
to create a unique spectacle, best viewed on weekends when the entire
building is majestically spotlit. Inside the museum are varied period
collections of bronze statues, treasures, costumes, masks, ancient
jewellery, musical instruments and models, including one of the
Nair joint-family residence, the 'tharavad'.
Sri Chitra Art Gallery, also in a traditional building, houses a
rich collection of paintings of the erstwhile Travancore ruling
family, including portraits of maharajas and British residents by
Raja RaviVarma. Also included are representative pieces of medieval
and modern art of the Rajput, Mughal, Tanjore and Bengal schools
and selection of the work of the Russian painter Svetosku Roerich.
Zoological Garden, called ''one of the best laid-out zoos in Asia'',
is set in pleasant surroundings, amidst lawns and lakes. Its animals
and birds and the snake collection in the nearby Reptile House attract
scores of delighted visitors.
on a hill opposite the Kanakakunnu Palace, another attraction worth
a visit, is the Government Observatory which offers a lovely view
from its roof terrace.
Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. conduct coach tours from Trivandrum.
Four Details and Reservation contact : Tourist Receptions Centre,
KTDC Thampanoor Trivandrum -1 Ph : 330031
to the airport, the Shanghumugham Beach is popular with local people
and features an indoor recreation club, a roller skating rink, a
children's traffic training park, a starfish-shaped restaurant and
11 km from the city is the Veli Tourist village,
a well developed tourist spot where the lake merges with the sea.
Its gardens have been landscaped by Kerala's famous sculptor Kanai
Kunhiraman whose exuberant sculptures dot the greenery. They combine
to offer an ideal setting for picnics and day trips. There is a
pontoon bridge to the beach, a wading pool for kids, pony rides,
a floating restaurant and facilities for minor aqua sports from
10 am to 5 pm. Limited accommodation, mainly of the dormitory type,
is available at the Veli Youth Hostel (Tel : 47 1364). The Office
/ KTDC restaurant can be contacted at telephone number : 475385
The Akkulam Lakeside Boat Club is another popular local destination
for city dwellers who wish to get away from it all. About 13 km
from the city, it has a large children's park, a small snack bar
and facilities for boating between 10 am and 5 pm . The Boat Club
telephone numbers is 443043.
at PMG Junction, near the Mascot Hotel, Science and Technology Museum
is an interactive educative experience for students and youth as
well as as other inquisitive minds. Closed on Mondays, on other
days it is open from 10 am to 5 pm and the entrance fee is Rs. 1
at Thycaud in the city, the Chacha Nehru Children's Museum displays
dolls, maks and paintings and is open 10 am to 5 pm.
SMSM Institute is the handicrafts emporium of the Handicrafts Development
Corporation of Kerala, situated behind the government secretariat
and near the British Library. It sells a wide variety of handicrafts,
carvings and curios. Open 9 am to 8 pm with no lunch break.
the world - renowned beach endowed with a sheltered bay safe for
swimming, during the off-monsoon months is about 16 km away. It
takes about half an hour to reach Kovalam from Trivandrum. Apart
from the five-star Ashok Radission Hotel, there are several hotels
of various standards to suit every budget. Seaside restaurant stalls
serve a variety of cuisine.
pilgrim centre and picnic spot 16 km from Trivandrum is Aruvikkara.
Another favourite local destination is Neyyar Dam, a dam site with
the lake providing a picnic spot as well as opportunities for boating
and hiking. The famed Sivanada Yoga Vedanta Ashram is located here.
samadhi of the saint Sri Narayana Guru, is at Varkala, 55 km from
Trivandrum. It is also the site of the Janardanasaway (Vishnu) Temple.
The other attrition is the mineral springs believed to be able to
ancient seat of the Travancore rulers, the 16th century Padmanabhapuram
Palace of elaborate woodwork is 55 km from Trivandrum in the state
of Tamil Nadu en route to Kanyakumari. It contains historical relics
including ancient swords and pistols, original rosewood furnishings
and wall-paintings. The floors are made of a mixture of eggshell,
coconut shell and charcoal and beneath can be found underground
hiding spots and narrow escape tunnels used buy ancient kings to
flee from enemies. The palace is closed on Mondays.
Ponmudi is a small
little hill resort (altitude: 325 metres) within easy driving distance
(61 km) from Trivandrum. Mountains and tea plantations provide the
setting for some beautiful hiking trails. Accommodation is available
in a guest house with 24 rooms and ten stone cottages perched on
the hillside. Bookings can be made at KTDC, Trivandrum. Close to
Kanyakumari (74 km from Trivandrum), the Suchindram Temple has an
impressive gopuram and a statue of Hanuman, apart from beautiful
carvings and sculptures.