Trivandrum, also known as Thiruvananthapuram is the lively capital city of Kerala. The city enjoys a rich history and legend has it that the land was carved out by Parashuram's (ancient Indian sage) axe as it fell into the sea. The city has seen the rise and fall of civilizations like Romans, Arabs and more, the city till date retains its maritime importance.
Hordes of tourists travel to Trivandrum every year in the enticement of the Kovalam beach. Tourists laze around in the sun or play around the shores of this picturesque beach, which is among the best beaches in India. Sunrise and sunset on the beach gives an overwhelming experience to tourists who visit the beach.
Tourists can visit the museums and a number of art galleries in the city. The city has a rich tradition of nurturing art and culture since ancient times. There are many prominent tourist attractions, which take no more than a short excursion to reach.
The festival of Onam is celebrated towards August end or early September. It is an excellent time to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Many cultural programs take place during the Onam festival that last till ten days.
An Ayurveda massage or treatment is a must for those traveling to Trivandrum. Kerala has revived the ancient medical science in India that provides cure for many present day illnesses. The city has some first-rate Ayurveda centers which will promise you a whole new rejuvenating experience.
Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram, as you may choose to call it, happens to be a beautiful city as well the capital of Kerala - God's Own Country, as people refer to the state. It is a vivid town, full of life and hence a popular tourist destination for Indians and foreigners alike. Tourist footfall is on a constant rise in the state as well as the city. It is estimated that 732,985 foreign tourists arrived in the state in the year 2011, thus showing an increase of 11.18% from the previous year's statistics. Domestic tourist arrival increased to an astounding 9,381,455, owing to an increment of 9.15% over the previous year's numbers. Most of these tourists set foot in the capital city and contributed to the local revenue and fame. Total revenue earned from tourism in the state was no less than 19,037 crores, which is 9.74% higher than last year's figures. Tourist footfall is at its peak during October-March as people look to avoid the hot and humid summers.
How to Reach Trivandrum
Trivandrum has an international airport in the city. Major public and private airlines including a number of international airlines operate regular flights to and from Trivandrum. Many Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi are well connected to Trivandrum.
Trivandrum is a major Railway Station in India. Key destinations in Kerala and South India are linked to Trivandrum by rail.
An extensive road network connects Trivandrum with most of the cities in Kerala like Kochi, Alleppey and Kumarakom. You can also approach the city from other South Indian Cities like Chennai and Bangalore.
Distance to Thiruvananthapuram
- From Bangalore - 753 KM
- From Delhi - 2814 KM
- From Hyderabad - 1315 KM
- From Chennai - 708 KM
- From Kanyakumari - 87 KM
The popular tourist destination in and around Trivandrum are as follows:
- The Padmanabhaswami Temple in Trivandrum is considered to be among the most famous and richest temples of India. A spectacular architecture and religious environment surrounds the temple.
- The Puthen Maliga Palace museum is known for its unique collection that draws innumerable visitors.
- One of the popular tourist places is the peak of Agastyakoodam, 70 kilometers from the main city, on the Western Ghats. It is believed to be the abode of sage Agastya and the Hindus find it as a place of pilgrimage. One can obtain a forest pass and go trekking in the hills.
- Akkulam is another famous spot in the city of Trivandrum, and is built on the banks of the Akkulam Lake. This place is known for its serene atmosphere and natural beauty. You can also rent houseboats for overnight stay.
- The Veli Lake is another very good spot with boating, swimming and accommodation facilities in the midst of serene atmosphere.
- Plenty of natural beaches are situated near Trivandrum and the most famous of them is the Kovalam Beach, popular for sea-bathing. It is one of the finest beaches in India, and has seaside cottages and hotels, too. Besides Kovalam, other beaches that are worth a visit are Shanghummugam Beach, Azhimala Beach, Vizhinjam, which was once a famous port and now a fishing harbor, and the Varkala Beach.
- The Meenmutti and Kombaikani waterfalls are good for a visit, along with the beautiful Neyyar Dam.
- Ponmudi is a picturesque hill station known for its tea and rubber estates.
- Other places that are worthy of a visit are Anchuthengu, a historical site, Balaramapuram, Neyyattinkara, Peppara (known for flora and fauna) and Poovara. Most of these places have famous temples and religious sites.
Tourist influx to Thiruvananthapuram usually starts from the autumn month of October. Kerala is one of those states that gets a bit of the later monsoon showers and that would generally be over by the month of September. The weather then turns perfect for tourism activities. Tourists can flock in until March, after which is the beginning of the summer months and can be inconvenient. The temperature remains around 24-25 degree Celsius, which is perfect for roaming around. One should be fine if they avoid the summer and monsoon periods. Winter isn't so severe, considering it is a coastal district. Things that one definitely needs to carry are light cotton outfits, sun glasses and goggles, caps and hats, and also lotions and sun blocks.
The cost of travel depends on the distance from the place you are travelling from. Air travel is easily the most expensive form of travel, and fares are rupees 4,000 upwards. Travel by rail is modest,and a journey from the southern places can set you back by about rupees 600-700. Long-distance rail travel can be a little expensive. Buses operate inlarge numbers and very frequently. Travelling by bus isn't expensive, and costs about rupees 400-500, depending on the distance of travel. Journey is comfortable and you will normally not have complaints about it. Travel sites can help you through a range of bookings. Accommodation is plentiful in both government hotels as well as private ones. The type of luxury depends largely on your budget. Travelling in the city can be done via auto rickshaws, which can be a meager 50 to 100 rupees. State buses that operate within the city are another cheap option.
How many days are enough to Travel
Trivandrum can be reached by cheap modes of transport like buses and trains within a day from major south Indian cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Madurai and many more due to the geographical proximity. So it is the best mode of travel. If you plan to travel from North India, railways are a more favorable option and can take up to 72 hours, largely depending on the distance. Air travel is the quickest but is an expensive option. A complete tour of the well known places of Trivandrum can usually take up to 5-6 days. If you are willing to spend some more time there, you will find many activities to keep you interested in the city and the entire lot of offbeat things that it has in store to offer. A traveler wishing to discover the religious side of the city will need 2-3 days more to explore the city throughout.
Tourism Contact Numbers
The Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala resides at Park View in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. All details can be obtained from there. You can also call up on 1-800-425-4747 (toll free) and +91-471-2321132 for more details.
Medical college can be contacted at 2444270 and the general hospital at 2307874. The pharmacy of Medical College is always open and can be called on 2443850. The Important Guesthouse and Yatri Nivas can be contacted at 2329869, 2480146 and 2333956. All tourist numbers can be availed from the tourism department office. The country code for all numbers mentioned is +91 and city code is 0471. The other important numbers include the following:
Trivandrum Travel Tips
A few tips for travelers in the city can be encapsulated as follows:
- Try to avoid the hot and humid summer months, which is generally the off season in the Kerala tourism circuit.
- Ensure to get yourself a boat ride in the backwaters to enjoy the pleasant countryside.
- Always carry light cotton clothing, hats, sunscreen and umbrellas to save you from the harsh elements that often play a spoilsport.
- If Ayurveda treatment is on your itinerary, only choose government-affiliated and registered Ayurveda centers.
- Temples in Trivandrum follow a strict code of conduct. Do not wear footwear inside temples. Enquire if the entry of non-Hindus is permitted inside the temple if you are from other religions.
- Smoking in public places is banned and punishable with harsh fines.
- Trivandrum is a place where public demonstration of behavior is strictly observed. Try to abide by local customs and practices that prevail.
A Trivandrum tour is left incomplete if you return without shopping in Trivandrum. More often than not shopping is an integral part of a tour. Everyone wants to take back some artifacts, utilities or souvenirs after touring a region.
The rich tradition of art and crafts make for a great shopping in Trivandrum. Metal work is an ancient art in this part of Kerala. The ace craftsmen of Trivandrum make exquisite items out of bell metal. Pick up some kitchenware, brass lamps and many other objects d'art while shopping in Trivandrum.
Coir products are also a wonderful specialty of Kerala. Floor coverings, doormats, floor Matting and rugs come in a range of colors and designs, which are made of coir or coconut fibers. These along with coconut shell crafts are huge favorites with those who want to do some shopping in Trivandrum.
Don't forget to pick up miniature snake boats and kathakali masks while shopping in Trivandrum that make for fantastic souvenirs of a Trivandrum tour.
You would find many shopping joints in Trivandrum. Some are run by the state government while others are private ones. Drop in at M.G. Road in the city to where you may come across large variety of local handicrafts for shopping.
Places to See in Trivandrum
- Padmanabha Swamy Temple
- Kuthiramalika Palace Museum
- Napier Museum
- Priyadarshini Planetarium
Last Updated on : 12/11/2013