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Kerala Tourist Places - TRIVANDRUM

Area 2192 sq. km
Population 3,234,707 (2001 census)
Altitude Sea level

Located at the southwestern tip of India, Thiruvananthapuram district is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the west and Tamil Nadu in the east. The wooded highlands in the Western Ghats in the eastern and northeastern borders give Thiruvananthapuram some of the most enchanting picnic spots. A long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage make this district a much sought-after tourist destination. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala.

Accessing Thiruvananthapuram
Telephone access code : +91-471

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

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

Road : Long distance buses operate from the Central Bus Station at Thampanoor, opposite the Railway Station.
Places to Visit in Thiruvananthapuram City

Padmanabha Swamy Temple

Open: 0415 - 0515 hrs, 0645 - 0715 hrs, 0830 - 1115 hrs, 1145 - 1200 hrs, 1700 - 1815 hrs, 1845 - 1930 hrs
The temple is located inside the East Fort. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is a blend of the Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is known for its mural paintings and stone carvings. One among the 108 sacred Vishnu temples in India, the presiding deity here is Lord Vishnu reclining on Anantha the Serpent. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. Dress code: Men - Dhoti; Women - Saree and blouse.

Kuthiramalika (Puthenmalika) Palace Museum

Open: 0830 - 1230 hrs & 1530 - 1730 hrs. Closed on Mondays
The palace was built by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal Balarama Varma - the King of Travancore, who was a great poet, musician, social reformer and statesman. This rare specimen of workmanship in the traditional Travancore style of architecture also has exquisite wood carvings. The palace museum displays paintings and various priceless collections of the royal family and is located near the Padmanabha Swamy Temple.

The Napier Museum

Open :10.00 - 16.45 hrs. Closed on Mondays, Wednesday forenoons, January 26 th, August 15 the Thiruvonam and Mahanavami
Built in the 19 th century, this Indo - Saracenic structure boasts a natural air conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. The use of plastic is banned in the museum premises.

Sree Chithra Art Gallery

Open: 10.00 - 16.45 hrs. Closed on Mondays & Wednesday forenoons
Located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India. The collection also includes paintings from China, Japan, Tibet and Bali.

The Zoological Park

Open : 0900 - 1815 hrs. 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.

Shankhumugham Beach

Just 8 km from the city, this is a favourite haunt of sunset watchers. The beach is adjacent to the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and Veli Tourist Village. An indoor recreation club, the matsya kanyaka (a gigantic, 35m 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.

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.
Short Tours from Thiruvananthapuram City

Kovalam Beach

Distance : 16 km - ½ 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.


Distance : 10 km
This serene backwater stretch, enroute to Kovalam, is famous for its canoe rides.

ParasuramaTemple, Thiruvallam

Distance : 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 Bali ritual, devotees make offerings to the souls of the dear departed, after taking a dip in the holy water.

Aruvikkara Dam

Distance : 16 km - ½ hour
This picturesque picnic spot is on the banks of the Karamana River. Near the Durga Temple here is a stream full of fish that fearlessly come close to the shore to be fed by the visitors.

SreeMahadevaTemple :

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

Neyyar Dam

Distance : 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.


Distance : 40 km - 1½ 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 Sree Janardhana Swamy Temple and the Nature Cure Centre are the two main attractions here. A century old tunnel is another attraction.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary

Distance : 50 km from Thiruvananthapuram
This sanctuary spread over 53 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.


Distance : 61 km - 2½ hours
An idyllic hill resort with narrow, winding pathways and cool, green, wooded environs, Ponmudi is located 915 metres 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.

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Distance : 52 km - 2½ hours. Closed on Mondays
The seat of the erstwhile rulers of Travancore, 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.


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.