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Tourist Places To Visit In Trivandrum
Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, is quite a busy and official city. However, travelers need not ever despair in Kerala as every location has more than enough to offer. If you are planning a visit to Trivandrum, here is our hand-picked list of the top tourist places you must visit in Trivandrum, from Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary to Kovalam, Peppara Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary to Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Read on for many more.
Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary
Crocodile farm, lion safari, deer park and boating across the pristine Neyyar River. For all this, head to the Neyyar Dam and Wildlife sanctuary 29 kms East of Trivandrum. Nestled at the foothills of Western Ghats, the sactuary is spread over 128 sq. kms and is home to some of India’s finest natural heritage. You could also trek to Agasthyakoodam from Neyyar dam. It’s the second highest peak in Kerala at 1890 meters.
One of the must visit places for travellers in Trivandrum, the Napier Museum (named after the governor of Madras), will give you a first-hand account of the past of the region. The napier museum has bronze figurines and other historical artefacts on display besides housing painter Raja Ravi Verma’s works in the Sri Chitra Art Gallery.
Anjengo / Anchuthengu Fort
Encounter the colonial history of India at Anchuthengu fort. This was the East India Company’s first settlement in Kerala and the fort was built in the 16th Century with the consent of the rani of Attingal. Located by the shore of the Anchuthengu beach, this fort was an important trading center for the East India Company. Surely the ruins make for a great travel experience in Trivandrum.
Peppara Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary
For tigers, panthers, elephants, lion-tailed macaques and more, head to Peppara Dam and Wildlife sanctuary, just 39 kilometers away from Trivandrum. The dam here, constructed on Karamana river, provides drinking water to the capital of Kerala. Enjoy the serene nature here. You could also indulge in some bird watching.
16 kilometers to the south of Thiruvananthapuram, is the beach town of Kovalam – one of Kerala’s popular tourist getaways. All for good reason. Kovalam, has a wild array of experiences to offer starting from India’s first artificial coral reef, to a novice friendly surf club and exquisite sea food. One of the best places to visit near Trivandrum.
Just 49 kilometers away, Varkala is a perfect getaway from Trivandrum. The beach town, in the northern reaches of the Trivandrum district, is famous for its beautifully sandy beaches, and the relatively calm waves which allow for swimming. Enjoy some laid back time sitting in the cafes of North cliff and looking out at the great expanse of the Arabian sea.
Ponmudi Hill Station
Enjoy the green foggy silence of Western Ghats at Ponmudi. Drive 56 kilometers East from Trivandrum to reach this quiet hill station at 1,000 meters height, hidden in the folds of the ancient mountain ranges. While away the time trekking or strolling through plantations and tea estates here.
Lord Padmanabh is a form of Lord Vishnu, named so because the lotus where Brahmaji sits grows from the navel of this god. Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum honours this form of Vishnu, and is considered one of his abodes (there are 108 on earth in total). This temple is ancient and very significant, so much so that it has given the city its name — ‘thiru-antha-puram,’ or the abode of anantha-padmanabh. A trip to Padmanabhaswamy Temple entails exploring its Dravidian architecture, doing darshan of the Lord Padmanabh who is sprawled out reclined, followed by darshan of Vishnu with Bhudevi and Sridevi.
The temple is believed to be a hub of massive donations since time immemorial, and all those jewels and gemstones are stored in special mantra-padlocked safes.
Padmanabhapuram Palace, located in Thuckalay around 64 km away from the main city, is almost 500 years old and spectacularly designed. Art enthusiasts and architecture lovers will find a visit to this palace exciting. With its rosewood ceilings that are intricately carved, and collections and specimens from the time of yore, this palace is also an unofficial museum. Every part of its setup is a collection in its own way, from the antique furniture to the vivid mica windows to paintings and murals of Krishna. Add to that frescoes, Belgian mirrors, royal bedrooms and huge baths! Padmanabhapuram Palace is hence a must visit in Trivandrum.
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple
A very popular temple in the state of Kerala, especially the south, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is a shrine where women mainly come to worship the goddess Attukal. They come together in millions to celebrate the Attukal Pongala Festival in Feb-march every year. When you visit here you will discover that Attukal Devi is actually a form of Parvati, hence idols of Shiv, Ganesh and Kali are also worshipped here.
Kanakakunnu Palace is another specimen of master craftsmanship. Its architecture is quite brilliant, attracting visitors from all over. It was constructed by Sree Moolan Thirunal to host banquet, dinners and royal ceremonies back in the day. Nowadays it hosts state cultural programmes and has been declared a heritage monument by INTACH. Not only heritage, it is also a natural treasure, ensconced as it is by verdant hills and rollings meadows.
Vizhinjam Lighthouse is about 10 km from Trivandrum, located atop a hill named Kurumkal. It dates back to 1925 and was built as a 36 m tall masonry tower. The set of winding stairs that are 144 in number take you to the top. From there a steel ladder will help you reach the pinnacle, from where you get gorgeous views of the Arabian sea and a bank of thick coconut tree cover. You can visit this lighthouse anywhere between 6 in the morning and 5.30 in the evening. Sunsets and sunrises should be watched from the top here.
Vizhinjam RockCut Cave
Vizhinjam RockCut Cave is in the same area as the lighthouse. It is 17 km from Trivandrum. It was cut in 8th Century CE and is known for its single-celled temple where the deity Vinandhara Dakshinamurthi resides. Paintings and images of Parvati-Shiv are found on the outer walls, while inner walls are replete with carvings. A half-done sculpture of Lord Shiva dancing is also found here. Do visit during broad daylight so that you can get the best views even inside the dark cave.
Priyadarshini Space Planetarium
Priyadarshini Space Planetarium opened in 1994. Since then, it has been one of the most coveted, versatile planetariums in the state. With its telescopes, equipments and trackers, Priyadarshini Space Planetarium keeps watch on the universe. You can visit it for its museum, sky simulator, beautiful architecture that lets you peek into space, and a massive sky theatre. Shows are regularly scheduled, one of the most famous shows being ‘The Man and the Universe.’ Special features for visitors are shown at 10.30, 12 noon, 3 pm and 5 pm
Magic Planet is a new age theme park, a brand new concept, where magic reigns supreme. From shows to films, rides to acitvties, everything revolves around magic. The Magic Planet is located inside the Kinfra Film and Video Park, attracting visitors young and old to enjoy the mysteries of science and magic. Street magic is promoted here. The 75 acre campus includes a children’s park, museum, mirror maze, underground tunnel, theatre (for live performances) and food court.
Trivandrum is not only about temples and palaces, but also boasts a beach galore. Shanghumukham Beach here is perfect to escape the city noise. Renowned for its sunsets and sunrises, the scenery that Shanghumukham Beach paints is best captured in tired eyes and cameras. The beach doubles up as a place for Ganesh visarjan during Ganesh Chaturthi. And during Arattu festival, it lights up in delight as Lord Krishna, Krishna Padmanabhawamy and Narasimha are carried in a procession here by the King of Travancore, his royal family, royal guards, temple priests, guards and devotees. Another highlight of the beach is Jalkanyka, the sculpture of a mermaid carved by the great Raja Ravi Varma.
Popular as Eve’s Beach as well, Hawa Beach is ideally chosen by backpackers and pace seekers. It has an aura of secluded tranquility. The sand, the sea and the sun are mostly your companions as you stroll down the shore or rest on your back and stare endlessly. Edakallu foreland separates Hawa Beach from Kovalam Beach, but yet, those who know about this beach, inevitably end up her at the time of sunset to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Agasthyakoodam is Kerala’s second highest mountain peak, located in the Sanyadris. It rises up to 1890 m and is home to thick forests where local wildlife lives peacefully. With natural herb gardens, orchid fields and trekking routes, Agasthyakoodam is beautiful in and out. Visit for bird watching, trekking, picnicking by Neyyar Dam and breathe enriched, healing oxygenated fresh air. The mountain itself is supposed to be the abode of Rishi Agasthya. Agasthyakoodam is 61 km away from Trivandrum. Women are not allowed on the peak, and you will need special permission to trek.
Veli Tourist Village
Veli Tourist Village is a planned village near Trivndrum where a lake is also located close to the Arabian sea. Adorned with a floating bridge, floating restaurants, delightful sceneries and great food, Veli Tourist Village is the best way to spend a day out picnicking. You can go rock climbing, boat riding, or just grab a blanket and save a corner to chill. The village is open everyday from 8 to 6.
Another backpacker and traveller favourite, Poovar Island is all palm trees and turquoise waves, golden sands and luxury resorts. Poovar is perched right in the Arabian Sea. Inviting and lush, you can take a cruise in the Arabian here or sign up for Ayruvedic massages, enjoy some down time with your loved ones or book a cottage and live a minimalistic life away from all the hustle and bustle.