Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, is a fusion of lush greenery and an urban city. It is famous for its rich heritage and numerous scenic beaches garnering tourists from around the world. It is a major destination for nature lovers looking to unwind with an ample presence of modern attractions. The notable enriching experiences the city offers are as follows:
1. Padmanabhaswamy Temple–
The temple is a beautiful example of Dravidian architecture featuring a gopuram. Dedicated to the Lord Vishnu, followers of Hinduism visit the temple throughout the year. Plated in gold, it has a ubiquitous presence of stone carvings and murals. The deity Padmanabhaswamy is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and can be seen in a yogic sleep posture over the serpent Adi Shesha.
2. Kovalam Beach–
Tourists can enjoy numerous activities like snorkeling, catamaran riding, or cycling. The clear waters, gorgeous sunsets, and a coastline full of coconut trees make it a must-visit destination.
3. Napier Museum–
Built in the Indo-Saracenic style, it is a unique combination of Mughal, Chinese and Italian styles. It was developed by the Maharaja of Travancore in 1855 and showcases precious artifacts, bronze articles, ivory ornaments, and carvings. It also has a chariot and ancient musical instruments on display. Sri Chitra Art Gallery present inside features fascinating paintings by Raja Ravi Varma.
4. Poovar Island–
Poovar is a coastal town located in the southernmost part of Trivandrum. It is believed that the village was the trading port called ‘Ophir’ in a bygone era where the ships of King Solomon landed. It is a serene natural beauty where the beach, backwaters, and lake coverage. The pleasant breeze and the vast expanse of sand make it a scenic tourist spot.
5. Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary–
The wildlife sanctuary houses the Neyyar Dam built over the river. The Sanctuary is the abode of elephants, wild boars, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Top attractions within the Sanctuary include the Lion Safari Park and the Deer Park along with a crocodile farm.
At an altitude of 1868 meters, this is one of the highest points of Western Ghats. It is not only a hiking destination but also a religious shrine. A life-sized sculpture of the Hindu sage Agasthya has been installed at the top. Trekkers can cover the 20 km trek in three days and enjoy the exuberant views as well.
7. Zoological Park–
One of the country’s finest zoos, the Trivandrum Zoo has numerous varieties of animal species brought in from different continents. Along with seeing an aviary and a reptile house, visitors can boat in the lake. The landscaping provides a natural habitat for the animals. It is a wholesome retreat with entertainment for everyone.
8. Shanghumukham Beach–
This beach is located in the western part of Trivandrum and is famous for ‘Ganesh Nimarjan’ and other religious practices. Apart from experiencing the solitude of the place, tourists can enjoy the seafood at Starfish Restaurant that provides panoramic views of the beach as well. The great sculpture of a ‘Jalakanyaka’ is a famous attraction.
9. Kanakakunnu Palace–
Situated close to the Napier Museum, the posh estate was once home to the Travancore royal family. Today, it is a popular venue for hosting cultural festivals all year round. The All India Dance Festival is conducted here from October to March wherein the classical dances of the country are performed each day.
10. Veli Tourist Village–
A lake meets a beach at this coastal village. A perfect spot with green surroundings, this area has boating facilities ranging from Pedal boating, Speed boating to Row boating as well. A children’s park, swimming facilities, and a floating restaurant make it a popular tourist attraction.
The name that means the ‘Golden Crown’ is a small hill station located near the main city. It abounds in flora, numerous varieties of flowers, rivulets, and springs. Along with providing breathtaking views of the hills, this is also a trekking paradise for adventure lovers.
12. Kuthira Malika –
One of the finest examples of the Travancore architectural styles, this Palace museum was built by the great Maharaja Swathi Thirunal in 1840. The name Kuthira Malika translates to the ‘Palace of Horses’ and is apt because of the 122 horses that bejewel the exterior pillars on the wall. It has displays of paintings and articles from the royal family.
13. Chalai Bazaar–
The historical bazaar situated at the heart of the city is a typical Indian marketplace full of hustle and bustle. A vibrantly colorful street that runs for about 2 km from the East Fort to Killippalam is famous for cultural artifacts, fruits, and vegetables as well as jewelry. The crowded streets of this market present a divergent view from the quiet of the hills and the mountains.
14. Magic Planet–
It is one of the very first theme park and museum dedicated to the art of magic. A magnificent place for children to experience the wonders of art with numerous leisure activities.
15. Priyadarshini Planetarium–
Regarded as one of the topmost planetariums of South-India, this attraction is one of the very first technologically advanced planetariums in the country to have a tilted dome. An ideal place to gain knowledge about the creation of the Universe, the planetarium hosts daily shows on astronomy. Visitors can get a know-how of the new developments made in the field.