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Thiruvanathapuram or popularly and formerly Trivandrum, is the capital of the south Indian state of Kerala and is a hilly city cramped between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. It is the largest city in Kerala and is a center of the state’s IT industry, and was also quoted by Mahatma Gandhi as the ‘Evergreen’ city.

The historic legacy of this city is formidable with some historians believing Thiruvanathapuram to be as old as 1000 BC. More recently, it was the capital of the erstwhile Travancore Kingdom and still is the home of the Travancore Royal family. The city receiving a maximum number of foreign tourists in south India and has become a frequent haunt for vacationers. The name Thiruvanathapuram comes from the ‘city of Anantha’ (Anatha also called as Shesh – the serpent on whom Lord Vishnu rests) Apart from its tourist celebrity-status, Thiruvanathapuram is the political, administrative, judiciary center of Kerala. There are many premier Indian science and technology institutes in the city with an Indian space center. The city has also continued its legacy of being an economic hub in south India and being one of the most eco-friendly cities in India, at the same time.

Climate and Best Time to Visit

  • June – September is Monsoon, and the city receives heavy rainfall and humidity is high with cool temperatures.
  • October – February is Winter with dry and pleasant temperate weather. The temperatures vary from 180 C to 300 C.
  • March – May is Summer. The temperatures rise up to 360 C and it is humid, which increases the sensation of heat.

It is best to avoid Summer and the best time to visit is November – February. The Monsoons are especially popular among honeymooners for its romantic appeal.

Attractions of Thiruvanathapuram

The Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple

This temple is the central attraction of the city and is the property of the Travancore Royal Family. It was recently the talk of the town because of the discovery of a treasure of gigantic proportions in its old vaults. That discovery made it the wealthiest temple in the world and also escalated the security and tightened the temple norms. Presently non-Hindus are forbidden entry to the temple and many strict rules must be adhered by those who are granted access.

The Ramanayar Palace Museum

Placed in a palace near the east gate of the Padhmanabaswamy temple, this museum displays many valuable, historically significant exhibits. These exhibits are antiquities of the Travancore Royalty and include many artifacts like statues, paintings and thrones.

East Fort

The Temple was one a part of a fortified township but most of the fortifications have been retired and dissolved, keeping only those on the Eastern side. The East Fort is lit wonderfully during the night and this spectacle attracts many, locals and travelers alike.

The Padmanabhapuram Palace

This palace, just outside Thiruvanathapuram was the former command and residence of the Travancore Royal Family. It is completely wooden and is world’s largest of such buildings.  The wood used in its construction was treated with long lost techniques that are believed to have wondrous effects, like the ‘Spice Bed’, that is over six centuries old. This palace is also home to the Royal Sword of Travancore and the clock tower of the palace is still functional being the oldest in southern Asia.

Priyadarshani Space Planetarium

It is one of India’s largest planetariums and the exhibits displayed here are ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organization) own. It is one of the world’s finest ‘horizontal’ Planetariums and is frequented by national and international science figures for conferences.

Kerala Science and Technology Museum

This museum is one of the largest and has separate sections for inventions of different fields like electronics, mechanical and so on.

Veli Village

It is a tourist village set up on the beach of Thiruvanathapuram. The village maintains many recreational facilities with parks and playground for children. The beach is also very safe and hosts a number of water sports like boating, swimming, etc. Horse riding on the beach is particularly popular among tourists.

The Zoological Park

Started operating in 1843, this is the very first zoo in India. Apart from several animals, the zoo has a wonderful botanical garden and a separate butterfly garden.

Get In

By Air

Thiruvanathapuram being the capital of Kerala, is connected to all the important national and international cities through its International Airport

By Railway

The terminal at Thampanoor is called the Trivandrum Central railway station and is south India’s third largest station, which is connected to almost all of the major Indian cities.  It is an important station and was once royal property is now a heritage site.

By Road

The city is efficiently connected to the rest of Kerala and all its surrounding states by road. The state-run bus service has routes to all the big and small towns in Kerala as well as to major cities of neighboring states.

Get Around

By Bus

This is the most affordable way to explore and travel across Thiruvanathapuram. There is a bus terminal at the East fort and another at Thampanoor, which has an inter-city bus terminal as well.

By Rickshaws

The rickshaws are a cheap and convenient way to travel around the city in short distances. The races are regulated and often printed on a card.

By Taxi

This is a more comfortable way to explore Thiruvanathapuram. Taxis can be hired from many companies and can be used for a couple of days; all the cabs in the city are the vintage ‘Indian Ambassador’.

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